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Dead Simple (Roy Grace #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,057 Ratings  ·  765 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 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tea Jovanović
May 10, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 27, 2012 Eric_W rated it really liked it
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
Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated"
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.
Simon Taylor
Aug 29, 2013 Simon Taylor rated it it was ok
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
Melanie
Sep 26, 2015 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!
Mark Rubinstein
Jul 13, 2014 Mark Rubinstein rated it it was amazing
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.
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
...more
Barb
May 30, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it
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
Linda
Mar 29, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing
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
Lea
Oct 17, 2011 Lea rated it it was amazing
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.
Teresa
Sep 13, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-inglaterra
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.
Sarah
Nov 07, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jim
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.
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
L.M. Krier
Mar 29, 2016 L.M. Krier rated it liked it
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
...more
Pupottina
Feb 20, 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
...more
Ken
Dec 30, 2013 Ken rated it it was amazing
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
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
...more
Michelle
Aug 06, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
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.
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
...more
Toni Osborne
Jul 25, 2013 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing
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
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
Danielle
Feb 15, 2016 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
...more
Bill Ward
Sep 11, 2013 Bill Ward rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Really enjoyed the book and will move on to read more in the series. It was strange reading about all the places I know because it is set in Brighton where I live. It is a good mystery/crime with interesting characters and then hits you with a great twist near the end.
Elizabeth
Mar 06, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
My first Peter James novel but certainly not my last. If you like gritty UK detective thrillers, then this delivers all the way.
Lily
Sep 22, 2007 Lily rated it really liked it
Shelves: onlythebest
Great page turner...imagine being buried alive in a coffin. I love/hate suspense books and finished this one in 2 days.
Carey Combe
May 23, 2010 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Tyley
Sep 26, 2012 Vicki Tyley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have found a new favourite author. Loved the twists upon twists. Highly recommended. ...more
ΔΕΣΠΟΙΝΑ Ντρέκη
Εξαιρετικό θρίλερ-αστυνομικό που σου κόβει την ανάσα. Από που να ξεκινήσω: από το πρωτότυπο και τόσο ανατριχιαστικό θέμα, από την κινηματογραφική του πλοκή, την ιλιγγιώδη ταχύτητα, τις ανατροπές, την αγωνία, το φόβο; Έχω να απολαύσω τέτοιου είδους βιβλίο από τον καιρό του Υποβολέα. Αν μπορέσετε να το βρείτε αξίζει να το διαβάσετε. Είναι ότι πρέπει για τους φαν του είδους.

"Τέσσερα σκοτεινά, μεθυσμένα πρόσωπα τον κοίταξαν από ψηλά μορφάζοντας. Ένα μπουκάλι ουίσκι, ένα περιοδικό, ένας αναμμένος μικ
...more
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Your Ultimate Recommendation 3 16 Oct 15, 2015 10:09AM  
Kindle English My...: Dead Simple by Peter James 3 21 Jul 31, 2015 04:30AM  
What's The Name o...: Mystery, man buried alive the day of his bachelor party [s] 3 22 Jun 29, 2014 03:21PM  
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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...

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)

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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?
'No'
'It's not what you eat or drink - it's speaking English that kills you.”
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“We don’t rise to the level of our abilities, we fall to the level of our excuses.” 0 likes
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