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Need You Dead    by Peter James order for
Need You Dead
by Peter James
Order:  USA  Can
Pan Macmillan, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is back in action in the thirteenth in Peter James' stellar police procedural series, Need You Dead. This time, a woman's corpse is found in the bathtub of a Brighton apartment where she regularly met a lover. And the DS and the reader follow all kinds of red herrings before that lover is identified.

Married to an abuser, Lorna Belling fell hard for a married man who promised to give her a better life. But when she accidentally learned that he had lied to her, confronted him with it, and threatened him with exposure, violence ensued. The author shares what goes through the mind of her lover then and later, answering the question on the book's cover, 'What makes a killer?'

Of course, Roy Grace has other matters on his mind when this new case comes up. There's the impending trial of serial killer Dr. Edward Crisp, and the death of his ex-wife Sandy in Munich has left him with the responsibility for a ten-year-old son, Bruno of whose existence he was unaware until very recently. Roy and Cleo have decided that Bruno should come to live with them and their baby son, Noah, but expect many adjustments will be needed.

Who might the killer be? In addition to the abusive husband and the lover, there's a very angry man, Seymour Darling, who fell for online fraud and blames Lorna Belling, who is totally innocent in the matter. Darling had been stalking and threatening her. Roy enlists a respected colleague, DI Guy Batchelor, to help with the heavy workload, and they investigate each suspect. But the real killer is skilled at misdirection and ready to strike again if needed.

As expected in a James' mystery, the plot twists and turns many times before closing in on the solution - and it's an unexpected one. At the same time, the author lays the ground for surprises to come with respect to his new son and also his sleazy superior, Cassian Pewe. Can't wait!

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