I WANT YOU DEAD – By PETER JAMES
Peter James was recently in South Africa to launch his crime thriller, I Want You Dead, his latest in a line of 10 best-selling novels featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. As with the previous novels, this thriller also takes place in Brighton, where Peter currently resides for part of the year, his other residence being in Nottinghill, London.
Peter gave his audience at the launch at Catharina’s at the Steenberg Wine Estate, Constantia, Cape Town a fascinating insight into the research demanded of every novel. Particularly interesting was his discussion regarding the ‘ride-alongs’ he does with the Brighton Police. It is clear that, as a result of these experiences, he is able to get into the mind of his antagonists and detectives alike, lending his novels the gritty realism for which his novels are known and respected.
Peter’s latest offering tells the story of Red Westwood, a ‘smouldering redhead’ who meets a rich, handsome man online. The attraction is instantaneous and Red is smitten until, that is, it becomes apparent that her new love interest has lied to her about his past. His love for the redhead becomes an obsession, and her rejection of him develops into rage and revenge. This is not a man who takes betrayal lightly and he exacts his terrifying form of ‘justice’ on Red that creates a living hell for her.
At the outset of the story, the personal life of DS Roy Grace is disrupted when his wedding plans are ruined with the discovery of a corpse on a golf course. But the psychopathic killer neither knows, nor cares, about the lives of others. His agenda to destroy is a heat-seeking missile that will not swerve from its course. For those readers who are keen to learn about the lives of characters from previous novels, be assured that the author nimbly develops their stories with this continuation of the series.
Mr James’s fans will be more than satisfied with this superb novel. The story’s pace is breathtaking and this tale of twisted obsession and revenge will have his readers reluctant to put the book down to attend to their real lives.
For my first young adults novel, Wild Avengers, I have drawn on my love of fantasy,humour and the perseverance of the human spirit to weave this tale. But, more than anything else, it was my concern for the way we treat animals who cannot speak for themselves that was the driving force behind this novel.A quotation from the book succinctly says it all: "Morbidius Ultimatum understands that damage is done one butterfly at a time, one tree at a time, one bullet at a time".