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)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  5,290 ratings  ·  530 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 January 1st 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.

Be the first to ask a question about Dead Simple

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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!!!!!!!!!!!
Eric_W
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
Maria Aravani
Δεν υπήρξε στιγμή που να κύλησε δίχως αγωνία διαβάζοντάς το.
Barb
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
...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
...more
Mark Rubinstein
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.
Linda
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
Teresa
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.
Jim
"Dead Simple" was the title, "Utterly Ludicrous" was a plot that is just about gotten away with. Your mate is a big prankster, so you decide to pay him back on his stag night by burying him alive. Perhaps you can't take a joke lads and therefore the four of you deserved to be wiped out in a tragic accident on the way to the next pub? Yes, with friends like these. As the unfortunately interred yuppie lies whimpering in his grave, his best mate, who has been shagging his fiancé on the side, tries ...more
Ken
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
Michelle
Great book. First in Detective Grace series. Page turner because you have more information than the detective and are anxious for him to know what you know, plus anxious for him to solve rest of mystery. Wish I had read series in order, but not essential. Can't wait to read books 3 and 4, which are already published in UK but not in US yet.
Lea
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.
Lily
Great page turner...imagine being buried alive in a coffin. I love/hate suspense books and finished this one in 2 days.
Carey Combe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Tyley
I have found a new favourite author. Loved the twists upon twists. Highly recommended. ...more
Dipanjan
This is my introduction to the cases of Detective Roy Grace. I had actually been delaying to read this because I was not risking yet another boring police procedural series. And I was WRONG. Dead Simple is a wonderful start to a very promising new series and I must thank my GoodReads friends to have spoken so highly about this series.

This is that kind of book that you should pick up when you don't have to go to work the next morning. It is simply gripping, gripping and gripping. Each and every c
...more
Toni Osborne
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
...more
Stephen Clynes
Michael Harrison is on his stag night and 4 of his mates are playing a prank on him. This prank goes wrong and Detective Superintendent Roy Grace leads the hunt to find Michael who is now missing.

But there is more to this tale than a missing person and a stag night prank. Dead Simple is a thriller about when things go wrong and efforts to fix things backfire. There are many twists and turns in this story with plenty of important details woven into the plot. It is set around Brighton and is an en
...more
Laura
Mar 31, 2013 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carey
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie, Elizabeth Chadwick
Even if this is the firs book of the series with Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, I started with book#5 Dead Tomorrow , then I read book#2 Looking Good Dead.

Since I was curious to learn more about Grace's wife disappearance, I decided to read the first book of this series.

Even if this topic is mentioned several times along the book, the mystery remains unsolved and it doesn't bother me any more.

This is the story of Michael Harrison and his fiancee who is buried alive by his friends to play a
...more
LJ
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
...more
Ann
This would be OK as a standalone but is actually the first in a series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex police. It’ s not really a whodunit rather a will they find him before it’s too late. He being Michael Harrison who disappears on his stag night after a car accident which kills four of his friends. I wasn’t totally convinced by the plotline but it was innovative and did keep me guessing nearly to the end. Grace comes over as quite a sympathetic character though he do ...more
Bill
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
Vivian
3.5 star read

It's Michael Harrison's stag night. He and four of his friends are on a pub crawl. Although Michael has promised his fiancée not to get too drunk, he's having a good time and feeling virtually no pain. The only thing missing is his best friend, Mark, but Mark was out of town on business and his plane back home to Brighton has been grounded by fog. Just when things are really starting to heat up, Michael's friends take their revenge on him for all of his stag night pranks against him
...more
Elizabeth
My first Peter James novel but certainly not my last. If you like gritty UK detective thrillers, then this delivers all the way.
Babete
A forma como o enredo se desenrola e o suspense criado é absolutamente genial! ;)
Jue
Dead Simple is my first Peter James read, wow, what a damn good read it was to, can't believe I have a selection of his books sitting on my shelf that have been collecting dust for at least a couple of years and I have only just decided to start reading them now!


Five men and a coffin in a van out on a stag night. The groom is put in the coffin and buried two feet underground. Two minutes later a truck runs into van and bang go his chances of getting out alive as all his friends are killed (with
...more
Ian Mapp
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Thompson
After seeing that Peter James' Dead Simple had been rated an average 4.0 score on Good Reads, I was eager to pick it up and read it myself. I have been craving a good crime novel for some time now and having read the reviews on this one, felt that it would be a good place to start.

The storyline of Dead Simple was... dead simple, In my opinion and quite an amateur attempt at a crime novel. If I had not known Peter James had had a series of novels published, I would have imagined this was somebod
...more
Samantha Cosham
I started reading Peter James Roy Grace series exactly a year ago and had finished the back catalogue before the new (and weakest) offering last month.

They are compelling, if a little too accessible and as each story is supposed to be standalone as well as being part of the series there is a lot of reintroduction of character and their traits that becomes tiresome if you read them in succession as I did.

I feel that they should either be a series and therefore accepted that they should be read
...more
Daniel
Dead Simple is Peter James's first novel about the cases of Brighton's best cop, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. While the tale, with the amount and types of twists and turns, may be implausible - it is also a lot of fun! From the crazy start (stag night - guys playing prank on groom by burying him in a coffin - then they all die in a car crash!) it just gets worse for the victim - again, if you just allow yourself to go for the ride and forget about likelyhoods and some such, you'll enjoy t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Close To Home (Inspector Banks, #13)
  • Scaredy Cat (Tom Thorne, #2)
  • Cold Granite (Logan McRae, #1)
  • Relentless
  • Dancing with the Virgins (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #2)
  • Into the Blue
  • Ash & Bone (Frank Elder, #2)
  • Written in Bone (David Hunter, #2)
  • Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1)
207356
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 11 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)
Not Dead Enough (Roy Grace, #3) Looking Good Dead (Roy Grace, #2) Perfect People Dead Man's Footsteps (Roy Grace, #4) Dead Tomorrow (Roy Grace, #5)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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?
'No'
'It's not what you eat or drink - it's speaking English that kills you.”
17 likes
More quotes…