- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st edition (December 14, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078671641X
- ISBN-13: 978-0786716418
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,181,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dead Simple Hardcover – December 14, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
British author James's far-fetched but terrifying thriller is the first of a new series featuring Det. Supt. Roy Grace. Michael Harrison, a successful real estate developer with a penchant for practical jokes, gets a horrible taste of his own medicine. As a prank, four of his friends bury Michael alive in a coffin equipped with a breathing tube and a bottle of whiskey and leave him, ostensibly for a couple of hours. But when their van crashes head-on into a truck and three of them are killed (the fourth dies later "in hospital"), Michael is trapped. His cell phone doesn't work, but he does have a two-way radio whose companion is in the hands of Davey, a mentally challenged young man who finds the phone near the scene of the accident. Grace, a detective with a taste for the supernatural (he uses mediums to help him solve crimes), gets on the case and discovers just how devious Michael's friends have been. The "buried alive" trope is undeniably powerful, and Grace shows promise as a hero—but the crime and the plot surrounding Michael's plight are just too cumbersome and transparent to really engage the reader.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
James, the executive producer of the recent film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, brings his filmic talent to a suspense tale that is almost excruciatingly easy to visualize. His opening premise is startlingly simple, that of the trickster tricked. Four friends celebrate one of their members' impending marriage by embarking on a pub crawl through several Sussex villages. What the groom-to-be doesn't realize is that his pals plan to play a payback prank on him by burying him alive (with a breathing tube and a walkie-talkie) for a couple hours. They leave the scene and are killed by an oncoming vehicle. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, assigned to investigate the missing-bridegroom case. Grace finds the case difficult, both because of the dearth of clues and because of his own wife's disappearance some years before. Achingly well plotted, with suspense that has no letup. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
James does a great job keeping this thriller fresh and unpredictable. Dead Simple is the first book in the Roy Grace series and it definitely leaves you wanting more. I'm so happy there are many books in this series.
It had good tension and followed several interesting characters. About halfway through I started skipping some of the description--I didn't need to know quite that many details, but I was interested enough to follow the storyline and stayed up late a couple of nights to get to a "good" stopping point.
Roy Grace himself is interesting, quirky, and reasonable--most of the time, which is what makes him interesting. I will definitely read the second book in the series. I'm not sure I have the stamina for all of them, but let's see!
Roy Grace is the detective who has to find Michael but what he doesn’t know is that the prank has led to more questions from Michael’s friends, leaving the reader to wonder if any of Michael’s friends are trustworthy. All this seems to make it even harder for Grace to figure out what happened to Michael.
There are several things that make this book even more dynamic. Peter James writes from different points of view in the book, that being the criminals, the victim, and the police. By doing this, James fills the book with even more suspense since the characters drive the story, making me wonder what was going to happen next.
Another great point of creating multiple points of view made the characters even more memorable because the characters are more developed. People might argue that the point of view switches too much but in this book, it’s still easy to follow since Dead Simple is more of a thriller than along with being a mystery. I have read books in multiple viewpoints. Some were done well. Others weren’t. In Dead Simple, it was a great part of the story.
Some people on Kindle may feel differently about this, as well as Grace’s involvement with a Medium. That made the book better for me since I’m a big fan of the TV series, Medium, and other TV shows of that nature.
I have to say that this was one of the best books I have read this year based on the unique type of plot and the multiple viewpoints, which in this case gave the story a tremendous amount of suspense. I wish I can give this book more than five stars.
Despite the bride-to-be's displays of grief and concern, Grace has a gut feeling she isn't being entirely truthful with him.
James' interest in the paranormal is brought in early on and there's a car chase, if you like those things. Overall, it's an okay thriller. This was the first in the author's Roy Grace series and it's an excellent place to start if you haven't read any of the others. Just when you think you know where the story is going, James adds another twist that will have you scratching your head and turning pages to see what comes next.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it had a gripping affect
but just so drawn out
at the end it was like pulling teeth.