Name: Want You Dead
Author: Peter James
Number of Pages: 501 (Paperback)
Published: October 2014 by Pan Macmillan
Genre: Crime, Thriller
IF HE CAN’T HAVE HER, THEN NOBODY CAN… Virtual romance becomes a terrifying obsession in Want You Dead…
Single girl, 29, smouldering redhead, love life that’s crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and – who knows – maybe more?
When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.
Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red’s nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved – and then her too . . .
From No. 1 bestselling crime and thriller writer Peter James comes Want You Dead, the 10th book in his multi-million-copy selling crime series featuring the definitive Brighton detective, Roy Grace.
Want You Dead is the first Roy Grace book I’ve ever read (I’m not a big reader of this genre, but gave this one a go on the basis of a recommendation from a work colleague, who insisted I read it, because she’d enjoyed it so much).
I mention this first because while I did enjoy the book the team are already well-established and share a history. I picked up the threads easily enough but think I would have enjoying watching the gradual character development – especially with Roy Grace, Cleo and Grace’s missing wife Sandy – as the series went along. These subplots were equally as interesting as the main case; I found the upcoming nuptials with Cleo, and the possible presence of Sandy and her potential to cause trouble, along with the added threat of Bryce Laurent possibly turning up to be equally as enthralling as anything going on between Red and Bryce.
The case involves Red Westwood and her ex-turned-stalker Byrce Laurent. Laurent is a particularly nasty character, and his actions are fairly detailed which makes for some tense reading. He is very focussed and determined to cause as much upset for Red and her friends and family as he can. Some of his actions were quite frightening.
Occasionally during the police consultation scenes I felt a bit bombarded with many names of people who didn’t really go forward and add to the story as they weren’t main characters, they were room/scene fillers at certain points which was a bit distracting.
Want You Dead is a fast-paced read, with a number of short chapters and switching viewpoints which makes it compulsive reading. The action is almost constant and the stakes are high as Laurent makes his final play to ruin Red’s life. This is an intense story, and you’re really willing on the police to catch Laurent before he can do even more harm (and by the end he’s done a fair amount).
I really liked the ending. I won’t say more because I don’t want to give anything away but it was a very fitting conclusion.