Friday, November 26, 2010

A Review of "Dead Like You" [84]

Dead Like You by Peter James
Minotaur Books, ISBN 978-0312642822
November 23, 2010, 560 pages

It's New Year Eve in Brighton, England, a time for celebration and good cheer...and for the reappearance of a brutal, bizarre rapist. 12 years ago, 5, or perhaps 6, women were kidnapped and sexually assaulted by the criminal police dubbed the Shoe Man. He was called that because not only would he seek out woman who had very recently purchased very expensive designer footwear to wear to a special occasion as his victims but he would also use the shoe itself as an instrument of the attack.

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace soon realizes that the present crimes bear a remarkable similarity to those from years ago. It was a series of assults, including the disappearance and presumed murder of the last victim, that was never solved. Could it be a copycat or has the Shoe Man reappeared to once again terrorize the woman of Brighton?

We are presented with several possible suspects, showered with a number of hints that make one, then another, our number one candidate. In a series of flashbacks from 1997, we enter the twisted, perverted mind of perpetrator...but we also enter the mind and experiences of DS Grace and what happened leading up to the mysterious disappearance of his own wife a decade ago. He may not have been able to ever yet go of the cold case assaults and suspected murder, but it seems that at last he has moved on in his personal life, with a new, very pregnant, girlfriend.
And as I always enjoy, just when we think it is all wrapped up, the author slips in one more, totally surprising twist at the very end. Love it!

All in all, this is a very enjoyable book, the sixth in the series but the first for me and one that easily stands alone. Some very good characters, including the interesting Grace and his very understanding girlfriend Cleo, a riveting plot that holds the reader's interest and, while over 500 pages long, a book that moves along very quickly. I might complain that the 'hints' at times seem a bit overdone and I did have some issue with the flashbacks, for some reason finding them a bit confusing, but it was not a deal breaker. A good, well written story won out.
An engaging, rather disturbing thriller, especially recommended for fans of police procedurals.


  1. I've not heard of this series, but then again, I haven't heard of half of them! So it didn't completely knock your socks off but you enjoyed it. Will you remember it in a year?

  2. It's nice when books in a series stand alone, because there's just not enough time to go back and start every series from the beginning. Great review.

  3. will I remember it in a year? good question...If I look back at what I read this year, how many do I really remember? And why?

    But then, will I remember where I live in a year? Do I remember what I brought to work for lunch today? lol

  4. Makes me glad I wear cheap flat shoes!!!


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