A man waits at London Airport for Ingrid Ostermann, the love of his life, to arrive. Across the Atlantic, a retired NYPD cop waits in a bar in Florida’s Key West for his first date with the lady who is, without question, his soulmate. The two men are about to discover they’ve been scammed out of almost every penny they have—and that neither woman exists. Meanwhile, a wealthy divorcee plunges, in suspicious circumstances, from an apartment block in Munich. In the same week, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton, that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He’d discovered his identity is being used to scam 11 different women, online. Roy Grace realises he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.
You know it’s always the start of summer when a new Roy Grace novel is released. For lovers of crime fiction it’s one of those fixed dates in the calendar, like Easter and Christmas. Peter James is one of the biggest name in UK police procedural novels, and this book re-enforces the strength of Peter as a writer. The first book I ever read in the series was about someone being buried alive in a coffin, it scared me half to death. I used to wake up in the middle of the night sweating at the dreams it inspired. It was a long time before I picked up another of the series, but either Peter has played down the terror or I’m getting immune to it.
The author’s books are well crafted and this is no exception. Peter seems to pick up on current crime trends and makes mesmerising stories out of them. This deals with cat-fishing. People praying on those in society who are after love, it’s everyone’s nightmare. Giving away vast amounts of money to people they don’t know, often their life savings. This book is finally tuned into the current climate, showing the tactics that the police use to combat internet fraud.
This is up there with the best Roy Grace novels. It weaves a story that is believable building tension nicely. There’s flashes of violence that made me pale, good writing 😉 Introducing new characters along with returning criminals keeps it spiced up. I love the Brighton settings, even though this reader is from Yorkshire. I felt that the last couple of Grace novels were a little flat, but this one really pumped it back up there.
Looking forward to next years release.