Peter James has done it again. I could not put this one down! Once again the storyline was riveting and so believable that I could not stop reading until I reached the end. The thing I like most about the Roy Grace books so far is how 'real' they feel. The characters, the world they live in, and the storylines are all so believable. I also think Peter James is a fantastic writer, his books have been a joy to read so far and considering the Grace books are usually over 600 pages long I would only finish books that long if the writing was good and the story even better! Is he sponsored by Coca-Cola however as all the character seem to drink it at one point or another!
This time the story is about organ brokers, and how you can find any organ for any blood type online - as long as you have to money to pay for it. Lynn's daughter Caitlin desperately needs a liver, but after being let down by the NHS she resorts to contacting a company found online that can provide any organ within a very short time limit. It just so happens that these organs don't come from people that died in accidents as the company say, but rather from teenagers from Bucharest who are lured to the UK with the promise of a job at the end of it only to instead be killed for their organs.
I have to say I had many conflicting emotions reading this book. You can't help but feel for Lynn and want her daughter to be saved. But as the readers we have the whole story, and know where the liver is coming from so at the same time as wanting her daughter to live, we also want the poor girl from Bucharest to live too. The story just felt so real and for me that makes the story so much more enjoyable and real, some crime novels border on the unrealistic and are very much a 'been there, done that' but this is now the fifth Grace book I have read and they all feel very unique to me. The research the author does for his work is second to none.
The only thing I would say is the story got a little bit silly towards the end. Caitlin was supposed to be that sick that she could barely move, but what she managed to do at the end of the book would surely not have been possible had this been the case. Still though, for the purpose of the story at least, the last part of the story did tug at the heartstrings. It also raised more questions between Cleo and Grace about how Grace will manage to separate work and his home life, and whether he would resort to black market organs for his own child.
Another point is I couldn't wait to read this book following the unbelievable cliffhanger in the last book however it wasn't even mentioned in this book. Instead we hear about another woman who looks like Sandy and is even called Sandy but Grace now appears to be moving on and has started the process to have her legally declared dead. I want this issue resolved but at the same time I don't because I feel it adds mystery and intrigue to the story. The next book alternates between the present day and a time when Roy was happy with Sandy, which should be good to read however I just want to know where the hell this woman is!
Overall another fantastic read. The size of these books may put some readers off but rest assured they are an absolute joy to read. Fantastic characterisation, believable, well researched stories and great dialogue. I should imagine most crime fiction fans will have been introduced to Roy Grace by now but for those that haven't, go and pick up Dead Simple and enjoy.