Authors: Peter James
‘A well-paced thriller that delivers maximum emotional torture’
‘Grippingly intriguing from start to finish’
‘Too many horror stories go over the top into fantasy land, but
is set in the recognisable world . . . I guarantee you more than a frisson of fear’
‘A thought-provoking menacer that’s completely technological and genuinely frightening about the power of future communications’
‘This compulsive story is a tale of the search for immortality . . . I cannot remember when I last read a novel I enjoyed so much’
‘Gripping . . . plotting is ingenious . . . in its evocation of how a glossy cocoon of worldly success can be unravelled by one bad decision it reminds me of Tom Wolfe’s
Bonfire of the Vanities
‘Peter James, Britain’s closest equivalent to Stephen King’
‘The suspense holds on every page, right to the end’
Peter James was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screenwriter and film producer before returning to England. His novels, including the number one bestseller
, have been translated into thirty languages and three have been filmed. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research, as well as science, medicine and the paranormal. He has produced numerous films, including
The Merchant of Venice
, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created the hit Channel 4 series
, which was nominated for a Rose d’Or. He is currently, as co-producer, developing his Roy Grace novels for television with ITV Productions. Peter James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year award in Germany, and
won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix Coeur Noir award in France.
Looking Good Dead
was shortlisted for the 2007 Richard & Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, France’s SNCF and Le Grand Prix de Littérature award.
Not Dead Enough
was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Thriller of the Year award and the ITV3 Crime Thriller of the Year award. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex. Visit his website at
‘A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.’
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the support and enthusiasm of some truly wonderful people in my research for this novel. The input of Dr David Veale, Dr Celia Taylor, Detective Chief Inspector David Gaylor and Detective Constable Mick Harris in particular, who were so much more generous with their time and their thoughts and their creative ideas than I had any right to expect, helped to shape and underpin the whole novel.
The friendliness and enthusiasm with which the Sussex Police helped me was quite overwhelming. Without being able to name every single one of the many officers I spent time with in Brighton, Hove, Haywards Heath, Crawley and Hampstead police stations and out on patrol, I owe a huge debt of thanks to the Chief Constable, Paul White-house, QPM, who made it possible for me. I also owe very special thanks to Chief Superintendent Mike Lewis, Detective Chief Inspector George A Smith, WPC Ren Harris, PC Nick Dimmer, PC Glen Douglas, PC Nick Bokor-Ingram of Brighton Police. Chief Superintendent David K Ashley, Sergeant Phil Herring, DS Bill Warner and Tony Howard, of Hove Police. Acting Inspector Ian Jeffrey, PC Brian Seamons and PC Gary Pearson of the Haywards Heath Traffic Division. Ross Parsons of the Sussex Ambulance Service. And to the staff of the National Missing Persons Helpline.
Very deep thanks also to Dr Dennis Friedman, Roy Shuttleworth, Julie Carlstrom MFCC, Dr M Anton, Richard Blacklock, Elizabeth Veale, Dr Nigel Kirkham, Veronica Hamilton Deeley – Coroner for Brighton and Hove – Nigel McMillan, Indra Sinha, Spink & Son Ltd, Chris Wellings of Graves, Son & Pilcher, Lyall Watson, from whose marvellous book
I gleaned the information on the bower-bird,
and Dr Roderick Main for his knowledge of Carl Jung and his excellent book
Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal
As ever, deep thanks also to my indispensable unofficial editor Sue Ansell, to Patricia Preece and to my UK agent Jon Thurley for his immense contribution and patience. And, of course, thanks to my wife Georgina, and to my hairy friend Bertie who after five years has at last learned not to chew floppy disks that fall on the floor . . .
Peter James, Sussex, England, 1998
In the aloof, detached house in Holland Park, which, like its equally smart neighbours, rose four storeys high and was fronted by a gravel drive and iron railings, Thomas Lamark brought breakfast up to his mother, as he did every morning, on the absolute dot – the nanosecond – of ten thirty.
Standing six foot six inches tall, with sleek good looks and a charmer’s smile, Thomas was an alluring man of thirty-seven. Attired in a Liberty silk dressing gown, leather slippers from Gucci, a gold Rolex wristwatch, and Givenchy cologne, he wore nothing under the dressing gown; his mother liked to know that he was naked beneath that fine silk.
On the silver tray was an exquisite Herend teapot containing Fortnum and Mason Breakfast Tea, and a matching bone china cup and saucer. Alongside them lay a copy of
, and a single white rose he had just picked from the garden and which was still moist from the dew – she always loved his little surprises and this morning Thomas was in the mood for a reward. He hoped she would be too.
He stopped outside her bedroom. All the interior doors of the house were stately, with panelling and beading, satin white paintwork and crystal handles; but this door on the second floor, standing plumb centre across the landing from the carved staircase, with a bronze bust of his mother’s head on a pedestal outside, seemed somehow more imperious than the rest. Even after all these years it continued both to awe him and attract him.