Dead Simple

Peter James, Author . Carroll & Graf $24 (404p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1641-8

British author James's far-fetched but terrifying thriller is the first of a new series featuring Det. Supt. Roy Grace. Michael Harrison, a successful real estate developer with a penchant for practical jokes, gets a horrible taste of his own medicine. As a prank, four of his friends bury Michael alive in a coffin equipped with a breathing tube and a bottle of whiskey and leave him, ostensibly for a couple of hours. But when their van crashes head-on into a truck and three of them are killed (the fourth dies later "in hospital"), Michael is trapped. His cell phone doesn't work, but he does have a two-way radio whose companion is in the hands of Davey, a mentally challenged young man who finds the phone near the scene of the accident. Grace, a detective with a taste for the supernatural (he uses mediums to help him solve crimes), gets on the case and discovers just how devious Michael's friends have been. The "buried alive" trope is undeniably powerful, and Grace shows promise as a hero—but the crime and the plot surrounding Michael's plight are just too cumbersome and transparent to really engage the reader. Agent, Carol Blake at Blake Friedman. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 457 pages - 978-0-330-54601-0
Hardcover - 3 pages - 978-1-4050-9002-5
Paperback - 472 pages - 978-84-96940-04-8
Ebook - 978-0-330-46273-0
Ebook - 546 pages - 978-0-330-46271-6
Hardcover - 369 pages - 978-1-4050-5163-7
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-7867-1849-8
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-250-06385-4
Open Ebook - 48 pages - 978-1-4299-5872-1
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-1-4472-6248-0
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