Dead Simple, by Peter James

A bunch of guys on a stag-do bury the groom as a joke, and then have a fatal car accident on their way to the pub, which means no-one knows where the groom is.

This is the first in a series of books about Roy Grace, the Brighton detective, and it was a pretty good story - so much so that I've been working my way through the rest of the series ever since (I'm up to number 5 at the moment).

I read this straight after Sleepyhead and so to start with I was getting the characters confused, e.g. thinking "I expect he's going to get together with that attactive woman he met soon", and then realising I had been thinking of the detective in the other book.

The story was pretty gripping: I wasn't sure how long the buried guy was going to last, and how much I could cope with knowing he was stuck in his coffin with his air running out, while the police investigation slowly trundled into life.

One thing which spoiled this book is that Grace has an interest (shared by Peter James apparently) in clairvoyants. He's consulted them in an attempt to find out what happened to his wife Sandy, who disappeared several years before this book starts, and he also gets in trouble when he visits a medium in the hope of finding out something about a murder investigation. In this book, he gets help from one medium which is mostly of a very vague and ambigous nature, so doesn't spoil things too much, until the end, where he's told something which enables him to tie up the case. This sort of thing seems just to undermine any interest in a detective story, and would have put me off the whole thing if the rest of the book hadn't been such a thriller.

Completed : 24-October-2015

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