The tenth outing for Peter James shows us some uncomfortable truths about the digital age and what lengths some people will go to get someone’s attention.
Story in a nutshell
Red Westwood, an estate agent, has recently met a man – Bryce Laurent. She goes on a few dates but then soon realizes that he is not who she thought he was so she break off the relationship. To say that he doesn’t take the news kindly is putting it mildly.
When she starts dating a new man and he ends up dead, things start to get very dangerous indeed. Detective Roy Grace comes on to the scene and starts to investigate yet he has issues of his own, not to mention his upcoming wedding and having to deal with issues of his past.
But Grace is going to have to deal with a case that escalates into a case like no other – Bryce does not accept rejection and he wants Red back. He is going to make sure that she knows just how keen and interested he is, that he knows all about her and that he is the only one that cares.
Place and setting
Of course with Peter James being the undisputable King of Brighton, then the action takes place in and around the city. But the beauty of the novels are that Brighton takes on a new identity each and every time. As usual, anyone who knows and loves Brighton and Hove will recognise popular James’ locations- such as Kemp Town to Central Hove. But they haven’t had such an eerie and creepy feel to them as now.
There are sights where you should go however such as the Brighton and Shellfish oyster bar under the kings road arches where Rachel and Karl have a date.And you might want to play a round of golf at the Haywards Heath golf club. Maybe even have a quickie or was that Quiche? at the Beach Cafe at Hove Lagoon. Brighton is nothing if not quirky.
This book was creepy. The way in which Bryce was so determined to follow and get revenge on Red was creepy and eerily plausible. The fact that the man in question narrates his plans in the first person was particularly chilling and I could see him in the car in the dark or in the flat opposite practically running his hands in glee at the level of his evil thoughts that he intends to put into action. It shows the ease in which the internet can help fuel these weird desires and how social media can not always be the force of good.
Bryce always seems one step ahead however and the way he is able to do this, as its revealed is insightful into the mind of one very ill individual.
Red has to try and keep things together whilst going into a safe house, and all the while looking over her shoulder. The fact she is an estate agent brought back chilling memories of Suzy Lamplugh, who when showing a house to a certain ‘ Mr Kipper’ she disappeared and was never seen again. Other stories of stalking in the news made this novel particularly apt and real.
Some interesting changes in the life of our Roy Grace here- wonder how things will pan out?