Friday, March 20, 2009

Book Review: Peter James – Not Dead Enough (2007)

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Not Dead Enough is the third book in Peter James’ detective Roy Grace series. As I had received all three books at once in the beginning of December I left them waiting on my desk and read them back to back during the Christmas holiday.

While the main players are the same, detective Roy Grace and his crew and acolytes, we are taken into the high society circles where the wife of a socialite elite business man is found murdered. Of course the first suspect is the husband himself, only that he was miles away at the time when the crime was committed and at first glance he’s got a solid alibi. Things are becoming a little more suspicious when his mistress, who he doesn’t acknowledge as being one, is also killed.

For those who read the previous books in the series, the atmosphere will feel quite familiar. Same endless line of descriptive details each time the setting is changing is still the main flaw of the novel. Some might like it, though I doubt there are many, some might feel lost, and other might find it utterly boring. I was somewhere in between.

The characters, although well-defined, are basically common stereotypes, and not always ones pleasant to deal with or follow their action. Even Roy’s mortician girlfriend with whom he has a relationship now seems less interesting than she used to be while he was still courting her.

The plot of the long time missing wife continues being awarded more time than before, with sightings of the woman being taken in account somewhere in Munich, which is a complete waste of time since nothing is solved and no extra details are found out. We’re simply lead on by a plot that seems to never end, and oh, how we wish it does, if only to put it behind us and know for sure we won’t be bother with it in the next book once more.

The main differences from the first two books are that the supernatural element is missing, thank god, making the story a little more plausible for a change, even if not that much. We don’t deal with just one type of environment, we’re taken from the high society down to the low life car thieves drug addict world. Also, the precipitated, not so mysterious, ending gets to involve the detective personal life hitting close to home.

As a general conclusion, the book is consistent with the series as far as writing style is concerned sticking to the attributes that define it. It goes deep into technical procedures as interesting as these might be, the tension is well dosed all through the books, but the ending sort of just happens, the reader knowing several pages in advance what to expect.

I don’t think I’ll buy the next book.

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Written for Nemira “La limita suspansului“ campaign:

“Aceasta recenzie face parte din campania La limita suspansului

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