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Love You Dead    by Peter James order for
Love You Dead
by Peter James
Order:  USA  Can
Pan Macmillan, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Love You Dead follows You are Dead as the twelfth in Peter James' excellent police procedural series, set in Brighton, England and starring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. At this stage in the series, he is happily married to mortician Cleo. They have a baby son, Noah, and have just moved into a cottage in the country.

Roy's wife Sandy disappeared over nine years before and was declared dead, but has recently shown up in Germany after a serious car accident left her in a coma. A German colleague informed Roy but he has not told Cleo, worried about how it will affect their life together. On top of this nagging anxiety, Dr. Edward Crisp, the serial killer who shot him in his previous case, escaped and now has been captured in Lyon, France. Extradition proceedings are launched.

The villain-ess of the piece is venomous black widow Jodie Bentley. Constantly compared unfavorably to her elder sister as a child, Jodie has had her revenge, and plastic surgery has made her beautiful. We watch her knock off a husband in a French ski resort, and a lover in New York. But she doesn't garner as much wealth as she had hoped. In fact, what she takes after the second death sets a mob assassin on her trail, not part of her plan at all.

When a rather inept thief breaks into Jodie's Brighton home, his subsequent fate gives Roy the clue he needs to eventually break the case. Along the way, assassin, black widow and her victims dance around each other, leaving us to wonder who, if any, will survive. Love You Dead is another great mystery read from Peter James who never lets fans down.

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