“Dead Like You” by Peter James

Finished with all 643 pages of “Dead Like You” by the British crime fiction writer, Peter James. This is the first book I read by this author, who has written a series of books featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. I was intrigued by the book’s title as I like titles to be short and crisp. To start with, some names of the characters in a book appeal to some readers while some don’t.  I for one didn’t much like the name “Grace” as I associate it with the lady’s first name though I do know that the Father of Cricket, Dr W G himself, had graced the name “Grace.”

The story is about a series of murders that take place in Brighton by a person the police call the Shoe Man as he takes away the shoes of his victims. Grace has to deal with this case which brings back memories for him of a series of rapes and murders committed twelve years ago by a person still untraced using a similar modus operandi. Grace and his team have to figure out whether this is the original Shoe Man back to his ways or some Copy Cat using the same tactics.

I didn’t much care for the weaving in and out of the present into the past. You need to be pretty alert to keep track of whether the events described are in the present or a flashback to earlier events. To complicate matters, the fact that Grace’s first wife vanished without a trace around the time of the earlier murders adds a twist to the tale. The story ends with yet another twist which I found very interesting. As is the case with murder mysteries and crime thrillers, it’s not for me to tell you what actually happens.

The plot was quite exciting  and the story moved at a brisk pace. Like any good crime thriller, there are red herrings all over the place which add to the charm of the book.

All in all, a good read. I think I’ll add Peter James to my list of authors whose books I would like to read.





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