British author James’s 10th novel featuring Det. Supt. Roy Grace of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team (after 2013’s Dead Man’s Time) is an adroit study of obsession and revenge. Bryce Laurent, a violent narcissist who can’t bear to see ex-girlfriend Red Westwood dating someone else, rents an apartment nearby, and spies on her using the night-sights of his crossbow and several bugging devices. Shortly after Red’s new boyfriend, Dr. Karl Murphy, fails to show up for a date, the police question her about his disappearance, while also enquiring after Laurent, against whom Red has a restraining order. When a group of golfers discover a badly burned corpse, Grace gets on the case. The author is unflinching in his descriptions of domestic abuse, and paints a vivid picture of Brighton with daily life punctuated by cigarettes, booze, and greasy food. A subplot involving Grace’s vanished wife, Sandy, will please series regulars.
Agent: Carole Blake, Blake Friedmann Literary. (Oct.)