Want You Dead
By Peter James
November 10, 2014
Hardcover, 402 pp., $26.99
(In UK/CA, June 2, 2014, Pan McMillan,
UK: 20 BPS, 978-0-230-76058-5, 20 BPS, 400 pp.
CA: 978-0-2307-6060-8, 21.99 CA$, 416 pp.)
Reviewed by Theodore Feit
Peter James writes fascinating police procedurals, and this novel lives up to that reputation if the reader plows through the first half of the book. Unfortunately, the first half of the book is a catalogue of acts perpetrated by Bryce Laurent, who turns out to be a sociopath, murderer, and arsonist. The plot is relatively simple: Bryce and Red Cameron have a torrid love affair until she learns the truth about Bryce’s background and all the lies he’d told her. Proof was a detective’s report commissioned by her mother.
When she breaks off with Bryce, Red is subjected to all kinds of acts of revenge, and Bryce commits such terrorism as he can against her and her parents. Then the chase begins, with Detective Superintendent Roy Grace counting the minutes until his wedding to Cleo and their short honeymoon. Will they get away, or will Grace adhere to his long-standing policy of obeying the call to duty? I urge you to read on and find out.
This reader found the initial part of the novel tedious, filled with repetition, as the author attempted to set the tone and establish the basis for Laurent’s character. It just seemed, to me, to be too much, and I felt it should have been cut to a large degree. The latter part of the novel was truly exciting, living up to the expectations of a Roy Grace procedural, as a result the novel is recommended....Continua