Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dead Simple” as Want to Read:
Dead Simple
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dead Simple (Roy Grace #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  10,031 Ratings  ·  926 Reviews
It was meant to be a harmless stag night prank. A few hours later four of his best friends are dead and Michael Harrison has disappeared. With only three days to the wedding, Detective Superintendent Grace - a man haunted by the shadow of his own missing wife - is contacted by Michael's beautiful, distraught fiancée, Ashley Harper. Grace discovers that the one man who ough ...more
Kindle Edition, 457 pages
Published by Pan Macmillan (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dead Simple, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

C M Newton They can be read out of order as each book is about a seperate crime. However, Roy Grace's life story is in the order of the books so it would be a…moreThey can be read out of order as each book is about a seperate crime. However, Roy Grace's life story is in the order of the books so it would be a shame, (and maybe spoil it for you), to not read them in order. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tea Jovanović
Don't tell me that none of my Goodreads friends has read this fabulous thriller/crime novel, start of wonderful series about Roy Grace???? Hurry up, must read!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 18, 2014 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew! That was a twisty, nail biter! This book kept me guessing and on edge the entire time. I will be on the lookout for the next in the series. The only reason I even knew about or read this book was because I happened across a review by a random person on Goodreads who said "For heavens sake, read it" that intrigued me, so I did and really enjoyed it! Love finding books I never would have heard about!
Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
Wow! What a roller coaster ride! Once this story got up that first hill of the coaster it never really let up. A good thriller with an engaging detective and also a very good police procedural. There were twists and turns throughout. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Oct 27, 2012 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this book is the creepiest I have ever run across. Anxious to play a prank on their soon-to-be-married friend Michael Harrison, known for his pranks, four of his friends get him drunk and passed out, then bury him in a coffin with only a tube for air, a porn magazine and a walkie-talkie. Then they drive off and are T-boned by a concrete truck. All are killed. The tow truck driver's retarded son (or should I say mentally challenged), finds the walkie-talkie in the grass where it ...more
Simon Taylor
The first case for Detective Superintendent Roy Grace was a relatively unique thriller in the way it was presented. The basic storyline is thus: groom goes on stag night, groom buried in coffin as stag night joke, stags killed in car accident, hunt for missing groom.

From the outset, we are told that his best man knows where he is but is keeping silent, effectively allowing him to die. The book follows the story through the victim, the would-be murderer and the detective. It’s not a whodunnit, or
Ο Μάικλ παντρεύεται το Σάββατο . Είναι Πέμπτη βράδυ . Δύο μέρες κλεισμένος στο φέρετρο . Μετά την φάρσα που του σκάρωσαν οι φίλοι του στο μπάτσελορ πάρτυ προς τιμή του τώρα είναι θαμμένος κάτω από το χώμα . Κι αυτοί νεκροί από αυτοκινητιστικό δυστύχημα. Παντρεύεται . Θα καταφέρει ; Ή Θα τον φάνε τα σκουλήκια ; Η ευτυχία με την τραγωδία τα πίνουν παρέα . Βρήκε λασπόνερο αλλά χάνει τον αέρα ! Ρίγη και ταχυπαλμία.

"Δεν υψωνόμαστε στο επίπεδο των ικανοτήτων μας, πέφτουμε στο επίπεδο των δικαιολογι
Mark Rubinstein
Jul 13, 2014 Mark Rubinstein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dead Simple is the first of Peter James's novels about Brighton-based detective Roy Grace. It has a compelling narrative arc in which a practical joke involving a coffin is central. The writing is excellent and, at times, beautiful. There are many twists and turns that keep the reader trying to maintain balance, and the novel is a perfect baseline for the others coming after it in this series. A well-deserved five stars.
Maria Aravani
Sep 01, 2014 Maria Aravani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Δεν υπήρξε στιγμή που να κύλησε δίχως αγωνία διαβάζοντάς το.
Sep 29, 2015 Maria2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Παρόλο που έχει περάσει αρκετός καιρός απ’ όταν διάβασα αυτή την ιστορία, έχει μείνει ακόμη τόσο έντονα χαραγμένη στο μυαλό μου, που δε νομίζω ότι θα την ξεχάσω εύκολα. Το πρώτο βιβλίο του James που διαβάζω και δυστυχώς αυτό και το επόμενό του είναι τα μόνα της σειράς με ήρωα τον Ρόι Γκρέις που κυκλοφορούν στα ελληνικά. Ελπίζουμε κι ευχόμαστε να κυκλοφορήσουν κάποια στιγμή και τα υπόλοιπα, γιατί πραγματικά έχουμε απόλυτη ανάγκη να μάθουμε τη συνέχεια των περιπετειών του Επιθεωρητή μας. Αλλά ας α ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes

The book opens on the concluding hours of a drunken stag party. The young men celebrating Michael Harrison’s incipient wedding to Ashley which is to take place in three days have known each other for years, so whenever one of the friends marries, they plot practical jokes and get blind drunk. Michael himself has been behind several particularly fiendish jokes, so his friends are looking forward to the payback they have developed for Michael. Days before, with shovels and a coffin and a breathing
Sep 23, 2016 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this story was so uncomfortably tense that I almost didn't carry on reading but I am so glad I did otherwise I would have missed a smashing tale.
The mystery unfolds layer by layer, by twists and turns, piling on more tension and urgency all the way. At first I considered some of the twists came a little fortuitously out of the blue. Sometimes I can be a bit thick. It soon sank in that it was exactly how it would have appeared to the two main tellers of the tale. Thank heavens M
Mar 29, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding series debut that will have you guessing right to the end. On a stag night the groom is buried alive in a coffin as his stag night prank...but it all goes horribly wrong when the best men responsible, are killed in a car accident before they have had a chance to dig their friend up. just when you think you have worked out what is happening, the story takes another twist and leaves you wondering how it will all end
Dec 22, 2016 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 doesn't cover it, as this crime novel has jumped to my Favourites list!

A tense gripping race against time, with enough twists & turns to make your head spin. Who will rescue him? Is all as it seems - definitely not.
DEAD SIMPLE (Police Procedural-UK-Cont) – VG
James, Peter – 1st of series
Macmillan, 2005 – UK Hardcover
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s wife disappeared several years ago without a trace. Now Grace is asked by Ashley Harper to find her fiancée, missing three days before their wedding. Michael Harrison is a practical joker. But his friends have turned the table, taken him out, got him drunk and buried him in a coffin with an air tube. But the joke goes bad when the friends are killed in an aut
Oct 13, 2011 Lea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, i was about 10% in and i thought i had it figured out and i was wrong. It had a few twists and turns and some of them i didnt see coming.
I found it quite distressing - what happened to Michael - dont want to give the game away, but what happened to him is my worst nightmare and my skin crawled when reading it.
I have downloaded the second book in the series.
Oct 24, 2012 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-inglaterra, e4
Uma “Despedida de solteiro” muito emocionante, com tensão permanente e muitas surpresas. E muita contrariedade cada vez que foi necessário interromper a leitura.
Muito bom!
Próxima missão: procurar mais livros deste autor.
May 07, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I was lucky enough to be able to read an ARC of the authors latest book The House On Cold Hill which I loved. I hadn't actually read anything else by the author even though I had already bought Dead Simple a while back but just not got round to reading it. Well after reading The House On Cold Hill I had to bump Dead Simple up my reading pile and boy am I glad I did.

Wow oh wow oh wow! That is how I felt when I finished this novel. The adrenalin is still coursing through me now whilst writing thi
Dec 23, 2010 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2012 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book I read a year or so ago - It is brilliant. Once you get to the part where the guy is in the coffin it is unputdownable and then just as you are thinking where is the book going it turns completely in a fresh direction. Would recommend Peter James' Inspector Grace to anyone. There is an ongoing theme in the book but it is so low key and inconsequential to the main plot that you can read them out of order
Oct 09, 2016 Athena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so far, soooo good!!!
Feb 15, 2016 Pupottina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

Il tempo sta per scadere ...

Peter James, l'eccentrico e poliedrico scrittore di bestseller, ha un filo conduttore per unire i romanzi che compongono la sua serie di thriller: la parola "morte" utilizzata nel titolo ci ricorda che l'obiettivo del cattivo di turno è uccidere la vittima della sua follia.
In UNA MORTE SEMPLICE, però, la "morte" è un po' lasciata al caso, all'evento imprevedibile che può portare alla morte di un innocente. Possiamo definirla uno scherzo del destino, uno scherzo di cat
Toni Osborne
Jun 29, 2013 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 1 in the Roy Grace series

My first experience reading this author was a most exciting one, a fascinating rollercoaster ride that kept me riveted through the pages from the very first line. The book is a page turner in the best sense of the word, a kind of cat and mouse game from beginning to end. This is a well-crafted and structured story, essentially a police procedural featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a faintly flawed hero who has a penchant for the supernatural. With a heavy
L.M. Krier
This was the first Peter James book I have read. I read it in French from my local library. It came highly recommended by various crime groups on social media. If there was a half-star option, for me it would be a definite 3.5 star.

It starts off well, with a stag night prank which goes horribly wrong. **Only a spoiler if you speak French**. Ironically, in French, a stag night is an enterrement de vie de garçon. It's the stuff of many people's nightmares, although you do need to suspend belief at
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Another great read from Peter James.

I was intrigued by the idea of putting someone into a coffin as a bucks night stunt - the thought of being that person terrified me - and then I found out that Peter James had actually done it for research into his book. Brave man!

While out celebrating with a group of friends a few nights before his wedding, Michael suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself enclosed in a coffin equipped only with a flashlight, a dirty magazine, a walkie-talkie, and a tiny breath
Tanja Berg
Michael is a succesful business entreprenuer who is getting married to a beautiful woman. During his bachelor's party his friends decide to get back at him and pull a dreadful prank: they put him in a casket and bury him. They intend to leave him for a couple of hours, but then all four of them get killed in a car accident. Michael's best man and parnter Mark misses the bachelor's party because of a delayed flight. He knows the plans though, but does nothing to help the police.

This book is inter
Colin Mitchell
My first Peter James novel. Recently I have been reading books by classic crime writers and found the modern language has changed a great deal and often it creeps up on us. As in a bunch of things. Noticeable is the changes in the workplace especially with the police as even in my working life the subordinates would not have addressed a superior by their forename.

The novel itself was good enough as the first in a series. The plot lines were somewhat disjointed but the twists made up for this. Th
Dec 26, 2015 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Absolutely brilliant!
So clever how everything fit together and everything made sense in the end. I had so much fun trying to figure out who to trust and what was going to happen to Michael!
And hOLY PLOT TWIST I didn't see any of those plot twists coming which was great!
It's not normally the kind of genre of books I go for but it was so highly recommended to me by several people so I had to pick it up and I'm super impressed.
It was so weird to read something which was set where I live! It was g
Dec 04, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant surprise. Recommended to me by a stranger, I decided to take a chance on the series; interesting because it's set in my wife's neck of the woods; Sussex (Brighton). I've slowly been acquiring books in the Inspector Grace series, but this is the first time I've actually dusted off the first book. I'm glad I finally did. I liked the writing style, the mystery itself and I enjoyed Grace and his working partners and the other characters. What was especially satisfying was the twists and t ...more
While the mystery was interesting and different, I found all the characters one-dimensional. Descriptions of their backstories were not very creative, and in spots were tedious. The dialogue between the main investigators seemed unrealistic and immature, and descriptions of women were mostly in the context of how sexually attractive they were. I'll be interested if his writing improves with subsequent books (since I read them in order).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Your Ultimate Recommendation 3 22 Oct 15, 2015 10:09AM  
Kindle English My...: Dead Simple by Peter James 3 22 Jul 31, 2015 04:30AM  
What's The Name o...: Mystery, man buried alive the day of his bachelor party [s] 3 23 Jun 29, 2014 03:21PM  
  • Ash & Bone (Frank Elder, #2)
  • Dry Bones that Dream (Inspector Banks, #7)
  • Relentless (Tina Boyd #2)
  • Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1)
  • In the Dark
  • Into the Blue
  • Dying to Sin (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #8)
  • Finders Keepers (Exmoor Trilogy, #3)
  • Burial
Peter James has been a screenwriter and film producer, and is now the author of best selling crime novels. James has written 25 books, the most recent of which feature Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. His books have been translated into 29 languages. In England they are published by Pan Books and in the US by Carroll & Graf Publishers. James has written supernatural thrillers ...more
More about Peter James...

Other Books in the Series

Roy Grace (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Looking Good Dead (Roy Grace, #2)
  • Not Dead Enough (Roy Grace, #3)
  • Dead Man's Footsteps (Roy Grace, #4)
  • Dead Tomorrow (Roy Grace, #5)
  • Dead Like You (Roy Grace, #6)
  • Dead Man's Grip (Roy Grace, #7)
  • Not Dead Yet (Roy Grace, #8)
  • Dead Man's Time (Roy Grace, #9)
  • Want You Dead (Roy Grace, #10)
  • You Are Dead (Roy Grace, #11)

Share This Book

“Branson ate his salad, and left the rest of his fish untouched, while Grace tucked into his steak and kidney pudding with relish. 'I read a while ago,' he told Branson, 'that the French drink more red wine than the English but live longer. The Japanese eat more fish than the English but drink less wine and live longer. The Germans eat more red meat than the English, and drink more beer and they live longer too. You know the moral of this story?
'It's not what you eat or drink - it's speaking English that kills you.”
“the more I practice, the luckier I get.” 0 likes
More quotes…