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James, Peter - 'Not Dead Yet'
Hardback: 560 pages (June 2012) Publisher: Macmillan ISBN: 0230747264

NOT DEAD YET is the eighth in the series of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace novels by Peter James and follows on from the events of DEAD MAN'S GRIP for Roy Grace and his team.

The worlds of Tinseltown and Brighton clash as a movie adaptation of the relationship between King George IV and Maria Fitzherbert hits town. This is a make or break project for LA producer Larry Brooker who is on the verge of insolvency. This could be the project that enables Gaia to make the shift from rock superstar to serious actress.

The City of Brighton and Hove relishes the publicity value of a major Hollywood movie being filmed on location there which could be incalculable for tourist revenue and attracting future films. For Gaia's number one fan, it is the chance to cement their relationship.

These events collide to become a nightmare for Detective Superintendent Roy Grace when an attempt on the life of Gaia is made days before she leaves her Bel Air home to fly to Brighton (her home town) so he has to juggle the hunt for a potential obsessed stalker in his city with an ongoing murder investigation with very few leads and the continuing pregnancy complications of his girlfriend, Cleo.

Also the significant figure from his past is now getting much closer to home...

This is crime fiction for those who like to have well-rounded detectives with a believable private life. One question which immediately springs to mind is: who is Gaia based upon? Peter James did confirm in an interview on BBC Breakfast that he saw Gaia as a cross between Madonna and Lady Gaga (still online at the moment at the BBC's website).

The short snappy chapters that are a Peter James trademark (127 chapters in 560 pages in the hardback edition) are still there so you find it hard to put it down - you do tend to think, "I have time for just one more chapter".

The slight hint of unrealism is still there especially in the significant figure from his past who I do hope is brought to the fore in the next book as that back story is starting to drag on quite a bit.

Once again I would say that it is 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 - I would stress that it is becoming more the case that you will appreciate it much more if you read the series in sequence.

Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland
July 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 5/11/2012 10:15