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Dead Man’s Time: Bookloons

By Hilary Williamson

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Here’s a new entry, the ninth, in Peter James’ Dead series starring Detective Superintendant Roy Grace (and a very rare and valuable antique pocket watch) – Dead Man’s Time.

The action begins in 1922 New York with a home invasion in which a young mother is shot and the father (a member of the Irish Mafia) abducted. Afterwards, an aunt takes five-year-old Gavin Daly and his seven-year-old sister Aileen to Dublin. Before their ship sails, Gavin is given a scrap of paper with four names and eleven numbers on it, as well as his father’s pocket watch. Gavin makes a promise, to one day learn his father’s fate.

We fast forward to 2012 Brighton and another home invasion in which elderly Aileen Daly is brutally tortured and left for dead. A fortune in antiques is stolen as well as a very old pocket watch, but ninety-five-year-old Gavin Daly is only concerned about the latter. He acts as a vigilante to track down Aileen’s killers, and his sleazy son is on the trail as well. Gavin is running out of time to keep his promise to his dead father, but Roy Grace’s investigation always seems to be one step behind.

As all this develops – and the investigation moves from Brighton to Spain and back to New York – we see an old enemy of Grace’s make his plans for revenge. Amis Smallbone’s targets? Grace’s wife Cleo, and especially their baby son Noah, the new joy in their lives. Another blast from Grace’s past is the reappearance of his missing wife Sandy on these pages as she chats with her psychiatrist – will she show up in his life as well? Time will tell.

Are Gavin’s questions answered? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but this mystery – as well as Smallbone’s threat – pull reader interest through the story. Don’t miss Dead Man’s Time.