You Are Dead by Peter James…Book Spotlight and author Q&A



You Are Dead is the eleventh thrilling crime novel in Peter James’s Roy Grace series.

The last words Jamie Ball hears from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, are in a terrified cell phone call. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the block of apartments where they live in Brighton. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and cell phone.

That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties…who has been dead for thirty years.

At first these two events seem totally unconnected to Roy Grace and his team. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing—and yet another body from the past surfaces. Meanwhile, an eminent London psychiatrist meets with a man who claims to know information about Logan. And Roy Grace has the chilling realization that this information holds the key to both the past and present crimes. Does Brighton have its first serial killer in over eighty years?

Author Q&A:

1    Tell us about YOU ARE DEAD–the eleventh novel in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series. Does it pick up exactly where WANT YOU DEAD left off?

Sure! You Are Dead is my 11th Roy Grace novel. A young Brighton woman arriving home from work phones her boyfriend, to tell him she has just driven into their underground car park and can see a man acting strangely. Her boyfriend tells her to drive straight back out but before he finishes speaking she screams and the phone goes dead. He calls the police and rushes home himself – and she has vanished.

That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties, who has been dead for thirty years. At first, to Roy Grace and his team, these two events seem totally unconnected. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing – and yet another body from the past surfaces. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace has the chilling realization that there is a connection between the past and the present. Does Brighton have its first serial killer in over eighty years? A monster who has resurfaced after lying low for three decades?


  1. You once wrote that you published your first story at 16. What has changed about your writing process between now and then?

I’ve had vastly more experience in life since then. And I think that I probably have a slightly better handle and understanding of the human condition.


  1. Is there anything you wish you could say to your 16 year-old writing self?

Have belief in yourself. I think success requires a number of elements – an element of ability, an element of self-belief, an element of perseverance and, always, luck.


  1. For fans just starting out in the series, would you suggest they start at the beginning or can they pick up with “You Are Dead”?

Every Roy Grace novel is a standalone, and they can be read in any order, although going through from the beginning of the series readers will get more out of the running threads.


  1. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?

I actually believe it is a myth, and it is used as an excuse!  I think it comes out of not having properly worked out an idea, and becomes a self-indulgent excuse.  “Oh my dears, I have writer’s block….”.  Writers are writers and in my view can always write, if they want to.  I’ve come to a dead end sometimes during the course of writing a story, but when I’ve analysed the problem, I realised that I hadn’t thought it through.  A thirty minute walk around the block or across fields with the dogs will normally do the trick!


Book Links:

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About the Author
Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace thriller series. Before writing full time, James lived in the U.S. for a number of years, producing films including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. A TV adaptation of the Roy Grace series is currently in development, with James overseeing all aspects, including scriptwriting.

James’s novella ‘The Perfect Murder’, started its world stage premiere in 2014, and his first Roy Grace novel Dead Simple has now been adapted for stage, and will tour the UK in 2015. In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, James’s novel Host was published on two floppy discs and is now in the Science Museum as the world’s first electronic novel.

Famed for his in-depth research, in 2009 James was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, and in 2013 he was awarded an Outstanding Public Service Award by Sussex Police with whom he rides along regularly. He has also been out many times with the NYPD and the LAPD in the US and with many other police forces around the world, as well as doing extensive research with offenders in prisons and psychiatric institutions. He has served as two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a board member of the US International Thriller Writers.

He has won numerous literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger in 2011 and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Perfect People in 2012. James’s novels have been translated into thirty-six languages and three have been turned into films.

All of his novels reflect a deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in–depth research and has unprecedented access, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. A speed junkie, who in his teens was selected to train for the British Olympic Ski Team, he holds an international motor racing license and switches off from work by racing his classic 1965 BMW. James divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and near Brighton in Sussex.

Visit Peter James’s Website: http://www.peterjames.com
Visit Peter James on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace
Visit Peter James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/peterjamesuk

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