* Prices may differ from that shown
==Synopsis of the book:==
Things have got increasingly desperate for 15 year old Caitlin Beckett. Her health is very poor and unless she receives a liver transplant in the next couple of months she will die. However there are two problems firstly she is a very rare blood group so finding a match that will not be rejected by her body is very difficult. Secondly, there is already a waiting list and some patients unfortunately die before one becomes available. Caitlin and her mother Lynn can only hope and pray they will be lucky while Lynn helplessly watches her daughter deteriorate.
Meanwhile, the body of a teenage boy is discovered in the North Sea. When a dredger discovers a body and under Police instructions two more are quickly found all teenagers. The Police cannot identify the bodies but they know two things, they have not been down there long and their internal organs have been taken out. Are Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team facing the illegal transplant of organs? Where have these teenagers been taken from? And who is carrying out these operations?
==My thoughts on this novel:==
I have in recent weeks read several of this Roy Grace series. I have found them very enjoyable and this story was no different from the others in that respect. It was a compelling story I think because it focused in part anyway on Caitlin and her desperate struggle to live with a deteriorating liver. This coupled with learning more about street kids made it a fascinating story and one I could not drag myself away from.
For me this is a wonderful series of crime stories Peter James has created. So far there are eight in this series with this being fifth in that series. But, it is not the only books this English author has written as he has also 19 other stories. Although the last of these was in 2000, since then he has concentrated on the Grace series. I would compare his style of writing as being similar to Peter Robinson or Stephen Booth.
What I have found with this series as well as getting a very entertaining story, is you get a lot of suspense. In this one I felt there was not much mystery within it but it was thick in suspense the whole way through. What I find that really helps a man who doesn't particularly like long stories is the authors style of writing is very easy to follow and because the chapter are very short you always feel that you are getting somewhere with it.
Having read the previous story and the story following this one I was very keen to purchase this one, to fill a few gaps in. Because while each story is dealt with in each book, you still have the changing life of Roy Grace and his team. And that for me is another plus about this series that there is always interesting things happening within the Detectives private lives. In particular the mystery around Sandy's disappearance ten years ago. She was married to Roy Grace and one day she disappears and he does not know if she is alive or dead. Now he has fallen in love with Cleo and he must get Sandy declared dead in order to marry his new love.
When I found this book in my local bookshop I immediate felt confident I would purchase it. I have loved all the previous one so with some confidence I turned the book over to read the summary of it. Unfortunately it was not there, instead I found praise for the authors other books in the series. This kind of thing annoys me as it has little to no meaning for this story. The only good thing about it is they do say which book they are praising and there was one about every story in the series except this one!!
My disappointment was short lives as I found a excellent length summary on the inside cover of the book. It was four paragraphs long and full of excellent detail about the book. It certainly founded great and I liked most of the ideas the author brought up. Maybe it had a little too much detail as it covered quite a few chapters of the story instead of the first two or three. I did like the concepts it mentioned and as always I wanted to know more about Roy Grace's changing private life.
I expected the book to start with a prologue but instead it went straight into the story. I do not have a problem with this style as I would rather not have a very short prologue that had little to do with the story. The story I found was very easy to get into and I immediately felt empathy with Caitlin and her mother's desperate situation of waiting for a liver to save her life. I liked the way this storyline developed and the more desperate Lynn got to save her daughter and how she was prepared to do anything in this situation.
But like any Roy Grace story there were many threads to enjoy and several characters you did not initially know where they would fit into the story. The author is very good with the aid of short chapters of moving the story from scene to scene from character to character and always keeping my interest. Plus because these chapters are only about 6 pages long you do not get overly flowery writing, just enough detail to get you interested in them and created a sense of mystery or suspense around them.
I found I enjoyed the pace of the story and the way all the threads started to come together the further I read into the story. I think because of Caitlin I was so involved in the story and I was desperate for her to be well again. But I also became attached to some of the other characters in the story too but I will not tell you any more about them here you have to read the book to find out more!! The only way I could criticise this story would be to say because you have all these threads you are in a sense ahead of Roy Grace and his team so there are not many surprises in the direction the investigation takes because you already know.
For me this was certainly a page turner as I found it difficult to wedge myself out of the chair on a wet and cold Sunday and put the book down. For me the story had everything and with always the chill of evil all around I found myself fearing for some of the characters safety. While Roy Grace's investigation continued to try and trace anyone who knew the three teenagers discovered in the North Sea. I enjoyed some of the angles they tried to solve this and where the investigation went from there.
I always felt the story was building for an exciting and I wasn't to be disappointed. It was fast paced and quite different in some respects to what I expected, which as far as I am concerned is always a good thing. As even as the story was finishing there was still suspense and excitement within it. Yes in a sense the ending was a little bit quick for me and I would have preferred a longer finish but it certainly made for an action packed thrilling conclusion.
The story even had an epilogue which was a disappointment for me. It was only a page and a half long and I found it did not answer some of the questions I had about what happened next to some of the characters in the story. I just felt it could have done with this because I had grown attached to some of them and I am pretty sure they will not appear again in other Roy Grace stories. It was only a minor point but it meant for me somehow the story was not quite complete.
Roy Grace is the main character in this series. I have always liked and admired him, he has common sense, is dedicated and I like the way he conducts his investigations. Although I must admit there is an issue late on in this story that I totally disagree with him on. I also like his home life with the Sandy mystery always bubbling under the surface. Having been through what he has it is nice that he has found happiness again.
The stories length was quite long but in my opinion totally justified as it was an excellent read. I would recommend any of these stories in the series because there are so many interesting threads to them and consequently always something to think about. And the clever way the author pulls all these together so everything makes sense.
I would recommend this a first class crime thriller. I enjoyed it from the first to the last page and found there was so much human interest in this it pulled at my heart strings. I really like authors style of writing with short punchy chapter that keep the story moving at a good pace. It was a story that was thick in suspense all the way through but sadly in the very end failed to answer all my questions as I would have liked to know what happened next to a few key characters in the story.
Price 4.79 New at Amazon
Publisher: Pan Books
Year First published: 2009
More about the author: www.peterjames.com
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS March 2013.
This book forms part of the Roy Grace series, one which I haven't read before, and which I won't be overly eager to read again. The plot focuses on a body found off the coast of Brighton, which is initially thought to be a sea burial, but turns out to have had all it's vital organs taken out before being sunk into the deep blue. This sparks off an investigation into human organ trafficking, which becomes international. Parallel to this plot is one of a mother of a seriously ill daughter who desperately needs a liver transplant. How far is she willing to go when she feels the NHS aren't supporting her daughter's needs?
The concept of this dilemma is a really interesting one. What would you do to keep your child alive? Would you kill? However, I found the daughter's character to be uninvolving. I would have put her out of her misery myself if she made one more sarky comment. And that's the problem with this book. It makes every effort to make the characters have interesting, involving lives, but they just fall short. The core dilemma kept my interest in a Jodi Piccoult churn-out-the-parental-quandary-novel-once-a-year kind of way, but it didn't really get me thinking hard about the subject after I finished reading.
I think a lot of the failings of the characters were rooted in the way that the research was integrated into the novel. Or should I say not integrated. Most of it felt like it had been pasted from a google search, or taken straight from an interview with a police source. In particular, the section where Roy tells his team not to refer to leads as evidence in case the lawyers pick up on it and they all nod deferentially, struck me as something an advisor to the author had said, which he then thought he would mention to make him sound knowledgeable about police procedure. it didn't sound real- in real life detectives don't inform other policemen not to move things from the crime scene as "it might disturb trace evidence" the dialogue was just too stiff and unrealistic. Another example of the research interrupting the flow of the book was the cut and paste description of the Glasgow coma scale. Show, don't tell!!!
All this made this book an ok read. it had great potential as a plot and the characters were all there ready to be crafted into people who you could form a connection with, but the story telling just wasn't up to scratch. I can see why the author is a good screen writer, as in capable actor's hands the characters might come to life, but on the printed page they just didn't capture my attention. When you compare this to Mark Billingham's stuff, there really is no contest whatsoever.
Dead Tomorrow is the fifth book in the Roy Grace detective series, by Peter James.
Peter James has previously worked as a screen writer and a film producer in America and so is a very talented and experienced man. He now lives in the UK, and so far, his books have all been based around Brighton, which is where he was born.
Peter James is interested in criminology, science and the paranormal and this is reflected in his books - both the Roy Grace series and the other books that he has written which are not part of this series. Peter has written 20 books so far, and seems to be unstoppable!
Roy Grace begins his story in Dead Simple, progressing through three other books, Looking Good Dead, Not Dead Enough and Dead Man's Footsteps, before reaching the book I am reviewing, Dead Tomorrow.
The body of a teenager is discovered in the sea off the coast of Sussex and a post-mortem reveals hat the vital organs have been harvested, with surgical precision. On further investigation, another two bodies are discovered, all from a similar Eastern European descent and all with missing vital organs.
Caitlinn Beckett is an ill teenager, suffering from a serious liver disease, and only has weeks to live unless she is the recipient of a liver transplant. After it seems that the NHS will not be able to provide the desperately needed liver, Caitlinns mother, Lynne, decides to take matters in to her own hands, by illegally buying a liver.
DS Roy Grace, whilst searching for the killer of the bodies, uncovers a group of Eastern European child traffickers, who harvest their organs and sell these for a huge profit, to desperate people, all around the world.
The suspense heightens as Roy Grace attempts to stop a further life lost, whilst Lynne tries to save the life of her only child.
Peter James constructs his books well, by using each chapter with a viewpoint of a different character. This enables us to learn more about the characters of each book, as well as the long running characters, especially Roy Grace, his girlfriend, Cleo Morey, and his best friend, Glenn Branson.
In the first Roy Grace book, we were told of Sandy, Roy's wife, who had been missing for 7 years. Throughout the books, we have seen Roy deal with her disappearance, and trying to cope with this.
At the end of the fourth book, it seemed that Sandy was alive and I looked forward to Dead Tomorrow perhaps revealing a few more secrets about her disappearance. However, I was slightly disappointed that there was only a tiny section of the book dedicated to Sandy, and that I was left more in the dark than I was before!
The book is well written, with good language, without making the police and medical scenes too tricky to understand. He explains the hard to understand words well and makes the book an easy, but thrilling, read.
I like the aspect of Romania in this book, as previous books have been based in Brighton, apart from a brief trip to Germany in book 4.
If you like crime novels, I really suggest giving the Roy Grace series a go, they are brilliant reads and will keep you guessing throughout.
I am looking forward to reading the next Roy Grace novel, Dead Like You, which is released later this year!
When a boat's crew members find dead bodies in the sea off Brighton, they are initially not surprised - many people choose to be 'buried' in the sea rather than in the earth. However, these bodies are different, because they have clearly been operated upon before death. Closer investigation proves that they are without any of their vital organs. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is assigned to the case, but, not even knowing the identities of the dead people, he faces an uphill struggle. Meanwhile, in another part of Brighton, Lynn Beckett is distraught because her daughter, Caitlin, has severe liver disease, and, if a replacement liver cannot be found for her quickly, she is certain to die. Can Lynn find a solution outside of the NHS? If so, can Roy Grace stop her from doing anything illegal?
I read a lot of crime fiction, but these days I am rarely bowled over by fictional detectives. They always seem to be super cynical, hard-drinking womanisers and, although this may well prove to be the case in real life, it does become boring after a while. Roy Grace is one of the few detectives that has grown on me during the series. He is nothing out of the ordinary in himself, but he has an interesting history that has really drawn me in. His wife, Sandy, went missing several years before, never to be seen again. Roy is unsure whether she is dead or alive, and has found it hard to commit to another relationship in the past. However, he has finally met a woman he feels something for and wants to commit to. There are various hints that Sandy may suddenly come back into the story, and it really is proving compelling, for me at least, to wonder how Roy will react if she does.
The story is told from various characters' points of view. This has the advantage of giving a well-rounded flavour to the story, but it does mean that we don't really get to know anyone outside of Roy Grace all that well. We are, for example, introduced to Lynn Beckett and her battle to cure her daughter of liver disease - I would have liked a little more character development there. We are given some insight into her predicament, but it wasn't enough for me. While I don't think the book should have been any longer than it already is, a little less insight from other, less important, characters and more insight into those that have a greater role would have worked better for me.
Following on from this is the chapter length - because some of the less important characters are given a voice, the chapters tend to be very short, often just two or three pages. This is very much a feature of Peter James' work, and something that, in the past, I have really enjoyed. In this book, it began to annoy me a little. Just as I was given a piece of relevant information to savour, I would have to work my way through chapters, albeit short ones, about people that I didn't really care about. On the plus side, this did mean that I found it hard to put the book down, which I am sure is the purpose. I am just concerned that James is trying to fit in so many people's points of view that he is diluting the story - in this respect, it reminds me very much of Jodi Picoult's work.
The story is, as ever with Peter James, a good one. The concept of organ smuggling is not a new one - I have watched a number of films that are based around it - but nevertheless, I like the way that Peter James has dealt with it here, involving police officers from other countries. International crime is now more prevalent than ever because of high-tech methods of communication, and this shows that the author has done his research and is trying to update his work with the latest types of crime. Yet he manages to do all this without over-complicating his stories - he really seems to have a gift for good, old-fashioned story-telling. He just needs to be careful that he doesn't dilute his work by introducing too many points of view. In addition, there are some coincidences that, although essential to Roy's investigation, are a little too coincidental to be realistic.
I love Peter James' style of writing. It is straight to the point, yet it is not without descriptive passages - they are always entirely relevant to the story though. This, coupled with the subject matter, makes the book very readable. At over 500 pages, I found the idea of reading the book quite off-putting to begin with, but it only took me a few days of bedtime reading to get throught it. The fact that the chapters are short also helps, partly because many of the chapters finish half-way down the page, meaning that there is a lot less writing than you probably expect, partly because of the 'just another chapter before I turn out the light' syndrome.
I have to admit I am hooked on the Roy Grace series now. I really enjoy the stories that he writes, but more importantly than that, I am now dying to find out what happens to Roy and his girlfriend and wife. This ploy is a sure-fire way to attract readers to the series and is one that I think Peter James has been very wise to use. It's certainly worked on me anyway. This book is not without its flaws, but on the whole, it is very readable and highly entertaining. Recommended to any fans of crime fiction, male or female.
The book is available from play.com for £9.99 (for the hardback version - the paperback is not yet available). Published by Pan Macmillan, it has 500 pages. ISBN: 9780230706866
This review was first published on thebookbag.co.uk under my name.
I came across the Peter James 'Roy Grace' series of novels about two years ago. I hadn't read any of his previous standalone stories either, so had no opinions either way. I have become an avid reader of this series and also enjoy books of a similar style, ie Simon Kernick, Mark Billingham and Stephen Booth. If anyone can recommend any other UK based detective stories I would be very grateful. (Have done the Frost, Morse, Barnaby, Banks books already!!) No wonder I don't have time to write reviews I'm always reading!
There are five books in the series :-
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man's Footsteps
I can recommend any of the books as a thoroughly good detective story to read as a one off but I think it would probably be better to start at the beginning as there is a thread that runs through all of them.
The main character is Roy Grace, a detective based in Brighton - where the stories are set - and the team of officers working alongside him. There is also a lot of forensic detail which will please those CSI fans. Roy is a likeable character with a fascination for the paranormal.
A brief description of Dead Tomorrow :-
A teenager's body is recovered from the sea off the cost of Sussex, with vital organs excised. Two equally grim subsequent discoveries follow. At the same time, another teenager, Caitlin Beckett, lies in a Brighton hospital; she will die if she does not receive a liver transplant. The National Health Service cannot help, and Lynn, Caitlin's mother, turns in desperation to more unethical sources. DS Roy Grace, on the trail of the killers of the dead teenagers, finds himself on the trail of Eastern European child traffickers. Can Roy Grace prevent another child death - and how far will the distraught Lynn Beckett go to save the life of her daughter?
This story is pacy, complex and a real page turner. I couldn't put it down and completed it over a weekend. The chapters are fairly short, between four and five pages each which helps to maintain interest and pace. I enjoyed the different threads coming together towards the middle of the book with another angle of Roy's 'mystery' developing nicely. I do hope that the next novel will focus a little on his background and wrap up this aspect of his life so that he 'can move on'! The characters are well developed and certainly in this book I could really relate to the anguish of Caitlins mum and imagine how I would feel put in this situation. It also provoked some thoughts about the lives of those who live in Eastern Europe and the lengths that desperate people would go to, to improve their own lives by thinking that the UK really is the place to be!!
If I had one criticism it would be the sudden resolution to the problem towards the end of the story, it seemed to come out of the blue and left me thinking; 'well that was convenient!' However I still enjoyed the book and will wait patiently for next one.
I have looked on some websites and there seems to be some talk of these books being turned into a TV series, I look forward to those very much.