cover image Dead if You Don’t

Dead if You Don’t

Peter James. Pan Macmillan, $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5098-1635-4

Early in James’s pedestrian 14th procedural featuring Sussex Det. Supt. Roy Grace (after 2017’s Need You Dead), Grace and his 10-year-old son, Bruno, join the crowd in the city of Brighton and Hove’s Amex Stadium for the home team’s first game in the Premier League. Grace doesn’t know that the stadium’s head of security, Adrian Morris, has been warned that a bomb will go off during the match if an anonymous caller’s demands aren’t met, or that Morris has refused to meet them. Fortunately, the bomb, concealed in a camera that evaded security checks, is abandoned a few rows ahead of Grace, who identifies the suspicious object before it can explode. The bomb scare coincides with the abduction of 14-year-old Mungo Brown and ransom demands made of the boy’s shady mortgage broker father, leading Grace and his team to wonder about a link between the two crimes. Most readers will anticipate how everything plays out, and James undercuts his otherwise realistic portrait of police work with a Bond villain—complete with a crocodile pit. (July)