Dead in the water

Not Dead Yet is mainly about uncontrollable obsession, a fightening state of mind that Peter James has used effectively in several of his previous novels. The latest target is Gaia Lafayette, born poor in Brighton but now an international rock superstar, persuaded to return to her native city to act in a Hollywood film about the affair between George IV and Maria Fitzherbert. But somewhere lurks an obsessive stalker, and it is the job of DS Roy Grace – whose lover Cleo is about to give birth to their first child – to trace the potential assassin and prevent the deed. The tense plot is laced with fine humour as the Hollywood types grapple with English history, and never has the Brighton Pavilion appeared so sinister, James is on top form.