There are certain times in life when you want to pick up a prescription that proves to be a major distraction. When getting over the pre-Christmas gastric flu bug for example. You want a read that will certifiably draw you in and shut out the rest of the world for some time. Peter James’s thrillers can do just that and that’s why I picked up Dead Man’s Grip when in those very circumstances earlier this year.
Dead Man’s Grip is the type of story that is difficult to put into cover blurb without giving too much away. So here’s some advice: don’t read it for Dead Man’s Grip. I felt it went too far into the story and when reading there were occasions when I felt I was reading a padded out version of the cover. But don’t think that’s a downer; I just aim to optimise your reading experience. So what’s Dead Man’s Grip all about?
Three people with three quite different lives are simply going about their normal everyday business. But this is the day it all changes when more than their lives collide and a maelstrom of horrifying events is unleashed in the aftermath. Dad-to-be, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace finds himself with not only a tragic case to process but also a desperate need to contain the maelstrom, the roots of which are embedded across the Atlantic. And one woman, Carly Chase, finds herself facing the biggest challenge of her life…
In its opening scenes, James is a master at engaging the reader with the three characters whose fates are about to change irrevocably and in building the tension of impending doom. The tension and pace are maintained throughout as we want to know how all this is resolved. Even with a couple of not entirely convincing unsavoury characters for this reader, Dead Man’s Grip is a novel that can’t be put down until the final page.
Warning for sensitive readers: James is capable of quite powerful descriptive narrative for realistic scenes of a gory nature.