Newest Review: ... 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 t... more
Deadly terrible research notes shoe horned into the plot
Dead Tomorrow - Peter James
Member Name: etherealD
Dead Tomorrow - Peter James
Advantages: The dilemma was an interesting one
Disadvantages: The characters just weren't true to life, very wooden and uninteresting
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.
Summary: Could make a good afternoon murder mystery movie.