Book number 8 finished 10 minutes before the release of Dead Man's Time, book number 9. And what a headfuck that ending was! I am in shock. The mystery of Sandy was intriguing in the first few books, by book 5 it was wearing thin, and then book 6 and 7 revealed more about where she might be and in this book, she actually made a regular appearance. And after all the mystery surrounding her disappearance we learn that she is actually, to be honest, a bitch! And that's she's turned into some psychopath who is jealous of Grace and Cleo having a baby! I really hope she is back in Dead Man's Time and that she makes herself known the Roy. If she doesn't make an appearance in Dead Man's Time I will be seriously annoyed!
Anyway, apart from that the book this time concerns Gaia (stupid name) who is a world famous singer turned actress who is coming to Brighton to make a film. Of course she has a few psychos after her and our local hero Roy Grace is the man chosen to head up her security while she is in Brighton. The story wasn't as gripping as previous Grace novels but I still enjoyed it. However the five star rating is for the Sandy stuff and for the development in the relationship between Grace and Cleo. Up until now I haven't really believed or liked their relationship, but a few things happened in this book that made me start to like it and I hope they can overcome their problems.
I didn't see the 'twist' in this book coming and I think that's probably because it was quite a silly twist. A middle-aged man is supposed to be able to successfully fool a room full of people into thinking he is one of the most lusted after women in the world? Please... But apart from that this was another fantastic read from Grace, and one that I had to power through to be ready for Dead Man's Time. I have read books 3-8 over the past week and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Grace and co. I haven't a clue what to read after finishing Dead Man's Time as I strongly believe that Peter James is one of the best writers in the UK right now, certainly of the police procedural of which I can't think of many authors better than him. His books also contain some fantastic characters, two of my favourites being Branson and Potting. I was worried at first that it was Branson who was hacking Grace's phone just because of one line that said Grace was in disbelief but no, it turned out to be Spinella hacking the phone. I'm glad that mystery has been solved.
One final note is that the repetition in these books annoys me, and the way that James uses slang language but then tells us what he means anyway. I think we all know what a monkey is when talking about money. And we don't need detailed descriptions of Sussex house or indeed the other police locations. Perhaps it's just because I've read most of these books in a short space of time as opposed to having a year between them but certain things being repeated just got on my nerves, however I appreciate not everybody reads books in order, despite it being easy in this day and age to instantly find out whether a book you might want to read is part of a series.