Book Review: Left You Dead by Peter James (Roy Grace #17)

Published in Australia on the 27th April, 2021 by Macmillan, an imprint of Pan Macmillan.

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ISBN: 9781529004250

Australian RRP: $32.99

Genre: Thriller/Mystery, Crime/Suspense

Page Count: 482

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sypnosis from Pan Macmillan Australia

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace investigates the case of a missing woman in Brighton in the seventeenth novel in Peter James’s bestselling series.

Is this Roy Grace’s most challenging case yet? A mystery that is leaving him totally confounded for the first time in his career.

Most Sundays, Niall and Eden Paternoster like to go for a drive and visit country houses. She likes to look at them, he likes to dream that one day . . .

However, most weeks they also end up bickering about something or other. This particular Sunday he wants to get back to catch the start of the French Grand Prix but she insists they stop somewhere to buy cat litter. Reluctantly, he pulls into the car park of a large supermarket and waits while she dashes in.

He waits. And waits. But Eden doesn’t come back out, she’s gone. When he gets home she’s not there either, and none of their friends or family have heard from her.

A few days later Niall is arrested on suspicion of her murder despite vigorously protesting his innocence. But as Roy Grace is called in to investigate the disappearance of Eden Paternoster, it soon transpires that nothing is as it seems . . .

My Review:

I received a copy of Left You Dead from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Perhaps I could start by simply saying that I haven’t read any of the previous instalments in this series, as I understand, each instalment is their own stand alone crime/whodunnit though there were some light mentions to past cases/mysteries, all tied together by the one and only, Roy Grace himself.

It’s strange though, because I know there’s an audience of people who would protest reading a Thriller/Mystery series out of order (and fair enough), but about 3/4 of the way through of Left You Dead, it occured to me that I was actually quite happy to have started this series at book 17! Why, though, you ask? I mean, I know I don’t really have anything to go on, not having read the previous 16 books (yet! But they’re definitely on my TBR after finishing this one), but I just feel like there was such an emotional vunerability to Grace (though I do know he’s previously gone through some horrible tragedies, though perhaps not as brutal as what he was hit with in Left You Dead!). I just couldn’t help but feel absolutely devastated for him throughout, yet I admired his steely reserve when it came to his work, even with what was going on in his personal life!

Truly though, I almost feel like it was the aspect of Roy Grace’s personal life that kept me eagerly invested in the story, though it is more than worth mentioning that the mystery itself, of what happened to Eden Paternoster, was absolutely befuddling! I mean this in the best way though, because it was just so bizzare! Made all the more compelling by multiple points of view, from Roy Grace, to Eden’s seemingly concerned husband, Niall, who for the life of him, can’t quite figure out what’s happened to his wife!

What particularly struck me as clever and making for all the more of a puzzler, is that we are instantly pivoted into Niall’s perspective, so we see things as he’s seeing them, it all beginning when Eden promises to be swift and quick when popping into a grocery store, to get kitty litter…

The chapters themselves are really quite short, some of them even being a page, or two only! Some are longer, though, but it all definitely kept the pacing and the momentum flowing rapidly, definitely keeping the pages turning! Whether you’ve read any of the Roy Grace books or not, I definitely recommend that you pick up Left You Dead! It’s definitely one I’ll be reflecting upon!

Happy Reading,


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