Dead Simple (Roy Grace, #1)
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Dead Simple (Roy Grace #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  4,581 ratings  ·  484 reviews
Michael Harrison had it all: good looks, charm, natural leadership, a wicked sense of humor, and now, Ashley, his fiancée. While out celebrating with a group of friends a few nights before the 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 breathing tube. It's all...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 3rd 2006 by Carroll & Graf (first published May 6th 2005)
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Dead Simple by Peter JamesLooking Good Dead by Peter JamesBrighton Rock by Graham GreeneRegency Buck by Georgette HeyerPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Books Set in Brighton
1st out of 33 books — 15 voters
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Best Crime Thrillers
12th out of 93 books — 43 voters

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Community Reviews

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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!!!!!!!!!!!
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
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
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
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.
"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
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.
Carey Combe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 31, 2013 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
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
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.
Great page turner...imagine being buried alive in a coffin. I love/hate suspense books and finished this one in 2 days.
A forma como o enredo se desenrola e o suspense criado é absolutamente genial! ;)
Vicki Tyley
I have found a new favourite author. Loved the twists upon twists. Highly recommended....more
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
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
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
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
This one was a difficult read for me. I really liked Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. I didn't like whole set up of the mystery.

I'll start by stating up front, I HATE practical jokes and think that April Fools Day is a to be ignored at all costs. So, when this book starts with a group of five men (all early to mid-20's) out getting drunk (or pissed since this is a British novel) out of their minds.

(view spoiler)...more
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...more
Jade Walker
"Dead Simple" launches the Roy Grace series of mysteries, and from the very first page, I was completely hooked. The story is tightly plotted, the characters are multifaceted and the writing just sings. Although each chapter is super short, they're also action-packed. Just when you think to yourself, "I'll simply finish this chapter and stop," the author throws another plot twist or cliffhanger at you, and you're utterly compelled to keep going.

Needless to say, I am so thrilled to have stumbled...more
I give this 3.5 stars. I really enjoy the book. It a good detective story revolving around a police detective based in Brighton.
If you like a good detective story you enjoy this for sure.
(view spoiler)...more
Very good book, not often I give 5 stars to the first book I read by and author, someone gave me this book knowing I like mystery, suspense and action and this one fill all of my likes. The author wove a great story without confusing me with who are the players and how are they related to each other. Often I have to write out a list of players, and how they are related but not with this one.
The other thing I liked about the plot was it had more twists and turns than a downhill slalom ski run. I...more
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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...
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)

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“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.”
“John Lennon had said 'Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.' That sure as hell was true.” 4 likes
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