Title: Want You Dead
Series: Detective Roy Grace #10
Author: Peter James
Publisher: Minotaur Books
IF HE CAN’T HAVE HER, THEN NOBODY CAN…
Virtual romance becomes a terrifying obsession in Want You Dead . . .
Single girl, 33, redhead and smouldering, love life that’s crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and—who knows—more maybe?
In Peter James’ Want You Dead, thirty-year old Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich thirty-five year old Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, and is instantly attracted to him. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.
Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But far from being over, her nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed and besotted with her. He intends to destroy, by fire, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved—and then her, too. It’s up to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to stop him before it’s too late…
I’m a huge fan of the Roy Grace series by Peter James, but haven’t picked one up for a while as I’ve had so many other books waiting to be read. This is a paperback I picked up on a whim a few years ago in a bookshop and I was looking forward to returning to the world of Roy Grace, despite not having read this series in strict order (which I don’t think is necessary anyway).
Want You Dead is a welcome return to some well-loved characters. Roy Grace is as dependable, interesting and capable as ever, and his fellow colleagues the same. We see more of his personal life, with his impending wedding to Cleo, and how this is affected by a new case that crops up, where Red Westwood’s new boyfriend seemingly commits suicide – but Roy and the team aren’t convinced it wasn’t murder…
The storyline in Want You Dead is definitely dramatic. I wasn’t overly keen on Bryce Laurent (who we quickly realise is behind the attack, though the police don’t know this for sure for a while) who felt a bit over the top to me. The storyline – where he becomes obsessed with an ex girlfriend and murders her current boyfriend and threatens her family too – plus the passages where we see in to his mind and why he’s doing what he does felt overly dramatic and, at times, a bit pantomimey, which is not at all like the other books in the series that I have loved. But, I must admit that Bryce made for a very cruel and deluded character who was interesting to read about. I think I just prefer the storylines that are a little more gritty and realistic – this felt a little too like a soap opera at times.
I also struggled to warm to Red, despite her being the victim and a character we follow for a lot of the novel. I understood that she wanted to not come across as a victim, but she really didn’t help herself in some of her decisions. However, Roy’s teams efforts to save her are as exciting and interesting as ever, as the piece together how to track Bryce (and his many aliases) down to try and save Red’s life, and those of her innocent family’s.
The storyline may not have been quite my bag, but I am still a huge fan of the series, and will continue reading from it. I just don’t think Want You Dead struck a chord for me as I’d hoped it would.
I’ve read a few from the series and enjoyed them except for Grace’s relationship with Cleo – it just irritates me!