Winner of the 2011 CrimeFest Sounds of Crime Award.
Don't imagine for one moment that I'm not watching you...
After a New Year's Eve ball, a woman is raped as she returns to her hotel room. A week later, another woman is attacked. Superintendent Roy Grace realises that these new cases bear close similarities to an unsolved series of crimes in Brighton back in 1997. When more women are assaulted, Grace becomes increasingly certain that they are dealing with the same twisted individual...
©2010 Peter James (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
Crime and thrillers.... King and Koontz .....I love fiction, mystery murder and nice horror.... No zombies or chainsaws!!
This was another amazing tale of crime and skullduggery which, as always, is solved by the wonderful Roy Grace. The plot is complex but entirely believable. Whilst the narrator was good I do not feel their voice was best suited to this sort of book.
Ok, so this is book 6 in the DS Roy Grace series and is a good listen. A bit confusing in places with the back and forth between present and past meaning a bit more concentration is required than some other titles, but once it gets into its stride it keeps you listening - or it did me anyway.
However, there is far too little Roy Grace in this book compared to the others. Much much more page time is given to the villain of the book, and various other non-Police charaters. So much in fact that if you're hoping for more development of the Roy Grace character in this book (and his friend Glen Branson for that matter) then you'll be disappointed. For example, after the conclusion of the case DS Grace is harldy mentioned at all in the last 45 minutes or so of the narration!
Yes there is some forward development of the character, but compared to the other books in the series it seems that DS Grace and the rest of his team are secondary characters this time around with what felt like much less than a quarter of the story given over to them and their detection of the case. Maybe Peter James was struggling this time with where to take Grace etc. Maybe his publisher edited it down to a more manageable length. Who knows. Either way it didn't feel like a DS Grace novel, more like a spin off in which he and his team had a cameo role. Think CSI: Miami with a character from one of the other franchises popping up.
I still gave it 4 stars because as a novel in its own right it was a good listen, and excellently read again again by David Bauckham which kept me listening. Had I been giving it stars purely as a DS Grace novel? Maybe 2 stars.
Hopefully we'll have a return to more police, less villain next time around. Would still like to see DS Grace brought to the TV screen though. Would make a good replacement for Frost - IF the character was able to stay as written and not 'altered for TV' like Jack was
I have no problems with the storyline or the way it is structured, which puts me at odds with another reviewer who didn't feel it read like a normal Roy Grace novel.
In fact I quite enjoyed the storyline and couldn't wait for my next commute so I could hear what would happen next.
Sadly, what completely naused this book up for me was the awful narration. It was clear to me that the narrator either had a stinker of a cold or adanoidal problems.
With audio books, the presentation is all. However this was like a beautiful display in a shop window with broken glass :-(
One of the worst voices that I have heard read books on Audible. his name is David Bauckham, Beckham more like it. I got through 4 chapters and finally gave up out of boredom, the story took far too long to get going and the voice was becoming an aggravating drone.
I was incredibly dissappointed in this audio book. The narration was so grating that I couldn't listen to it for more than 20 mins, the actors voice was flat and course, without a hint of character. I wasted my money for the first time. Please listen to it on sample before you purchase to ensure that its something you can bear first.
Wasn't at all what I expected. The book is largely first person narratives from various men who fantasise about raping women, killing women and women's' shoes. There is very little detection or suspense. I found it boring and unnecessarily filled with poor descriptions of women in distress and men wanting to cause distress to women. I suppose some people look for that in a book and if you normally read horror novels perhaps this one is for you. Not great for those who like either character development or detection in their crime novels.
I've enjoyed some of the author's other Inspector Grace novels but I can recall none as being as explicit in describing the violence of the attacks on victims. Maybe it's because the crimes are rapes that are graphically related in horrific detail enough to give any woman nightmares. The criminals are also more psychologically damaged/twisted as an explanation for the torture they inflict. I nearly gave up listening as I found the crimes so disquieting, but carried on. I'm glad I did because once the author had got the crimes described the story moved on to the detection, which was easier and more interesting listening.
The reader is very good.
The Roy Grace series of books are all well written and intriguing. However, the narration on much of this one is just plain boring! At times I struggled to maintain attention on the book. It is a tribute to the author that I succeeded, and gradually 'screened out' the voice.
Peter James is a consummate storyteller and this book the sixth in the Roy Grace franchise lives up to expectations in terms of content.
An excellent book totally spoiled by flat narration, poor characterisation and totally wrong emphasis. A horrible listen which did not get better as it went along. The 'unknown' narrator David Bauckham is apparently a speech coach and one would expect at least to get inflexions of words and sentences right if not to have the ability to characterise that good actors reading audio books have. Perhaps too much time spent with non-english speakers but no excuse. A best selling author like James deserves better than this from his publishers.
For this one stick to the print version.
I have listened to all the Roy Grace books so far, in order, but I was disappointed with this one. Like some of the previous lsteners' comments I felt the descriptions of the rapes were gratuitous and uncomfortably lengthy, to the point where I switched off my MP3 player and couldn't resume listening for several days until I had regained my stomach. I was also disappointed that there was little focus and development on Roy Grace and Glen Bransen. Through Peter James skill as an author, I have grown an attachment to these characters and want to know more about what's going on in their lives. When a book ends I look forward to the next one being published. I hope this dip is a temporary one and that Dead Man's Grip will be better.
"Better read than listened to"
I'm 5 hours in and giving up. Switching back and forth between 1998 and "now" with some of the same characters is way too confusing to listen to. Gonna get the book, because the story is a good one. Nice narration too.
I've listened to the previous books and am so pleased that the author has the main character experiencing positive growth. No 'darkness' in this soul.
I enjoyed the people and the plot. Unfortunately the narrator does not understand the tone of the story which leads to his pace & inflection being off.
Still worthwhile to listen to.
"Great reader; fair to good book"
I love a British mystery. And I for the most part liked this book.
However, it dragged on a bit too long, and at times I found it a bit dull. I also began to wonder if Mr. James has too much fascination with pee-soaked clothes and shaven areas.
But, with those negatives said, I will say I really like the reader's voice. He sounds like Neil Gaiman.
"Awkward story, lousy narration"
I'm not sure a better narrator could have salvaged this awkward and unconvincing mystery. But the poor quality of the narration made a mediocre story a chore to listen to. Not a winning combination. The plot never catches fire, the characters are unsympathetic and/or uninteresting, and the yo-yo of flashback between past and present keeps the story in a slow circle, with little advancement that engages interest.
"Not the best PJ book, but ok..."
Mediocre, long, enlightening
I would have been a bit more judicious in the editing... it seemed a bit long and tedious. Almost as if Peter James was trying to hit a 'word count' with this book and added things in order to achieve it, thus losing on the quality of the storyline.
monotonous, choppy, tedious
I really like the parts where Detective Grace is with his life-partner. He genuinely loves her but struggles with the fact that his wife is still missing, presumed dead, but a part of him sees himself as being unfaithful at times. I think this carries over in his work because he is sometimes either too lenient or critical of his team... he tends to find a 'happy medium' in life, whether it be work-life or personal life.
I enjoy the plots in this series but in this book, some of the descriptions were a little more gritty than I would have liked. Overall, still a good book.
"Enjoyed the complexity"
This is indeed a complex plot, but I thought it was well done. I enjoyed how it was woven together.
"dead like you"
a good mystery, flash backs sometimes confusing but still very suspenseful and as always with pd a surprising ending.
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