I’ve finished book three of the TOPCWFC (I’m determined to start a trend!) and I was not disappointed. Dead like you by Peter James is set in Brighton and is based around a serial rapist known as the Shoe Man. Detective Roy Grace failed to solve a series of rapes back in 1997 by a man who had a fetish for high heeled designer shoes, a woman went missing and then the perpetrator seemingly disappeared. Back in the present day and women are again being raped and Grace believes it may be a copycat, or indeed the original ‘Shoe Man’ returned.
The story was well paced and it easily slips back and forth between the past and present day. There are two main suspects and throughout the book the evidence is all pointing to a taxi driver called Yac who lives on a houseboat and collects toilet chains (more interesting than stamps I suppose) The other suspect is a boss of a security firm that specialises in cctv and who seems to do very little other than go for Chinese meals.
I found the book to be a really easy read and it contained just enough of the background story of the main characters to make it interesting without actually taking over from the main event. Once the killer has been revealed it does become very obvious who it was and looking back I feel that actually it should have been simple to figure out what happened but that can be the sign of a good story, all the clues were there but they were easily missed.
However in a rather unusual twist there are actually two perpetrators and only one is punished. I felt this made the ending of the book a bit uncomfortable, the bumbling idiot turns violent criminal and actually gets away with it but then sometimes books should make a person uncomfortable and question what has been written.
Both the old story and the new one are cleverly intertwined in the end, and all the elements seem to slot into place. Some bits were a little predictable, for example the criminal was abused by his mother with her high heels, but I don’t feel that any of it detracted from the twists and turns of the story. This was the 6th in the series of Roy Grace novels and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for his others.
The book, like the rest of the series, was set in Brighton and many of the crimes take place in high profile hotels, and local landmarks. Having recently had a couple of very nice weekends in Brighton I can recommend it as a fantastic place to visit and certainly not a hot bed of crime. However I would now think twice before wandering the lanes and purchasing a new pair of designer shoes!