Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Christian Louboutin, Ferragamo, Balenciaga, Christian Lacroix;; do these names mean anything to you? For many in fashion they are the names of the most exquisite high end fashion shoes in the world. Expensive, oh, yes! These shoes are not for the faint hearted, 5 to 6 inch heels with straps and feathers and the best leather money can buy. These names and shoes play a large part in this novel, ‘Dead Like You’. These ladies shoes become the key piece of evidence and most promising lead into a series of rapes that take place around Brighton around the New Year.
Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is the man in charge and in the lead of this British series. A woman is attacked and raped in Brighton with one of her high-heeled, designer shoes. The attacker then leaves, taking the expensive shoes with him. When the rapist strikes again Roy Grace realizes that both attacks are almost identical to the Shoe Man case he worked on in 1997. Six women were attacked before the Shoe Man vanished, and his final victim was never found. Roy presumed that she was murdered, and it always bothered him that the case was never solved. The characters are well written, and we meet all possible Shoe Men candidates. All the clues are there, and although we might think we know who the rapist murderer is, there is an interesting twist at the end.
Roy Grace is a man who sees the broad picture and does not view the world in black and white. The careful writing of each character makes us feel very anxious for them and the suspense builds. With flashbacks to 1997 when Roy was a young Police Officer working the Shoe Man case we also meet him at a time when he is happily married to his now missing wife Sandy. His current partner, Cleo, is pregnant. Because Cleo and Roy want to get married, he can officially declare Sandy as dead. There is a real mystery here, and I assume there will be more to come in the next book. The police procedures are precise and carefully written. I was particularly impressed with the amount of research on rape that was imparted in this book. Excellent information that should be shared. The sense of horror he creates in his victims brings to life the horrific fear that each feels.
Peter James has developed a British crime series that is so fast paced and so well written that I will recommend it to my friends. It is rich and satisfying and full of suspense with twists that abound. He uses the new social media, Twitter and Facebook, to trace the day to day lives of the characters, and we feel the mystery that surrounds. Highly Recommended.
Dead Like You; James, Peter; Picador; Rs. 299