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Roy Grace #12

Love You Dead

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An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life - to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that's harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

Love You Dead is the gripping twelfth book in Peter James' Roy Grace series.

449 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 19, 2016

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About the author

Peter James

196 books3,091 followers
Peter James is a global bestselling author, best known for writing crime and thriller novels, and the creator of the much-loved Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. With a total of 16 Sunday Times No. 1s under his belt, he has achieved global book sales of over 20 million copies to date and has been translated into 37 languages.

Synonymous with plot-twisting page-turners, Peter has garnered an army of loyal fans throughout his storytelling career – which also included stints writing for TV and producing films. He has won over 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer. Many of Peter’s novels have been adapted for film, TV and stage.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 492 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,444 reviews7,062 followers
April 27, 2020
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Brighton Constabulary, is a fairly low-key, decent chap with a few hang-ups from his past. In contrast, his villains are extraordinarily evil, and the plotting is extremely ingenious.

We begin in the company of Jodie Bentley, and gradually learn her history. She comes from a comfortably-off middle-class family, who looked after her and gave her a good education. But – in her eyes at least – she is hideously ugly, whereas her sister, Cassie, is everyone's idea of beauty and a nice girl to boot. Her father and mother doted on Cassie, and treated Jodie with contempt. By methods undisclosed at this stage, she has cut herself off from her family. Cassie has been killed in a tragic accident. She has done well in business, paid for a lot of plastic surgery and been transformed into a sexy glamour girl (I find this just a little hard to believe). She has only one ambition in life – to find herself a mega-rich husband. She is well on the way to achieving this as she is engaged to Walt Klein, a top American money man. He is in his seventies, while she is in her mid-thirties, and they are just off to a fashionable Continental ski resort.

In the meantime; D.S. Grace is in pursuit of a serial killer who is in police custody in France, and is about to be extradited back to the UK. He is at the beck and call of his disagreeable boss, Cassian Pewe, and although now blissfully happily married to his second wife, Cleo, (who happens to be a forensic pathologist) he still worries about his first wife, who disappeared after leaving him. Grace receives a call from an NYPD colleague. The financier Walt Klein, who is under investigation for a Bernie Madoff-style fraud, has been killed in a fall from a sheer cliff in a French ski resort. His body was accompanied back to New York by his English fiancée, who in turn has vanished. She apparently lives in Brighton, and Grace says he will try to locate her.

Jodie Bentley is in turn being pursued by the Russian Mafia who are trying to recover an incriminating memory stick she stole from a one-night-stand she had with one of their colleagues; and this is only the start of the complications. The hit-man hot on her trail is Tooth, an old adversary of Roy Grace.

This fiendishly woven plot is carried off with incredible bravura, and gets more and more gripping as it moves on!
Profile Image for Gary.
2,674 reviews375 followers
June 4, 2016
This is the 12th book in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series by one of my favourite authors Peter James.

Having read all of the previous books in the series I am a self confessed fan of both Peter James and this series in particular although his other work is also very good.

This novel features Jodie Bentley whose dream in life was to be rich and beautiful. She achieved the first with the help of a plastic surgeon, and now she's determined to achieve the second. She decides that the easiest way to achieve the second dream is to marry an extremely rich man and then kill him.

Unusually Detective Superintendent Roy Grace does not feature very much at all in the first half of the novel but in the second half we are treated to not only his investigations but also some of the previously unanswered questions relating to his first wife Sandy.

Another classic Peter James novel that is a real treat for any Detective Superintendent Roy Grace fans.
Profile Image for Christine.
831 reviews150 followers
May 11, 2016
So how do I start to review one of my most beloved crime series in the whole world…

Peter James is back with a brand new Roy Grace story and I got my hands on a copy (YAY!). I am in complete fan girl mode over the latest Roy Grace. Love You Dead is number twelve and just proves James is a genius. I cried, I laughed and I empathised with a very disturbing and fun female killer. I took a trip around Brighton, with much affection. Yes Peter James has done it again!

The story starts with an alluring female serial killer and we discover what makes her tick. Jodie is a woman, in her thirties with a love of money. It is very understandable, that she might have to kill to get as rich as she can and fulfil her dreams. Well she is poor and it’s not easy getting loads of money is it? Obviously rich old men are her targets, preferably those on their last legs. Tapping at her keyboard brings the victims to her. Will Roy Grace catch her, before another poor unsuspecting single male falls prey to her charms? Inter-twined with this, we see a familiar professional killer is back in Brighton. Who is his mark? And what happened to Crisp who escaped justice in the last book?

I’ve long been a fan of Roy Grace and I cheer at this time every year. I love being back in Brighton with Roy and seeing his new little family. Great also catching up with the grieving and politically incorrect, Norman Potting and their evil nemesis boss Cassian Pewe. Plus the authentic feeling of proper policing in sunny Brighton is spot on. Marlon the fish is always a firm favourite of mine and Roy’s last connection to his former/missing/weird wife, Sandy. Fish are important.

This is everything I have been waiting impatiently for. I love the way it knits together, past stories and current ones and suddenly it makes a beautiful kind of sense. I finished this book with a massive grin on my face, a touch of shock and a heart full of sadness. I’ve been dying to talk about it. There is a delicious weaving of humour and pathos, as Roy hunts for the black widow and his past comes back to haunt him.

After Roy’s dramatic encounter in You Are Dead (number eleven) with Sandy, the rather selfish and odd missing ex-wife of Roy Grace, the truth comes out. YES IT DOES! We get a totally superb and satisfying conclusion. I wish I could say more. My lips are sealed! I think everyone will be very happy with the final resolution of the Sandy thread. It is what we have all been waiting for. It felt perfect to me. Well done, Mr James.

Peter James is truly a master of crime and has delivered the right ending for Sandy. I will be not be forgetting THAT in a hurry. Love You Dead is WONDERFUL and one worth switching off from the world for and diving into. You won’t regret it. Roy Grace is in a league of his own. My lovely book crush. More please!

Recommended (especially if you want to know what happens to Sandy)!
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
May 7, 2017
Description: An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life—to be beautiful and rich. She's achieved the first, with some help from a plastic surgeon, and now she's working hard on the second. Her philosophy about money is simple. You can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy—it's getting rid of the husband afterwards that takes skill. But hey, practice makes perfect. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is giving him sleepless nights, there are major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this is, he now believes, a Black Widow is operating in his city—and he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

Well, that was a bit of a damp squid of an ending, almost a wet fart of a conclusion. James had us hooked early, fed us a few lines per book on the Sandy story, carried it on waay too long (long enough for many of us to think about dropping this series completely) - this story line sunk in so much claustrophobic mediocrity.

There is now a breathing hole, a new Bruno-scope of fresh adventure that makes me relish the thought of book #13:
He worries me,
you'll see what I mean
I enjoyed the lit-crit opinion on page 317:

There was a cop drama playing, but he didn't engage with it. Too often when such shows were on he found himself shouting at the scree about all the inaccuracies. And this one looked even worse than most. A crime-scene tent had been erected over the body of a dead boy on the beach, who had seemingly fallen from a cliff. Quite correctly, several SOCOs emerged in their protective clothing. Then the SIO walked out in mackintosh and brogue shoes. Hadn't anyone on this production done their basic research?

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

3* The Perfect Murder
Profile Image for Rob Twinem.
854 reviews37 followers
October 30, 2016
I think it's time for retirement Detective Superintendent Roy Grace I have long been a fan of Peter James and before the emergence of his Roy Grace detective series he had written some notable horror stories, most memorable Sweet Heart and Prophecy. Unfortunately  Love You Dead (Roy Grace 12) has all the hallmarks of an author attempting to keep not only his fans happy (really?) but also his publisher content by writing a formulaic story with poor content and laughable plot.
A black widow Jodie Carmichael is set upon marrying the super rich and then immediately disposing of them thereby inheriting all their wealth. She is active in Brighton and our ever vigilant Roy Grace is tasked with the job of bringing her to justice. In a scene reminiscent of a 70's cop show detective Norman Potting is sent undercover as a rich single American to flush out the merry widow. Equally ridiculous a villain called Tooth has been sent by a group of Russian gangsters to retrieve a valuable memory stick (stolen by Mz Carmichael) which is said to contain information and addresses relating to gangsters throughout Europe.....his task to annihilate Mz Carmichael. In order to accomplish this he disguises himself as an elderly doting little old lady called Thelma Darby!
So a story that I presume is to be a half serious attempt as a Detective novel is turned into farce reminiscent of a British Ealing Comedy. If you add to this the fact that DS Roy Grace does not actually make a real appearance or contribution until 150 pages in then you can see why I am disappointed in an author I have great respect for producing such a mediocre piece of fiction. I am only thankful that I did not actually purchase this book but rather borrowed from my local library and I shall be returning it there post-haste!!
Profile Image for Sharon Bolton.
Author 40 books4,065 followers
September 17, 2016
Peter James is one of our most successful crime writers, and he’s known for unusual, gritty, blood-curdling plots. This one, though, is a lot of fun. I’d go so far as to describe it as a black comedy.

It’s the story of a young woman called Jodie Bentley who, as a child, dreamed of being beautiful and rich. She doesn’t want to work too hard, so she plans to get rich by marrying wealthy men, and then getting rid of them. She’s a Black Widow.

She’s also a poisoner. And not just any old poisons, but poisons from venomous animals such as snakes, spiders and scorpions. If you’re particularly phobic about any of these creatures then this might not be the book for you, because Jody has a reptile house in her Brighton apartment, and she harvests her unusual pets to give her the murder weapons she needs. She even manages to get on the wrong side of the Russian mafia and a hit man called Tooth comes looking for her.

People who’ve followed the Roy Grace series for a number of years will know that his wife vanished years earlier and the anguish of not knowing what happened to her has shaped Roy for much of that time. This book finally ties up that particular plot strand.
Profile Image for Eline Van Der Meulen.
292 reviews68 followers
May 31, 2023
Dodelijke affaire is het 12e deel van de Roy Grace reeks en tevens ook het voorlaatste dat momenteel in het Nederlands is uitgebracht. Ditmaal maken we kennis met de ‘black widow’ Jodie Bentley die het gemunt heeft op het fortuin van rijke, oudere mannen. Ze gaat zeer vernuftig te werk en weet telkens door de mazen van het net te glippen. Maar door aan de haal te gaan met iets wat niet van haar is, haalt ze de woede van enkele duistere figuren op haar hals. Ook Roy Grace weet na verloop van tijd ook dat er één en ander niet pluis is en komt Jodie op het spoor.

Het boek is net zoals vanouds want het duurde bij mij wel enige tijd na het 11e deel om aan dit twaalfde verhaal te gaan starten. Was het enige moeheid met Roy Grace zijn karakter of was er iets anders aan de hand? Ik kan er zelf niet goed de oorzaak van aanduiden, maar hoogstwaarschijnlijk ligt het aan het feit dat er gewoon teveel goede boeken verschijnen die allemaal liggen te krijsen om mijn aandacht. Zo raak je al snel even afgeleid van goede series. De Roy Grace serie is er zo eentje! Ook in dit deel voelde ik de connectie weer als vanouds aan en was ik al snel weer mee met de karakters. De arme Norman Potting roept nog steeds wel sympathie bij me op en ook Roy heeft het niet gemakkelijk nu zijn pas ontdekte tienerzoon bij hem moet wonen.

Dodelijke affaire bevat opnieuw de nodige ingrediënten om er een zeer spannend boek van te maken en die me doen uitkijken naar het laatste deel van de reeks (dat vertaald werd in het Nederlands). Hopelijk komt er toch nog een nieuw deel uit want zoals ik eerder zei, dit is een goede reeks die nooit verveelt! Voor dodelijke affaire geef ik 4 sterren.
Profile Image for Best Crime Books & More.
1,092 reviews173 followers
February 5, 2017
**Note: If you plan on reading the series in order, please do not continue to read my review as it will inevitably contain spoilers**

I remain a Peter James fan, however the last few books seem to have brought a bit of discontent to readers, myself included. The whole 'Sandy' story line has made me become a little disinterested and at times bored I'm afraid to say. However, his latest book was a great read and I was hoping that this issue of Sandy would finally be put to bed with this latest in the series. What surprised me the most about this book was that Roy Grace barely features in the first 50% of the book. However, Peter James has produced a great story line featuring Jodie Bentley, a woman whose aim is to get rich and do it quick.

The story line featuring Jodie was awash with deadly creatures which frankly made my skin crawl! This element of the story certainly added a new flavour and I was enthralled. I did however wonder what part Roy and his team would be playing. However, once the Grace side of the story started there seemed to be so many threads that he and the team were involved with. There is the return of Dr Crisp, the return of a killer to the streets of Brighton and the long standing 'Sandy' story line.

The plot was thick, the pace steady and frankly I was absorbed in all elements of this book. There were however parts where I felt that Roy didn't feature enough, nor Glenn Branson. We do see the return of the very politically incorrect colleague Norman Potting who I adore which was an added bonus though as well as Roy's wife Cleo. The one major thing Peter James does is finalise the element featuring Roy's ex-wife Sandy. I must admit that although I think it could have been done sooner we (as readers) at least have some form of closure on this part of the story line which I am glad of.

I was wondering whether I could rate this the full 5 but overall it was a fantastic read, and although I thing the Sandy plot was drawn out too long this is a nice conclusion and frankly a thoroughly enjoyable book. It certainly cements Peter James as one of the best and most long standing writers our there and with good reason. Immensely looking forward to the new book 'Need You Dead', due out May 2017.

If you are interested in reading the series in order, or need to check where you are up to below is a list of the books in this series in order of publication, along with my reviews.
Profile Image for The Lit Bitch.
1,253 reviews393 followers
November 18, 2016
This is the fall of more modern thrillers for me, particularly ones set in England. I love love love British thrillers and when I heard this one was set in Brighton, I was all over it! I haven’t read anything by Peter James or heard anything about him, so this was a completely new author for me.

I felt at a little disadvantage reading this book simply because it is the 12th book in a long standing series. Clearly there were things that long time fans would be familiar with such as DS Grace’s missing wife. I did feel like I was playing a little bit of catch up, it’s hard to come into a series so late in the game but I thought the author did a decent job explaining things to the audience. I know it’s hard with a series to try and keep ‘new readers’ in the loop of long standing plots but I thought James did a decent job doing so.

The book took an interesting approach by not featuring the lead detective until much later in the story line. On one hand I thought this worked ok as it helped me focus more on the plot at hand, but at the same time I was frustrated because I didn’t really know much about DC Grace and I was eager to get to know him. Then when I did get to ‘know’ him, it was mostly filling in story lines from previous books so I felt more like an outsider within the story.

From what I did learn of DC Grace, I liked. He seemed capable, interesting, and relateable making this a series that would be worth reading from the beginning, or at the very least reading some of the earlier books.

As for the mystery….it was fast paced but I couldn’t help but feel that this book was more about personal plots that the actual mystery. I liked the whole ‘femme fatale’ angle of the story and thought it added a kind of ‘film noir’ feel to the read. There was also a lot of ‘dark humor’ which I loved. It really added to the atmosphere of the novel. I liked how there were a lot of twists and turns to keep me guessing as a reader and to keep me interested in the mystery.

Overall this was a good book…..I read it quickly and was interested enough in the story to keep reading however I felt lost from time to time when it came to some of the story lines and characters. I think that kept me from truly loving it. I felt at a disadvantage as a reader coming in so late to the series and I would hate for that to be a reason to rate this book lower, but at the same time it did effect my ability to truly ‘love it’. I would say fans of this series will love this book because a lot of long standing plots seem to get resolved but new readers….I recommend starting with earlier books in the series so you can be more familiar and appreciative of the plots.

See my full review here
Profile Image for Laura (Kyahgirl).
2,094 reviews143 followers
January 13, 2020

I enjoyed this mystery, even though the ‘police procedural’ element was really weak. I read this book, largely to read the rest of the Sandy story, which was referred to in book 6, Dead Like You. I don’t think I’ll read any more of the series, even though I enjoyed this book quite a bit. In terms of the reoccurring characters, I think either the author was not too invested in fleshing them out, or I just missed a lot from previous books. I ended up losing interest in Roy Grace as a main character because he was not a very compelling character in this book. The villainess and other assorted bad guys were interesting.
I have read from other reviewers that this author’s earlier books were stronger so I might have a look at the library.
Profile Image for Sarah.
722 reviews
December 17, 2020
If you have got this far into a series you are not going to turn back but I admit I was becoming tired with the way Peter writes female characters and a few of the older characters were annoying me. I really liked this book though, I don't know whether it was the venomous creatures aspect (I love Black Mambas) or the rest of the plot but I really felt like this was more like the earlier books in the series. I mean Peter still can't write a convincing female character and very much steers towards the women are either beautiful or invisible but none of them can be trusted mould of writing (apart from Cleo but I'm thinking give it time - also she is described as being physically beautiful). I've already bought the next one in the series so on we go.
Profile Image for Loreta Griciutė .
281 reviews5 followers
May 4, 2023
"Juodoji našlė", kuri naudojasi keliomis skirtingomis tapatybėmis ir taikosi į pagyvenusius turtingus vyrus. Jos pirmasis sutuoktinis mirė įkastas nuodingos gyvatės, antras su slidėmis nušliuožia nuo uolos, trečią irgi gaubia paslaptinga mirtis.
Taigi po Braitoną laisva vaikšto moteris žudikė, pabėgęs serijinis žudikas slapstosi, o samdomas žudikas amerikietis po visą miestą žaidžia katę ir pelę.
Labai dėmesį prikaustanti serijinė dalis, man patiko taip, kad sunku buvo atsitraukti.
Profile Image for Sharon.
714 reviews
June 11, 2016
Having read a few of Peter James' stand alone novels and the entire Roy Grace series from start to this book, and enjoying them, this read was IMHO just way too long. There were so many side stories of connected characters to the main investigation and then the last book investigation attempts to be tidied up along the way. AND Roy and his team only really came into the book close to half way through. While this was a very different construction, he is a good writer and makes it work but I just found myself being uninterested.
For fans of the series there are many personal issues Roy and his team have had that are addressed well. And when one finishes the book, there is a certain personal issue that will consume Roy and Cleo in the next book for sure.
Having said that, I will probably give it a miss......These would be good made for TV.
Profile Image for Linda.
652 reviews32 followers
March 28, 2016
This book isn't due out here in NZ until late July, so I won't say much except for outstanding! How can an internationally best selling author suddenly up his game and write an even better novel than his previous ones!
If you have been reading the Roy Grace series, this might answer some of those unanswered questions that have been a thread through the other books.
This book will be a hard act to follow.
Profile Image for Vanessa Loockx.
304 reviews6 followers
November 19, 2016
Wel in het begin vond ik Roy zo weinig aan bod komen maar de rest vh boek heeft het goedgemaakt!
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews428 followers
September 5, 2018
4.5 stars.

Back into catch up mode. This was a great book in a great series that is still going strong.
Profile Image for K E N C H I R E A D S.
32 reviews3 followers
June 27, 2016


Well looks like I gave another five stars rating for the book. well it is a Thriller and stuff book and I just love these genres. So I will tell you why in moment…

While reading the book you will be Introduced to Jodie Bentley a very attractive and seductive woman with a fiance at a Ski resort having the time of their lives. Planning on doing an early morning ski. later that day Jodie found out that the police found a lifeless body at the ski resort and it was Identified as his fiance. after that scene the Main character of this series is being introduced to you. Roy Grace is the detective that solves cases in this series. at the beginning of the book Roy is still not over the mysterious disappearance of his wife sandy. It was almost a decade and they couldn’t find any signs of his wife. He was on a case to find Tooth and bring him to Justice. After being Acquainted by Roy another chapter will introduce you to Tooth a hired hitman who finds enjoyment on making the victims/ target suffer before dying. and the last POV is from a burglar named Shelby who tried to steal from Jodie’s house ended up being bitten by a snake( I won’t tell which snake HA!) and if he survives long enough. you’ll have to find out for yourself.

So the Story basically revolves on Jodie. Jodie was an Ugly Duckling and she had an awful childhood she was called with bad names by his own father and she had a Perfect pretty sister that she despise the most. while her sister received all the love she ended up receiving all the hate. And by a twist of faith or as she calls is ” by Accident” her sister died on a cliff. After all that she had been through she had two goals in life. One is to be attractive in every way possible, Two is to be Rich beyond her wildest dreams. but there is always a twist she only believed in the only two way of obtaining money. One is to Work for it, Two is to MARRY IT. and she chose the second option and started with her fiance. she plots the most twisted plans and then orients herself to cry every time she is asked about the love of her life who was found lifeless. after the failed attempt to inherit the money his fiance had she felt the need to have an intimate night with any guy cause she had been with old guys way too much. but she ended up stealing from the money and USB of the guy that she had the intimate night with. not knowing that it was that important to an illegal organization she didn’t know that they hired a hitman to take her down. and not the easy way.Weather the hired killer found her and killed her Is one of the parts that you should anticipate here. and also the part when she Roy Grace plots a plan to capture her and if it works . you will know when you read the book. ( I literally rolled with excitement on this part.)

Sooooooo The Book! It was Awesome!!! by now you probably know I’m a sucker for Thriller and murder books. But! at first I was super confused as to why each chapter was super short. then as I continued reading the book it was really changing the Point Of View each chapter I really thought that there were only two POV’s but there were four. I though Oh God this will be confusing AF because it had too many point of views but No it didn’t it was part of the story and it was really easy to read. the author just added the extra POV to show a particular scene on the story but after that the character was…(I WON’T SPOIL) but let me tell you there will only be three POV’s left haha. The flow of the story went smoothly and I don’t have any problems with the book or characters. and Let me tell you the research to make this book was good and I mean good.The author really exerted effort to do research on types of reptiles to be used and the plot and how to story should flow like a real Detective looking for the murderer. I would have finished the book earlier than this but The firs three weeks of school was so busy I had to read when I was riding a car to school.

Over all a very gooooood Book it reached the standards I like in this genre and it probably went above the standards I hoped for. My five stars was not wasted on this Beautiful work by Mr. Peter James. If I will be given a chance to review another one of his book I’d be more than happy to. Not Dead Enough seemed to get my attention since it was on the last page of the book.

Profile Image for The Book Review Café.
712 reviews194 followers
December 23, 2016
I’ve always been a huge fan of Peter James and the “Roy Grace” series, and yes I’ve read everyone of the twelve books in the series! Now I wouldn’t blame you for thinking as I did that come this point in a series something usually gives, detail to characters, poor plot construction it can sometimes feel the author has written another book in a series because “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, fortunately this isn’t the case with Love You Dead it has all the hallmarks of a crime thriller that you would expect from such a well known author. In fact it’s another gripping read in one of my very favourite series.

I did have some reservations when I started reading this novel as the star of the series DS Roy Grace doesn’t feature much in the earlier part of Love You To Death, but I was willing to put my faith in Peter James and as usual he delivered on both plot and characters. The first half of the novel is concentrated on Jodie Bentley a femme fatale who wants it all, looks, money and a lifestyle that most people can only dream about, she’s known as “the black widow” as her unfortunate husbands would bear testament to, if they were still alive! What a piece of work Jodie is, manipulative to the core, with a heart made of ice she wasn’t a character I was drawn to, in fact she was very unlikable but that’s not a criticism. I always think an author is doing his job well if I have strong feelings either way about a character. As for DS Roy Grace his character has been perfected throughout the series, so you feel like you are meeting up with an old friend. Life doesn’t get any easier for Roy in Love You To Death, but it certainly gets more interesting.

Love You Dead has many plots running through it, a black widow looking for her next victim, old adversaries of Roy Grace who are back on the scene and to cap it all and one that readers of the series will have been waiting for the saga of Roy’s ex wife Sandy is finally bought to a dramatic and satisfying conclusion, WOW I never saw that coming! In part this novel reads like a black comedy, which made for a fun read rather than a thrilling one, as I prefer a crime read to be darker and more of an intense read. One thing I always find particularly outstanding is Peter James research, its second to none whether it be police procedures, venomous reptiles or his settings, which add a unique feel to his tale, he’s perfected the inner workings of police procedures which make for an authentic read.

As I would expect the complex plot is neatly tied up by the end of Love You Dead, and although I wouldn’t describe this novel as gripping I did find it a very enjoyable read. Personally I don’t think this is the best book in the series as I did find the plot predictable in parts, but it is a worthy contender for the series. Do I think this series has run its course? Hell no I still think it has plenty Life in it, will I be reading the next book in the series? Of course but I’m hoping the next one is darker like the earlier books in this series.

Profile Image for Labijose.
986 reviews461 followers
February 4, 2018
Aunque tarda en arrancar, debido a la larga introducción del resto de personajes, las novelas de Roy Grace no me suelen defraudar. Quizás el autor viva ya un poco de las rentas de su inspector, pero casi siempre consigue enganchar al lector hasta el final de sus páginas. En “Love you dead”, la trama está un pelín cogida por los pelos, como si la inspiración le hubiese abandonado por momentos. Pero tengo que reconocer que, pasado el primer cuarto del libro, me volví a enganchar en su lectura. A pesar de que el argumento de “La viuda negra” del presente caso no es demasiado original, sabe sacarle partido. Lo que no terminó de convencerme es la conclusión que le da al caso de su exmujer. Tras 11 años de incertidumbre, llegamos al final del enigma. Pero, para el viaje de Sandy no hacían falta tales alforjas, ni tantos años de intriga. Lo que me hace quitarle una estrella a su, por otra parte, entretenida novela.
Profile Image for Andrew.
601 reviews
August 31, 2016
Yet another excellent episode in this series with plenty going on. What I like about this series is seeing the police investigation (and the team meetings) as well as parts being written from the perspective of the person committing the crimes. If I was to be ultra picky I missed the r gulag briefings with Roy and his team (one of the best features) as there were not as many in this book, especially in the first half. However this was more than made up for by all t he events in the book around the case and events in Roy's personal life. Things may never be the same again for Roy!

I need Peter James to write quicker as I am now out of books to read in this series. If you have not read them I thoroughly recommend them and don't just base your thoughts on book 1 as they get better and better as the series goes on!
Profile Image for Duncan.
364 reviews1 follower
November 28, 2016
Completely brilliant and glad to see the Sandy saga coming to an end.
Profile Image for Eglė Eglė.
362 reviews26 followers
May 13, 2021
Jau buvau pasiilgusi Rojaus! Kaip ir visada, Peter James sukurpė įtraukiantį, pilną veiksmo, tikrą detektyvą. Labai patiko kūrinio idėja, kaip buvo žudomi vyrai, ir juodosios našlės personažas. Ja žavėjausi ir šlykštėjausi tuo pačiu metu.
Profile Image for Colin Mitchell.
989 reviews14 followers
January 13, 2018
Roy Grace staggers on accompanied by Cleo, Noah, Glen and Sandy plus several characters from previous novels. Not much new then. At least, what should have been the central character, Jodie of several names is a stunner, in more ways than one, but do not turn your back.

A good read for 3 stars.
Profile Image for Cleopatra  Pullen.
1,364 reviews296 followers
May 20, 2016
I love this series featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace which is now up to book number twelve, and I have been a faithful follower ever since 2005 when Dead Simple was published! So did he thrill me? Yes he did! Although that’s not too say that I didn’t have some moments of concern as it took quite a while for my favourite policeman to take centre stage!

The first section of the book follows the exploits of Jodie Bentley, this isn’t a spoiler she tells us herself, more or less straightaway, that she is following the scent of money and the way she has chosen, involves extracting it from wealthy men. I’m not sure whether I was supposed to admire her or pity her, but pretty early on I took against her despite her back story. I honestly couldn’t really get into her psyche so had to take her at face value, and that face may have been pretty but it disguised a far from pretty nature. Peter James has created a character we can love to hate, one which injects a fair amount of fun as I tried to predict what schemes she would come up with next to get the money she wants! I think this is the first contemporary crime fiction I’ve read that features a ‘black widow’ and I have to say it was a refreshing change to have a female villain.

Anyway our Jodie predictably gets herself tangled up in some heavy nastiness which involves a character from the previous book, one who our Roy Grace would very much to have a bit of a chat with, wink, wink!! Peter James has a fantastic knack of layering these novels with different strands but never neglecting the central one, a device that makes for a very satisfying read, particularly when they diverge into one story, as in this case. This is a solid read that has a bit of everything for everyone; a realistic look at the modern police force (good and bad), sentimental parts, thrilling scenes and reflective sections, all centred around a great plot which is paced to perfection. Even when the book was over and I wonder what comes next I was able to wind down with the glossary which gives details of ranks, badges, slang and suchlike for the real nerdy readers, like me. Where this one differs from the more traditional police procedural is that the reader knows what’s going on and we take on the role of the observer as Roy Grace and his team try to figure it all out.

Roy Grace is happy, so happy he’s worried that everything is going to go wrong for him so it isn’t a great surprise that something does, or several things, not least his Chief Inspector and that shadow from the past, his missing wife Sandy! The knowledge needed for Roy Grace to keep ahead of the criminals in this book is exceptionally specialist and had me cringing in a different way to normal.

Although as in the rest of the series home is Brighton, in this book there is a bit of travel thrown in with skiing in Europe, hotels in the US and even a cruise there is plenty of variety. We also get a guided tour of how Brighton used to look before it became the ‘cool’ place to be it is now! See Peter James really does deliver something for everyone so it really doesn’t surprise me that these books have sold over seventeen million copies worldwide. After all they have a great mix of characters, one of my favourites gets a central role in this book, and the ever dependable and fundamentally decent Roy Grace leads the way as a great balance to the nastier villains. They also all share the assured writing which is strongly underpinned by complex plotting which reaches a satisfying conclusion. For readers who even when reading a series want to feel they understand everything, this book will not disappoint you.

I’d like to say a big thank you to Midas PR who managed to get this book to me in time for me to read and review it for publication day of today, 19 May 2016, this review is my unbiased thanks to them.
Profile Image for ReadsSometimes.
218 reviews55 followers
January 8, 2019
Just brilliant, Peter James.

This story will hold you all the way. Crime Fiction is a fine art, and Peter does it all the way through this encounter with Roy Grace. I love this series and it was good to catch up.

Just read this series of books. Crime fiction at it's highest.
Profile Image for David Lowther.
Author 12 books27 followers
October 24, 2016
I've read the previous eleven Roy Grace novels and enjoyed them all. Love you Dead was not in the same class as its predecessors.

This is a 'Black Widow' story set in the US, India and, of course Brighton. The first half of the book hardly features Grace at all, being chiefly concerned with the activities of the femme fatale and a monstrous hitman who is out to get her. Grace takes centre stage after the half way mark along with regulars Norman Potting and Glenn Branson. The latter is a very interesting character but plays little or no part in Love you Dead which is a great pity.

The plot is preposterous and some of the characters scarcely believable. The 'police procedural' part of the narrative is uninspiring. and, of course, there's always Sandy hovering in the background. Very disappointing but I shall read the next in the hope that Love You Dead is just a temporary loss of form.

David Young. Author of The Blue Pencil, Liberating Belsen and Two Families at War, all published by Sacristy Press.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,205 reviews1,329 followers
May 2, 2018
Set in present day Brighton, these books follow the life of Detective Superintendent Grace, we first met him aged 39 and we soon discover that his wife Sandy disappeared almost 10 years previously, the same day as Roy’s 30th Birthday. Grace finds himself attempting to move on with his life as that milestone is fast approaching whilst juggling his career and trying to solve the latest crime that has taken place in the city.

Another of the series strengths is with the great supporting cast, most notably partner and friend Glenn Branson. Every novel is littered with information on how modern day policing operates as James meticulous planning prior to each book, he also uses many of the well know locations in Sussex to full effect.
Profile Image for Plum-crazy.
2,238 reviews40 followers
April 25, 2017
After being slightly disappointed with "You Are Dead" things were really back on track with this as it was a cracking read. Grace features quite a bit less than usual but this was more than made up for with the antics of the Black Widow who is bumping off husbands at an alarming rate. On her trail is a violent assassin who cares about no-one & nothing other than his dog, a nice touch I thought ;o)

A great read & while things have been "resolved" with Sandy she's managed to leave Roy & Cleo with another problem & I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Bruno in the future.
Profile Image for Kelly Jenkins.
57 reviews7 followers
December 31, 2017
I must admit this is not my favourite Roy Grace novel. I'm not a big fan if knowing exactly who the criminal is and what they've done before Grace even has any idea a crime has been committed.
Roy isn't even mentioned until at least half way through this book, and isn't he the reason everyone is reading these books??
The black widow concept really isn't one that grips my interest and it was a long and sometimes repetitive journey to the end. The last few chapters were worth the struggle and are important to the overall story of Roy Grace, but not enough for this one to get more than 3 stars from me
Profile Image for Sandra.
912 reviews23 followers
August 14, 2016
I do love a good Roy Grace story and this one was great! I wasn't impressed at first, not enough Roy and far too many other characters, but once the story got going and Roy became involved, I enjoyed it immensely. The murderer in this book is a true black widow, she marries rich men and kills them for their money. How she does this is unusual and creepy. I am looking forward to reading the next installment of this series and seeing what Roy Grace is up to. I have a feeling he's in for a whole new heap of problems...
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