“Virtual romance becomes a terrifying obsession.
Single girl, 29, smouldering redhead, love life that’s crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and – who knows – maybe more?
When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.
Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red’s nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved – and then her too…”
I have now read all ten novels, starting back in 2005 with “Dead Simple” – and all have proved to be superb stories from one of this country’s best crime thriller writers.
We start this book after the relationship between Red Westwood and Bryce Laurent has ended, and only learn what happened previously between them bit-by-bit as the story progresses. This approach works really well, I feel, as we don’t learn all the background etc. to early on. There are lots of secrets in Bryce’s past, which come into play gradually, enhancing his ability to really be the nasty character that makes this such a gripping read.
My only slight reservation with the story is the ongoing saga concerning Sandy, Roy Grace’s long-since missing wife, which still doesn’t seem any closer to resolution than it was back in the first book, even though Roy’s own life is moving along nicely with fiancee Cleo Morey and their new son, Noah.
That aside, there is plenty of action involving Grace, and his main team of Glenn Branson, Bella Moy, and Norman Potting. The attention to detail with regard to police procedure is top class, and the inventiveness and clever plotting mean that you never know quite what’s going to happen – but you know that you can’t wait to find out!!
Interestingly, this novel, at least, is based in real life – which makes it all the more horrifying.
Peter James wrote an article for The Telegraph on the subject, though it’s probably best not to read it before reading the novel! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10848780/Peter-James-The-real-life-horrors-behind-my-books.html
Roll on book eleven, due next year, possibly titled “You Are Dead”…