Book Summary

Single girl, 33, redhead and smouldering, love life that’s crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and—who knows—more maybe?

In Peter James’ Want You Dead, thirty-year old Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich thirty-five year old Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, and is instantly attracted to him. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.

Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But far from being over, her nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed and besotted with her. He intends to destroy, by fire, everything and everyone she has ever known and loved—and then her, too. It’s up to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to stop him before it’s too late…


Going into this book, I had high expectations. After reading James’s novel, Dead Simple, I went into this expecting nothing but the best in terms of a suspense thriller that was going to knock my socks off. Not to put any pressure out there but man he really didn’t disappoint me with this one. James brings Roy Grace back for one of his most intense cases to date. Want You Dead, takes the reader on a intense thrilling ride that will have you clinging to the pages for a book that has more fireworks than the Fourth of July.

Have you ever watched or read a suspense thriller where the characters rile up your emotions to the point that you find yourself yelling things at them? Well, I definitely found myself doing that reading this book, unlike his other novels. I found myself constantly wanting to reach in the book and shake some sense into the characters, especially Red. I don’t think a character got to my core as much as she did. On one hand, I think her character as victim who chooses not to be a victim is admirable but her choices in the face of dealing with that crazy ex stalker boyfriend which leads to her life being on the line, made some very interesting moments in the book. I bet us ladies will think twice about online dating after reading this character.

There was something different about the tone of the book. Besides the usual crime solving of Roy Grace and his staff that we love, there was an edge to some of the characters in the book, in particular “Bryce” who had a more dark psychological profile to him. It made the plot intriguing but some may feel this may have overshadowed the novel but I think the intensity of that darkness gave another dimension to the book that added authenticity to the getting into the head of this character.

There were definite moments that I found myself on the edge of my seat gripping the pages wandering why they did this or that but nearly jumped out of my skin when a major revelation was made regarding Roy Grace and his life that I’m sure will leave your mouth open in shock. I’m on the fence on my thoughts about this because in the context of what had happened, I expected it to go one way but it went another. It was definitely left open, so we’ll see what happens down the road. I’m not going to be the one to spoil it, so you have to read for yourself to find out.

Want You Dead, overall was a good book. James knows how to deliver on a book that gives you a great plot, interesting characters and a fulfilling reading experience. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the next case that comes across the desk of Roy Grace. If you are a Roy Grace fan, you will definitely be surprised with the huge twist but if this is your first, I’d read back to catch up. This is definitely a series worth getting into.

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles