Note: I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review *
With eleven novels now under his belt in the Roy Grace series, Peter James certainly knows his way around a crime novel. You Are Dead is a solid mystery that can stand alone, but it’s also a well-crafted piece of the long series of British thrillers.
You Are Dead is a creepy tale of abduction and murder: a serial killer is methodically hunting in Brighton. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team are on the case when Logan Somerville, a young woman, goes missing. As the search goes on, another Brighton woman goes missing and bodies from murders many years past turn up—could they be related? As Detective Grace searches for the truth, author Peter James demonstrates an impressive knowledge of police procedure, forensics, and criminal psychology.
At the same time, a prominent London psychiatrist takes on a supremely creepy new patient who claims to have information about Logan. I particularly liked these scenes between the doctor, Jacob Van Dam, and patient, Harrison Hunter, because they are deliciously unsettling and tense, and develop into something much more sinister even than they originally seem.
James expertly builds suspense over these scenes, which move between Grace and his team, Logan as she lies trapped, a few other characters, and the killer, who narrates in eerie first-person musings and rants. All of these scenes culminate in an exciting and unexpected finale that should please even the most seasoned thriller and crime readers. You Are Dead is an essential part of the Roy Grace series, and I recommend it to both fans of Peter James and first-time readers of his novels.