James, Peter - 'Dead Man's Grip'
DEAD MAN'S GRIP is the seventh in the series of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novels by Peter James.
Roy Grace and his team investigate a road traffic accident in Brighton, Sussex where an American student Tony Revere has died of his injuries after his bicycle was shunted into the path of an articulated lorry. Was this entirely an accident or was there a deeper motive, is one of the questions that Roy Grace and his team have to ask as the investigation escalates down dark avenues.
The novel is primarily concerned with the consequences of that accident for: the family of Tony Revere; Carly Chase (a solicitor specialising in divorce law) who swerved to avoid Tony Revere and crashed into a cafe window; lorry driver Stuart Ferguson who had been driving for more hours than is legally permitted, and the unknown driver of the white van who either accidentally or deliberately shunted Tony Revere into the path of Stuart Ferguson's lorry.
It is also concerned with Roy Grace's private life where his girlfriend, Cleo, is having complications with the pregnancy of their child, his work is becoming less investigative and more paper work (a change he does not like), and a significant figure from his past reappears and looks like they will be returning in a later book.
This was a real page turner for me with the short snappy chapters that are a Peter James trademark (115 chapters in 544 pages in the hardback edition for this book) which I find that you just have to continue reading. Some of the plot strands do tend towards being significantly less realistic than has been the case in previous Roy Grace novels but overall it is still a very good read that engages you from the first page and I, for one, am looking forward to the next novel in the series.
DEAD MAN'S GRIP can be read as a standalone novel but you will appreciate it more if you read the series in sequence.
Read another review of DEAD MAN'S GRIP.
Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland