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Dead Like You (Roy Grace Series #6)

Dead Like You (Roy Grace Series #6)

4.0 21
by Peter James

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Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is forever haunted by the unexplained disappearance of his wife, Sandy, nearly ten years ago. Ever since she went missing, he's been consumed with finding out what happened to her. Finally, he may be moving on. He has fallen in love and is going to marry his girlfriend, Cleo, who is pregnant with their child.

But his life is


Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is forever haunted by the unexplained disappearance of his wife, Sandy, nearly ten years ago. Ever since she went missing, he's been consumed with finding out what happened to her. Finally, he may be moving on. He has fallen in love and is going to marry his girlfriend, Cleo, who is pregnant with their child.

But his life is put on hold when, after a wild New Year's Eve ball, a woman is brutally raped as she returns to her hotel room. A week later, another woman is attacked. Both victims' shoes are taken by their attacker. Grace soon realizes that these new cases bear remarkable similarities to an unsolved series of crimes in the city back in 1997. The perpetrator had been dubbed "Shoe Man" and was believed to have raped four women before murdering his fifth victim and vanishing. Could this be a copycat, or has Shoe Man resurfaced?

When more women are assaulted, Grace becomes increasingly certain that they are dealing with the same man. By delving back into the past—a time when Sandy was still in his life—he may find the key to unlocking the current mystery. Soon Grace and his team find themselves in a desperate race against the clock to identify and save the life of the new sixth victim, as he struggles with a chapter in his life he thought he had put behind him at last.

Dead Like You is Peter James at his best—"Possibly the most engrossing thriller since The Silence of the Lambs" (Washington Post Book World).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The most engrossing thriller since Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs.” —The Washington Post

“Sinister and riveting. Peter James is one of the best in the world.” —Lee Child

“U.S. readers deserve to know what the rest of the world has known for years--Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business.” —Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of BROKEN and UNDONE

Publishers Weekly
Det. Supt. Roy Grace and his major crimes team discover disturbing similarities between two Brighton rapes in the thrilling sixth entry in James's popular U.K. crime series (Dead Simple, etc.). In particular, the rapist used the women's shoes to violate his victims. In 1997, a similar series of rapes occurred in Brighton, committed by someone known only as the "Shoe Man." The Shoe Man had five confirmed victims, but Grace always suspected that 22-year-old Rachael Ryan, who disappeared soon after the rapes ceased in 1997, was the Shoe Man's only murder victim. Grace's failure to find Rachael's body has haunted him since. James ably shifts between the present-day investigation, with its numerous suspects, who all appear guilty of something, and the earlier inquiry. The disappearance a decade earlier of Grace's wife, Sandy, is another ongoing mystery that will leave readers eager for the next installment. (Dec.)
Library Journal
In the latest entry in James's Roy Grace series of police procedurals (Looking Good Dead), a brutal rape at Brighton's Metropole Hotel reminds Detective Superintendent Grace of a similar series of rapes from 12 years ago. The similarities become obvious when the rapist strikes again, following the same pattern, and Grace and his team are certain that they are looking for the Shoe Man. His criminal career was thought to have ended in 1997 around the time Rachael Ryan, possibly one of his victims, disappeared. James's novel takes place in the present but is interspersed with flashbacks from the time of Rachael's disappearance and Grace's original investigation. Grace's personal past with his wife, Sandy, who also disappeared in 2000, is revealed in the flashbacks in contrast to his present life with Cleo, who is expecting his child. VERDICT This intriguing series addition (and James's first book for Minotaur) offers a tantalizing look at Grace's past and a mystery that will keep readers guessing until the end and anticipating James's next book. Fans of British police procedurals, if they haven't discovered James already, will want this one. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 7/10; Minotaur First Edition Selection; library marketing campaign.]—Lisa Hanson O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg
Kirkus Reviews

A dozen years after the infamous Shoe Man victimized women with their pricey stiletto heels, a serial killer with the same MO is terrorizing Brighton, England. Is he the deranged original, a copycat—or both?

In the sixth installment in James' series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace (Dead Tomorrow, 2009, etc.), his protagonist has finally turned his life around. His failure to save a young abductee from the Shoe Man in 1997 haunts him less, and he has come to terms with the devastating unsolved disappearance of his wife, who resented his extra hours spent on the case. Ecstatically engaged to a loving mortician who's studying Greek philosophy, he awaits the birth of their child. Then the worst kind of déjà vu strikes, forcing Grace to confront the past again. Cutting back and forth between present and past, the book provides blow-by-blow descriptions of both crime sprees. It's a solid and ultimately suspenseful performance, if not an especially surprising or emotionally potent one. Grace is one of the more dryly straightforward, wrinkle-free detectives in British crime fiction, and James does little with the supporting cast to add color. At 500-plus pages, the book could stand to lose at least a quarter of its length—many of the scenes repeat themselves. That said, the parallel stories are deftly handled. And James, who looks to gain exposure in America with his new publisher, Minotaur, expertly sets us up for a sequel.

A sturdy but overlong thriller by a British veteran looking to make noise in the United States.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Roy Grace Series , #6
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Thursday 25 December

We all make mistakes, all of the time. Mostly trivial stuff, like forgetting to return a phone call, or to put money in a parking meter, or to pick up milk at the supermarket. But sometimes – luckily very rarely – we make the big one.

The kind of mistake that could cost us our life.

The kind of mistake Rachael Ryan made.

And she had a long time to reflect on it.

If…she had been less drunk. If…it hadn’t been so sodding freezing cold. If…it hadn’t begun to rain. If…there hadn’t been a queue of a hundred equally drunk revellers at the taxi rank in Brighton’s East Street at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve, or, rather, Christmas morning. If…her flat had not been within walking distance, unlike her equally drunk companions, Tracey and Jade, who lived far away, on the other side of the city.

If…she had listened to Tracey and Jade telling her not to be so bloody stupid. That there were plenty of taxis. That it would only be a short wait.

His whole body stiffened with excitement. After two hours of watching, finally the woman he had been waiting for was turning into the street. She was on foot and alone. Perfect!

She was wearing a miniskirt with a shawl around her shoulders and looked a little unsteady on her legs, from drink and probably from the height of the heels. She had nice legs. But what he was really looking at was her shoes. His kind of shoes. High-heeled with ankle straps. He liked ankle straps. As she came closer, approaching beneath the sodium glare of the street lights, he could see, through his binoculars, through the rear window, that they were shiny, as he had hoped.

Very sexy shoes!

She was his kind of woman!

God, was she glad she had decided to walk! What a queue! And every taxi that had gone past since was occupied. With a fresh, windy drizzle on her face, Rachael tottered along past the shops on St James’s Street, past the Royal Sussex County Hospital, then turned right into Paston Place, where the wind became stronger, batting her long brown hair around her face. She headed down towards the seafront, then turned left into her street of Victorian terraced houses, where the wind and the rain played even more havoc with her hairdo. Not that she cared any more, not tonight. In the distance she heard the wail of a siren, an ambulance or a police car, she thought.

She walked past a small car with misted windows. Through them she saw the silhouette of a couple snogging, and she felt a twinge of sadness and a sudden yearning for Liam, whom she had dumped almost six months ago now. The bastard had been unfaithful. OK, he had pleaded with her to forgive him, but she just knew he would stray again, and again – he was that sort. All the same, she missed him a lot at times, and she wondered where he was now. What he was doing tonight. Who he was with. He’d be with a girl for sure.

Whereas she was on her own.

She and Tracey and Jade. The Three Saddo Singles, they jokingly called themselves. But there was a truth that hurt behind the humour. After two and a half years in a relationship with the man she had really believed was the one she would marry, it was hard to be alone again. Particularly at Christmas, with all its memories.

God, it had been a shitty year. In August, Princess Diana had died. Then her own life had fallen apart.

She glanced at her watch. It was 2.35. Tugging her mobile phone from her bag, she rang Jade’s number. Jade said they were still waiting in the queue. Rachael told her she was almost home. She wished her a merry Christmas. Told her to wish Tracey a merry Christmas too, and said she’d see them New Year’s Eve.

‘Hope Santa’s good to you, Rach!’ Jade said. ‘And tell him not to forget the batteries if he brings you a vibrator!’

She heard Tracey cackling in the background.

‘Sod off!’ she said with a grin.

Then she slipped the phone back into her bag and stumbled on, nearly coming a purler as one high heel of her incredibly expensive Kurt Geigers, which she’d bought last week in a sale, caught between two paving stones. She toyed for a moment with the idea of taking them off, but she was almost home now. She tottered on.

The walk and the rain had sobered her up a little, but she was still too drunk, and too coked up, not to think it was odd that at almost three on Christmas morning a man in a baseball cap a short distance in front of her was trying to lug a fridge out of a van.

He had it half out and half in as she approached. She could see he was struggling under its apparent weight and suddenly he cried out in pain.

Instinctively, because she was kind, she ran, stumbling, up to him.

‘My back! My disc! My disc has gone! Oh, Jesus!’

‘Can I help?’

It was the last thing she remembered saying.

She was hurled forward. Something wet slapped across her face. She smelt a sharp, acrid reek.

Then she blacked out.

DEAD LIKE YOU Copyright © 2010 by Really Scary Books/Peter James

Meet the Author

PETER JAMES is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series with over 13 million copies sold all over the world. His novels have been translated into thirty-three languages and three have been filmed. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Joseph Fiennes. He lives in England.

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Dead Like You (Roy Grace Series #6) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Lynie More than 1 year ago
Following the brutal rape of a woman on New Year's Eve in Brighton, England, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is caught up in the investigation. Everything about the crime is similar to unsolved crimes committed in the '90s by someone the police dubbed "The Shoe Man" because in each crime the victim's high-heeled shoes were taken. Grace is happily involved in a new relationship and expecting a child with his girlfriend, Cleo. As the investigation continues and there are more brutal rapes, Grace is convinced that the perpetrator is the same man. Reopening the cold case file from the past forces Grace to confront a terrible time in his own past; his wife, Sandy, disappeared ten years ago and has never been found. The most frightening aspect of the book is how easy it was for the rapist to learn the most intimate details about his victims by accessing their online accounts. In this age of Facebook and Twitter, James points out how much of our lives are on the internet and available to almost anyone. DEAD LIKE YOU is a good, intricate mystery and I'll definitely be reading others of this series written by Peter James. Lynn Kimmerle
writerpsl More than 1 year ago
I have read 4 of Peter James' detective series and enjoyed all of them. This one is excellent.He knows his setting in Brighton, England, and you could find your way with his book. His detective,Roy Grace is not the brightest penny in the purse, but he gets there in the end. Pat
readerbill1 More than 1 year ago
Love the Roy Grace series, but where are 3 through 5? We need those!!!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Brighton, England Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his major crimes unit investigate two brutal rapes in which the predator used the woman's shoes to penetrate. The cases are horrific but more so to Roy as the shoes are the same M.O. as the unsolved 1997 serial rapes of five known victims by the "Shoe Man." As he is engaged to his pregnant girlfriend, this case sends Roy also back to a time of his most haunting personal tragedy; the disappearance of his wife during that same period. Roy is disturbed by his memory of who he assumes was the sixth female victim twentyish Rachael Ryan but her body was never found; the DS believes she was the only one the rapist murdered. This is a great British police procedural due to the various viewpoints from obviously Grace, but also other cops, victims and potential rapists. The story line is fast-paced throughout and most harrowing when a rape victim explains her feelings of violation; yet Peter James keeps these revelations flowing within the strong investigative plot. Readers will relish the latest "dead" Grace thriller while seeking his previous works published on this side of the pond (see Dead Tomorrow and Dead Man's Footsteps). Harriet Klausner
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JP1 More than 1 year ago
Peter James is a fantastic mystery writer. I did not know until near the end of the book who did it? Equally important, his characters seem very real. And they are characters. The story is set around Brighton, England. As a result of reading this book, as well as several of his other books, I have put Brighton on my list of places to visit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have totally enjoyed the books available in this series. Unfortunately, #2-5 are not available in the US as ebooks. Come on B&N can you do something about this. Peter James gives his readers character's with depth, and story's that draw you in. Roy Grace is an excellent character. Looking forward to beginning #7 that has just been released. You will love this series.
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