Peter James and an Excerpt from Dead Man’s Time

by Rachel Baker on October 29, 2013

Let me introduce you to Peter James, the international bestselling author of the Roy Grace detective series which has been translated into 36 languages. In order to conduct research for his novels, Peter often rides with the Sussex Police Department and has unprecedented access to their work. In 2008, he even donated a car to the police force!

Peter is also an established producer and scriptwriter whose work includes The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. Throughout his career, Peter has received numerous honorary posts and awards, including Co-Patron of Sussex Crimestoppers, Vice President of International Thriller Writers, Sussex Police Outstanding Public Service Award 2012, and ITV Crime Thriller Author of the Year 2008. In 2009, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Brighton.

Three Peter James novels released this fall including – Not Dead Yet and Dead Man’s Time, the 8th and 9th novels in the award-winning Detective Superintendent Roy Grace crime series, and Perfect People, a thriller about the consequences of creating a “designer baby.” Please see more information below:

Not Dead Yet (October 8, Minotaur Books, PB) the 8th novel in the Roy Grace crime series, follows Gaia, a Hollywood star leaving her home to shoot a movie on location in Brighton, England. Days before she is about to leave, an attempt is made on her life by an obsessed stalker. As the stalker is at large in Brighton, Roy Grace and his team find themselves in a desperate race against time to save Gaia’s life from a maniac who will stop at nothing to kill her.

In Dead Man’s Time (October 15, Minotaur Books, HC), the 9th novel in the Roy Grace series, Superintendent Detective Roy Grace finds himself up against the most dangerous adversary yet. The story begins in 1920s New York when a five year old boy and his sister are boarding a ship to Dublin after their mother was shot and their father abducted. The boy is suddenly handed a cryptic message that will haunt him all his life and his father’s pocket watch when he vows that he will return to find his father. Almost 90 years later, Detective Grace investigates a burglary in Brighton where £10m of antiques and a rare vintage watch has been taken and soon finds himself in a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the crime fraternity of Spain’s Marbella, and New York.

Perfect People (September 1, Minotaur Books, E-Book) is a scientific thriller that follows a young couple as learn they both carry a gene that is likely to give their children a rare genetic disease. After the death of their four year old son from this rare genetic disorder, they visit a clinic that will allow them to choose all the genes of their child for $400,000. After the press in LA finds out what they have done, the couple is hunted by religious fanatics. They decide to flee to Sussex, England where they end up having twins. The children are born with abilities beyond their parents’ dreams, which could make them a new breed of humanity.

Without Further Ado: Here’s an Excerpt of:

Dead Man’s Time

Peter James
Minotaur Books

Brooklyn, February 1922

The boy’s father kissed him goodnight for the last time – although neither of them knew that. The boy never went to sleep until he had had that kiss. Every night, late, long after he had gone to bed, he would lie waiting in the darkness, until he heard the door of his room open, and saw the light flood in from the landing. Then the shadowy figure and the sound of his father’s heavy footsteps across the bare boards.

‘Hey, little guy, you still awake?’ he would say in his low, booming voice.

‘Yep, big guy, I am! Can I see your watch?’ His father would take out the watch from his pocket, and hold it up by the chain. It was shiny, with a big, round face, and there was a winder on the top with a hoop the chain was attached to. In the top half of the face was a section that showed the phases of the
moon. The sky behind the moon was dark blue and the stars were
gold. Sometimes the moon was barely visible, just peeping out.
Other times it was whole, an ochre disc.

Every night the boy would ask his father to tell him a story
about the Man in the Moon. His father always did. Then he would
tousle his hair, kiss him on the forehead and ask, ‘You said your prayers?’

The boy would nod.

‘You go to sleep now.’

Then his father would clump back out of the room and close
the door. That’s how it was the very last time

Four men lurched their way up the street towards the house of the man they had come to kill. Three of them were unsteady because they’d drunk too much; the fourth because he had drunk too much and had a wooden leg.

They had been boozing to steady their nerves, to get some
Dutch courage, they had reassured each other a while earlier, over clinking glasses and slopping beer and whiskey chasers, in the packed Vinegar Hill bar. The one with a wooden leg wasn’t convinced they were doing the right thing, but he went along with his mates, because that’s what you did when you were part of a gang.

You either went along with them or they killed you too.

It was a few minutes to midnight and the street was dark and
deserted, steady rain glossing the cobblestones. Each of them had a handgun, and two of them carried baseball bats as well, concealed inside their coats. It was a cold night. Cold enough for Hell to freeze over. They all wore fingerless mittens.
‘This is it,’ their leader said, peering at the number on the front door of the row house. Vapour trailed from his mouth and nostrils like smoke.

Number 21, it read.

‘Are we sure this is it?’

‘This is it.’

‘Where’s Johnny?’

‘He’ll be here; he’s just up the road now.’

Even in the darkness, the house looked shabby, like all its
neighbours in this Brooklyn waterfront district. There was a curtained window to the right of the door, with no light on behind it.

They tugged their balaclavas out of their pockets, and wrestled
them down over their damp heads. Their leader raised his baseball bat in his hand, and stepped forward.

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