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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Looking Good Dead - Peter James book review.

Looking Good Dead is the second in Peter James' Roy Grace series and after enjoying the first book, Dead Simple I jumped straight into this novel. The plot this time around is high concept - snuff movies. It all kicks off when Tom Bryce finds someone had left a CD on the train and when he later puts it into his own computer he finds himself watching a brutal murder. Shortly afterwards some virus hidden amongst the coding of the snuff movie wipes Tom's hard drive clean but not before warning him against going to the police. However Tom is persuaded by his wife to report the movie and when he does all hell breaks loose - this culminates in Tom and his wife being kidnapped in order to be the lead actors in a forthcoming snuff movie.

The author uses the same TICKING CLOCK device to create tension in this novel as he used so memorably in the previous book in the series. In the earlier novel a character was buried alive in a coffin and the suspense was driven by the fact that he had to be found before he died. And this time around the author  has two characters kidnapped - the clock is ticking for these characters with the reader aware that they are soon to be killed as part of a snuff movie. Will the police find them in time? It's all very effective and marks this book out as a crime thriller rather than a traditional whodunnit. The reader know what is happening all along, but the police of course are clueless and simply blunder around while the story plays itself out.

I enjoyed the previous book, see my review HERE and this second book in the series improves on that book with the central character of Detective Roy Grace now fully formed and becoming something of a tragic man - there's a sadness, a desperation about him.

 I'm certainly going to read more books in this series - Dead good, that was.

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