Book report: Peter James ‘Dead Simple’
Peter James (1948) is a British author who belongs to the list of best-selling thriller authors. His work has now been translated into 36 languages. He is, among other things, the author of the series in which Roy Grace plays the leading role with, among other things: ‘On a dead end’, ‘Death knell’ and ‘Death before eyes’. He has also written separate stories. In ‘Doodsimpel’, the first part of the Roy Grace series, a man is buried alive for a few hours by his friends as a joke, but the plan fails.
- Main characters
- Symbols and motifs
- Time and perspective
- Title: Dead simple
- Original title: Dead simple
- Author: Peter James
- First print: 2005
After playing some silly pranks on his friends, they take sweet revenge on Michael. On his stag night they got him drunk and left him in a coffin for several hours. At least that’s the plan. But the friends die and leave Michael alone in his coffin. Ashley’s fiancé Michael gets the help of Roy Grace in her search for Michael. What both don’t know is that Mark, the business associate and friend, knows about the place where Michael is buried. But it suits him well that Michael is not found. Ultimately, Mark believes the success of their business is due to him and certainly not to Michael. So reason enough not to participate in that quest!
He is a handsome man at twenty-eight and the leader of the group and the eternal joker. Jokes that were not always well received.
She’s Michael’s fiancé. “Everything about her was chic, the wave in her long brown hair, the way she walked, the confidence with which she talked, her classic beauty (… °. There was something very special about her. Something very unique.” (page 40)
Michael’s business partner is a shady figure, who thinks he is the man to do business.
He’s the Chief Inspector, who has to solve Michael’s disappearance. He cares about a healthy lifestyle and suffers from the disappearance of his girlfriend Sandy on his 30th birthday.
He is Roy Grace’s best friend and colleague.
The story consists of ninety chapters. The book jumps from the events between the main characters.
Nothing in life is ever what it seems when you are making plans.
Symbols and motifs
- Fear: Michael suffers from claustrophobia and being stuck in a coffin and not knowing when he will be released from it makes him very frightened. “The lid seemed to press on his face again, and he began to panic again, gasping for air and swallowing it eagerly.” (p. 38)
- Jealousy: There is a rivalry between Mark and Michael. Mark doesn’t like the fact that Michael is a true leader. He is also convinced that he could do better.
Time and perspective
The story takes place in the present and is written in third person.
The story immediately grabs you from the start. You know who is right and wrong. But that does not mean that it is not an exciting or predictable book, on the contrary. You want to know who will benefit most from Michael’s disappearance now. Who has the most hidden agenda? In any case, you’ll want to read on to get the answers! Roy Grace is a character you sympathize with. He is very professional even though his private life is a big mess. The combination with his friend Glenn forms a beautiful symbiosis. In any case, this book motivates you to read other books by this duo.