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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Dead Enough. Peter James. Macmillan (2007)

This is a very compelling and well constructed police procedural set in Brighton. A wealthy Brighton socialite, Katie Bishop is murdered in her home. The chief suspect is her husband, Brian Bishop. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace leads the police team investigating the murder. A second murder is discovered that has clear ties to Brian Bishop, who is protesting his innocence and has a reasonable alibi for the night of his wife's murder. More evidence is uncovered that that provides strong motives for Brian Bishop to kill his wife. Brian Bishop may not be quite who he appears to be, the reveals are very nicely paced, the large cast is well orchestrated and lively and the conclusion is thoroughly satisfying.
The best aspects to this book are the cast, they are varied, believable and all are given sufficient space to register with the reader. Roy Grace is a very engaging character, competent, thoughtful and tough minded he is a very credible senior police officer. The villain is enjoyable dedicated to the task at hand and ingenious enough to present a real problem for the investigative team. The major supporting characters are given enough space and development to ensure that they emerge in their own right and engage the reader. The problem with the book is a sub plot regarding Roy Graces vanished wife that really does nothing other than take up space. A sharply told story in an interesting setting with an enjoyable cast, well worth reading.

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