Post Script: Dead Man’s Time – Peter James

Maybe one for the fans of the series 

Dead Man's Time, Peter James

Dead Man’s Time (Roy Grace #9)

Peter James


Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9780230760547


A vicious robbery at a secluded Brighton mansion leaves its elderly occupant dying, and millions taken in valuables. But, as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, heading the enquiry, rapidly learns, there is one item, of priceless sentimental value, that her powerful family care about, above all else. And they are fully prepared to take the law into their own hands, and do anything, absolutely anything, to get it back.

Within days, Grace finds himself following a murderous race against the clock that leads him from the shady antiques world of Brighton, across Europe and back in time to the New York waterfront gang struggles of 1922, chasing a killer driven by the power of one man’s greed and another man’s fury.

My View:

I didn’t realise when I picked up this novel that is the 9th book in the Roy Grace series and for the most part I was happily able to progress through the book without any regrets or too much missing background aside from  missing the nuances of the sub plot relating to Sandy, which actually wasn’t very well developed, it didn’t add much to the story and largely I wondered why this section was even included.  I ploughed merrily through this book noting how well the author weaves the memories of the past with the current world of the main characters.

This is a well written, incident based, police procedural that climaxes in an explosion of retribution. The narrative has an authentic voice and is an interesting and well constructed read but for me lacked strong believable characters (aside from Gavin Daly who I thought was well written). I found Cleo whinny. I found Roy Grace too concerned with being a politically correct parent/police officer and a little one dimensional whilst he was at it. The intrusion of loose references to a certain contemporary book on erotica added nothing to the story and added no depth to the characters. Stereo types abounded.

However, if you are looking for a well plotted police procedural  this book is for you (and maybe if you have read the others in the series you might find a connection that I didn’t) and for me that was the books downfall – I didn’t connect with the characters.  I didn’t want to see the baby harmed but aside from that I didn’t really care about any of characters. And I wasn’t gripped by the narrative; I happily could put book the down for a day or two and then pick it up again.  And I found a flaw in the plot – a minor one but distracting all the same (I won’t reveal the problem but will say it is about identities).




4 thoughts on “Post Script: Dead Man’s Time – Peter James

  1. Carol – Thanks for your thoughts on this. That’s the thing about a novel, isn’t it? If you can’t connect with the characters, it’s hard to stay engrossed, even if you do enjoy the novel. It is good to hear though that you thought the book was a decent read and that you didn’t feel too left out for not having read the earlier ones.

  2. I read one or two of this series some years ago and while I thought they were OK, they never made it onto my ‘must read’ list. Memory fades, but I think my problem was the same as yours – just didn’t grow to care about any of the characters.

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