Dead Man’s Grip is the fifth crime novel in a series by British author Peter James about Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. It is set for release Tuesday.

Single mother Carly Chase is on her way to an appointment when she swerves to avoid a young Brighton University student bicycling to class on the wrong side of the road. She crashes into a shop but is unhurt. She is being tailgated by a white van.

Lorry driver Stuart Ferguson is hurrying to deliver a load of fish and brakes when he sees Carly and the cyclist. The cyclist is thrown under the lorry, his leg is severed, and he suffers massive internal injuries. He dies at the scene.

Detective Grace quickly ascertains the young man who was killed is connected to a powerful mafia family in New York City. The drivers of the van and lorry are found tortured to death. Grace believes that someone is out for revenge for the young man’s death.

Carly is sure to be the next target. The police offer protection and a change of identity, but she decides to take things into her own hands and goes to New York to speak with the dead cyclist’s mother.

She hopes to convince her that it was an accident and to stop the killing. Her plan backfires, and she returns to England to find that the psychotic killer has taken her son. Detective Grace must use all his resources to find the boy before he is killed.

The author provides details of all the police procedures involved in an investigation, manhunt and hostage rescue. He has developed a close working relationship with the Sussex Police and spends an average of one day week with them, so he has insight into modern-day police work.

Betty Lytle