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Summary

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award-winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape her marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you've made. A chance photograph on a client's mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

©2017 Peter James (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

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A good read

Stands alone as a good detective story, but even better as part of the series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Roy Grace Soap Opera Rumbles On!

I've been a long-time fan of this series.  Sure, it has had its ups and downs but some of the books are genuinely exciting affairs and the author's detailed knowledge and research always shine through. This one is a middling book in the series, it doesn't have the huge tension or truly dastardly villain.  The chemistry between some of the characters also seems lessened, particularly between Grace and his best friend Branson.  On the plus side there is less of the saccharine-laden interaction between Grace and his new wife! 

The narration by Daniel Weyman is, as you would expect from him, very good.  In the book's most exciting scenes towards the end the combination of James's words and this narrator provided top-notch audiobook entertainment.  The one downside is that previous narrators from a few books ago, while not as good overall, did give Branson's character a bit more oomph and he suffers as a result.

There is quite a lot about Grace's back story in this but less about the other characters than usual.  We do spend a little bit of quality time getting down and dirty in the Potting shed but not enough for this reader at least.  So, in all, this one isn't too bad.  It does contain some of the trademarks qualities of the overall series but didn't build the tension in anything like the same way as the best of them.  There are some exciting moments but not the sense of building excitement and dread that some of the books have managed.  That said, the ending setup a promise of something a bit special for the next one hinting that one of my favourite villains may be coming back for more . . .

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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OK but not among the best in the series

I’ve read/listened to most of the the previous books and, before starting this last one, listened in chronological order to seven of the previous books in the Roy Grace series, including the first one, Dead Simple, to remind myself how the characters and stories have developed over time. The strengths and weaknesses of the series are present in most of the novels: the crimes are usually imaginative and keep one guessing.

The principle characters are mostly well-drawn with back stories fleshed out, but one of the more colourful, Grace’s trusty friend DS (now DI) Glenn Branson, hardly figures in this novel and for some reason the narrator no longer gives him his previous distinctive voice which makes Branson seem flat and uninteresting. Otherwise the narrator is excellent. Grace’s boss, Cassian Pewe, has become a ridiculous caricature of spite. The long running story of Grace’s first wife, Sandy’s, disappearance is, thankfully, at last resolved, but I’m getting weary of the cheesy, unrealistic, lovely-dovey scenes with his new wife, Cleo.

There’s far too much description of what every character is wearing from head to toe and product-placements galore. Listening to 7 books in a row, it also struck me how much padding there is in the novels with lots of details, some of which are interesting, and often repeated from novel to novel. It’s more noticeable in this latest book as the actual plot is less pacy and only really takes off towards the end of the book and ends in a disappointing surprise.

I’ll probably continue with the series in the hope that this dip in performance is inevitable in a long series.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Essex
  • 01-12-17

Killer Thriller

Good solid thriller built around one big fat whopping coincidence that would make Thomas Hardy blush. Enjoy the ride!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Began reasonably then totally lost its way

Excellent reader who worked hard to keep up the momentum however storyline let him down and frustrated the listener. Far too long on peripheral details and very thin content.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Time to kill off Roy?

I've read all of the Roy Grace series and enjoyed them up until the previous one and now this. It feels like the author has run out of ideas and the new characters are pretty one dimensional. This edition felt like a drawn out short story. The constant brand advertising has also become boring. Sorry to say that this will be my last Roy Grace book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant story and narration. Love Peter James.

If you could sum up Need You Dead in three words, what would they be?

Compelling, Funny, Descriptive

What was one of the most memorable moments of Need You Dead?

There is a funeral and the emotions attached to it are very well portrayed.

What about Daniel Weyman’s performance did you like?

Excellent, as always. Easy to discern between the characters.

Any additional comments?

Have read (or listened to) all the Roy Grace books. He is a brilliant character and, although it must be hard for Peter to keep thinking up plotlines within the confines of the Brighton area - and I live nowhere near there - it never distracts from his fantastic storytelling and creation of believable personalities. I never want them to end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another good read

I love this series. I always seem to be waiting for the next one, they never disappoint .
The story raced along from the first page, there was no easy place to stop and eat,good job i read it over the weekend but I was awake half the night to finish it ..
The narration was excellent I recognised every character
Now waiting for the next !!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

The Roy Grace books just get better and better....can't wait for the next one..x

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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another great

Peter James, Roy grace series.. Another great listen with superb narration and characterisation.
some nice plot twists too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Maine Knitter
  • Maine Knitter
  • 13-11-17

Wow!

One of my favorite Roy Grace books. And I need the next book right now. That ending!!! Good grief! I can't get the next book soon enough.

Audible 20 review sweepstakes entry.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-09-17

Great book!

Very interesting reading. One of the better Roy Grace books in recent memory. Compelling story you won't want to put down!

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  • Judith C. Morris
  • 01-09-17

Always a good tale!

I like Roy Grace. That's it. He is believable! And I am foiled with dread waiting to see what his son does next!

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Profile Image for M.K. Merrill
  • M.K. Merrill
  • 05-08-17

A pretty good book

If you think this series is for you then start with a book from the beginning of the series rather than the middle or end. The main character, Roy Grace's personal life is a huge part of all the books in the series, as well as the lives of the secondary characters as well.

This was my first Peter James book. I had mixed feelings about his writing so I tried a couple more books before completing any reviews. By the middle of the third James book I tried I knew he's not an author for me and left the book unfinished. I tend to like book with some grit, dark moods, suspense or twists and turns as the crime mystery is solved.

This book is a police procedural, which I l usually love, so I gave it a try. The story is heavy on the personal lives of many of the characters and for me it puts the book more in the cozy category. The plot is enjoyable and the characters are well developed. The narrative is good the quality of the recording is professional.

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Profile Image for Terry
  • Terry
  • 03-06-17

Marvelous

Peter James never disappoints. Weyman's narration is superb. Finishing this book left me hungry for the next, as always.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-17

Average

the women's voices were fishy
I fell asleep a lot listening but I work very hard so probably not down to the narrator or the author

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Profile Image for LT O'Rourke
  • LT O'Rourke
  • 29-05-17

Compelling!

My favourite detective delivered again! I loved this book! The degrees of separation theme always fascinates me.

I want to make special mention to the narrator. By far the most enjoyable audible performer I have listened to.

Thanks again!

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Profile Image for Donna
  • Donna
  • 26-05-17

FOUR+

Very good series with this newest book satisfying the fans of present day British police procedurals: plodding coppers, high speed car chases, high tech crime fighting tools and no tech but highly evolved people readers. I am a big fan of this author's work.