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Sunday, 5 April 2009
Dead Man's Footsteps
by Peter James
Dead Man's Footsteps is the fourth in a series of crime novels featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. It's his best so far, though there is a fifth one, Dead Tomorrow, planned for release in June 2009. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping read. The pace was spot-on: not so fast that the plot gets confused, a problem with some lesser thrillers, but enough to keep you hooked the entire way through the story.
I can highly recommend this book, and indeed the whole series. Anyone who likes crime thrillers will be in for a treat. If this is not your usual choice of genre, then I would still encourage you to read Dead Man's Footsteps, as it's quite simply a great story and well told.
The settings; Brighton, New York and Melbourne; are very well described, though the Australian scenes are more broadly painted. The characters are all engaging, even the minor ones seem real. Admittedly I was already familiar with the main character and his immediate colleagues, having read the first three books.
It's a multi-stranded plot, covering three continents and the time line spans from the events of "9/11" in 2001 until 2007. This adds richness, not complexity, and each of the story threads is a page-turner in its own right. The strands are eventually related by Grace and his team, as they slowly but surely get to the bottom of the mystery and the crimes. The ending is far from predictable and, for followers of Grace's story, has a twist at the end. Or does it? It's implied but not spelled out, so I'm just going to have to read the next instalment this Summer.
Reviewed by Captain Black