Dead Simple (Roy Grace Series #1)

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Overview

Michael Harrison had it all: good looks, charm, natural leadership, a wicked sense of humor, and now Ashley, his fiancee. While out celebrating with a group of friends a few nights before the wedding, Michael suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself enclosed in a coffin equipped only with a flashlight, a dirty magazine, a walkie-talkie, and a tiny breathing tube. It's all in good fun ? payback for the grief his buddies had suffered at the hands of his own penchant for tomfoolery ? that is, until his four buddies ...

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Dead Simple (Roy Grace Series #1)

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Overview

Michael Harrison had it all: good looks, charm, natural leadership, a wicked sense of humor, and now Ashley, his fiancee. While out celebrating with a group of friends a few nights before the wedding, Michael suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself enclosed in a coffin equipped only with a flashlight, a dirty magazine, a walkie-talkie, and a tiny breathing tube. It's all in good fun — payback for the grief his buddies had suffered at the hands of his own penchant for tomfoolery — that is, until his four buddies are killed in a drunk driving accident just moments after leaving Michael buried alive in his coffin. Detective Superintendent Grace — himself dealing with the pain of losing a wife — is brought on to the case when Ashley reports Michael missing. Suspicions are raised when Michael's only friend not at the bachelor party refuses to cooperate and Ashley's faithfulness — not to mention her increasingly mysterious past — are suddenly thrown into question. As Superintendent Grace soon discovers, one man's disaster is another man's fortune ...dead simple.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author James's far-fetched but terrifying thriller is the first of a new series featuring Det. Supt. Roy Grace. Michael Harrison, a successful real estate developer with a penchant for practical jokes, gets a horrible taste of his own medicine. As a prank, four of his friends bury Michael alive in a coffin equipped with a breathing tube and a bottle of whiskey and leave him, ostensibly for a couple of hours. But when their van crashes head-on into a truck and three of them are killed (the fourth dies later "in hospital"), Michael is trapped. His cell phone doesn't work, but he does have a two-way radio whose companion is in the hands of Davey, a mentally challenged young man who finds the phone near the scene of the accident. Grace, a detective with a taste for the supernatural (he uses mediums to help him solve crimes), gets on the case and discovers just how devious Michael's friends have been. The "buried alive" trope is undeniably powerful, and Grace shows promise as a hero-but the crime and the plot surrounding Michael's plight are just too cumbersome and transparent to really engage the reader. Agent, Carol Blake at Blake Friedman. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Call it a bachelor party gone wrong. What was to have been a pub crawl through Sussex ends with the prospective bridegroom buried in a coffin, equipped only with a breathing tube, a flashlight, a bottle of Scotch, a porn magazine, and a walkie-talkie. When the four perpetrators of this unusual prank are killed in an auto accident, the groom's future looks bleak. Then the coffin is found-empty. Has the groom managed to pull a Houdini? Assigned to the case is Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, who, still smarting from his wife's disappearance nine years earlier, is given to a belief in psychic phenomena when he isn't trolling the net for the new Ms. Right. Equal parts Stephen King, Ian Rankin, and Robert Harris, this first volume of a projected series of police procedurals by British crime writer James affords as smooth and efficient a ride as a Jaguar would along a twisty English lane. With a major media campaign planned, this should be a safe purchase for all public libraries.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A bachelor-party prank turns lethal in this gripping, overextended page-turner from veteran James (Ancient Mysteries, 1999, etc.). Michael Harrison has always come up with inventive, malicious tricks to play on old friends who are about to be married. So a few days before Michael's supposed to tie the knot himself with his stunning ex-secretary Ashley Harper, five old mates ply him with liquor, lock him in a borrowed coffin and bury him with only a breathing tube, a flashlight, a walkie-talkie, a bottle of Scotch and a skin magazine for company. Their plan to dig him up in two hours goes smash when a car accident sends one of them to the hospital in a coma and the other four to the morgue in body bags. What will become of Michael now? The good news is that the walkie-talkie his pals left near his gravesite is almost immediately discovered by a passerby; the bad news is that the finder is simple-minded Davey Wheeler, an encephalitis victim whose six-year-old mentality can't grasp what the voice he's hearing is begging him to do. Ashley's distraught calls to the Sussex Police Force eventually get Det. Supt. Roy Grace, who's evidently being groomed for a series, on the case. But for every bona-fide clue as to the whereabouts of the successful developer, Grace has to wade through lots of revelations that give him a bad feeling-the Cayman Islands account Michael shared with his partner Mark Warren, the false notes Grace picks up at the aborted wedding-that don't seem to get him any closer to the truth. Then James, perhaps impatient with cranking up the suspense a millimeter at a time, tosses in several shocks that send his far-fetched nail-biter spiraling into the realm of the incredible.Three-quarters of a great suspenser that doesn't know when to quit.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780330546010
  • Publisher: Pan Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Series: Roy Grace Series , #1

Meet the Author

Peter James is a noted crime writer in the UK and an internationally known film producer. He was the executive producer of the recent film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. This is his first novel in a series to feature Detective Superintendent Grace.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 187 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(58)

4 Star

(56)

3 Star

(46)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(14)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 187 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is one of my all time favorites!

    I love to read mysteries and thrillers..and this was one thriller that stood out over the rest. Great characters, great story with plenty of twists and turns...and you won't be able to put it down.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2006

    Couldn't think of putting this book down!

    Wow! What a really great book. Once I started reading it I literally couldn't put it down. Excellent story with some surprising twists and turns. Great characters. Excellent dialogue. An absolute must. If your looking for a great thriller, look no further. Can't wait for another novel with Detective Superintendent Grace. Bloody well done Peter James. Keep up the good work.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Looking forward to the next book!

    An interesting and intriquing book that will keep the reader interested in picking up the next in the series. Oops! there isn't one because it's not available through B&N. How could you give us books number 1 and number 5 in the series but forget 2-4. Come on B&N get with it. Get us interested in a great detective series and offer all the books.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    MJG

    Good story, kept me reading. However many words mispelled all through the book.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    This was an excellent book with an unusual twist at the end.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Very good story

    This was a very good read. Enjoyable and interesting.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    gr GREAT Great BO g Great Book!

    Kept my attention. Lots of twists and turns. First Peter James book. Will definately read another.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Missing potions

    There are missing sements all through out the book. It will stop in the middle of a sentence at the bottom of one page, and start in the middle of another sentence at the top of the next page. No way of knowing how much you missed. The story was good enough that I just kept reading anyway.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Captivating!

    By far one of the best reads in a long time. Kept me wondering through the night what was going to happen next and i definitely lost sleep wanting to keep reading. Real page turner and keeps you interested. I even gasped at some parts. I definitely recommend if you like murder mysteries and suspense.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Real good book

    really enjoyed this book from 1st page. would of liked to of had more onto the ending

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Great Book!

    Just loved this book!! I had to put the book down during the first couple of chapters because it made me nervous! I loved books that are unpredictable, and this one was. Recommend this one to my Nook friends.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2007

    incredible

    this book is awesome,i could'nt put it down, everything from the charcters to the plot twists leaves you wanting more.one of the best books iv ever read.. cant wait for james's next novel.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2012

    Good plot, interesting characters, romance.murder. All reqired attributes are included.

    The book has a fairly unique plot twist in the first couple of chapters. Basically one last boys night out before the joker of the group walks down the marriage isle. Thos had all the makings of a great stag night. Best friends (unless you feel your best man is important) liquor, the must have beverage of the evening, and a well planned practical joke for the practical joke king. What could possibly go wrong?

    I found the storyline entertaining and enjoyed getting to look into the minds of the characters. The only thing I really disliked about the book was it was drawn out in places that didn't need more explanation. However I did find a twists here and there I didn't expect and I enjoyed a relaxing weekend reading the book. I will look for other titles by this author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Anonymous

    I saw all the five star reviews, but after reading the sample, I literally felt nauseas. I am extremely claustropobic, just thinking of someone buried alive in a coffin, not being able to move much less stand up, was more than I could take. I knew if I read the book I would have nightmares. What a horrible prank to play on a friend, what followed was even more horrific.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    Not Bad

    Fairly good mystery, liked the characters and would probably read another book in this series. Not a lite mystery, but a little more intense.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great read - flows well

    I enjoyed this book and surprised myself by reading it all in only 3 days. The plot moved along nicely and there were only a few places where you knew what was going to happen next. The characters are developed enough to make them believable but not enough to bore you to tears. And there is a moral - don't be a prankster when your friends are drunks and hold a grudge :) Oh - and be sure to do a background check on your fiancee! I definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to read the next one by Peter James.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 30, 2010

    A must read book

    From start to finish, no disappointment.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    This one is GREAT!

    I really enjoyed this book and hated when it came to the end. There are a lot of plot twists and turns and the characters are very believable. Excellent mystery and very thought provoking. It's like 'Fatal Attraction' for the 21st century. Don't pass this one up!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Good storyline

    Entertaining

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Good

    Go for it.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 187 Customer Reviews

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