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Book Author: Peter James

WANT YOU DEAD by Peter James: Book Review

Detective Inspector Roy Grace is getting married in ten days.  He’s hoping that his caseload will remain quiet until then and for a few days afterwards, when he and Cleo are scheduled to head to Venice for their honeymoon.  Everything looks good until he gets a phone call telling him that a burned corpse has been found on the grounds of the Haywards Heath Golf Club.

The body is that of Karl Murphy, a local physician.  At first it looks like an open-and-shut case of suicide, Karl having left a clear, concise note on the seat of his nearby car.  The note says that his life has lost its meaning since the death of his wife two years earlier and that he hopes his two young sons will someday be able to understand his action.  Roy Grace is finding it difficult to believe that a doctor would kill himself in this horrific way, with pills so easily available to him, but there doesn’t seem to be any other explanation.

At the same time that Karl’s body is being examined by the police, Red Cameron is in her apartment, waiting for him to appear for their dinner date.  At first she’s annoyed by his lateness, then she begins to worry–in the several months they’ve been dating, Karl has never disappointed her.  Phone calls and texts to him go unanswered; when she finally goes to bed, annoyance has reasserted itself, and she’s beginning to have second thoughts about their future together.

Before meeting Karl, Red was in a relationship with Bryce Laurent.  At first, Bryce had been wonderful to her.  Kind, warm, very generous with gifts, he made her feel really special.  But after a few months, a darker side to his personality came through.

As her parents and friends had told her shortly after the two met, he was controlling and violent, traits Red refused to acknowledge at the time.  By the time Bryce turned to physical and sexual violence in order, as he told her, to prove his love and convince her that they truly belonged together, Red finally admitted to herself that he was a dangerous man.

Despite a restraining order that she got against Bryce, Red is always looking over her shoulder.  And with good reason, because the reader finds out almost at once that the murder of Karl Murphy is only the first step in Bryce’s plan to revenge himself on the woman who left him.

Want You Dead is a thriller up to and including the last page.  Told from several vantage points, it allows us into the minds of the police detective, the psychopathic killer, and the fearful yet resourceful woman who is determined to correct the mistakes she’s made and now live life on her own terms.

You can read more about Peter James at this web site.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her web site.