Peter James was born on 22 August 1948 in Brighton, Sussex and was educated at Charterhouse, then Ravensbourne Film School. His mother Cornelia was a Jewish refugee who came to England in 1938 and was glovemaker to the Queen, running the business with father who was a chartered accountant.
In 1994, in addition to conventional print publishing, Penguin published James’s novel, Host, on two floppy discs, billing it as “the world’s first electronic novel.” It caused huge controversy and James was pilloried on the Radio 4 Today Programme for attempting to destroy the novel. He spent several years in North America, working as a screen writer and film producer. James is a regular after-dinner speaker and he is also a self-confessed “petrol head”, having owned many fast cars over the years, including an Aston Martin Vanquish, AMG and Brabus Mercedes, a Bentley Speed and two classic E-Type Jaguars. He holds an international racing licence, and when not writing, he competes in the Britcar series in a former British Touring Car Seat Toledo.
Peter James has written 25 books, the most recent of which feature Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, all with the word ‘Dead’ in the title.
Dead Man’s Footsteps – 2008
“Abby stepped in the lift and the doors closed with a sound like a shovel smoothing gravel. She breathed in the smell of someone else’s perfume, and lemon-scented cleaning fluid. The lift jerked upwards a few inches. And now, too late to change her mind and get out, with the metal walls pressing in around her, they lunged sharply downwards. Abby was about to realize she had just made the worst mistake of her life …”
Amid the tragic unfolding mayhem of the morning of 911, failed Brighton never-do-well Ronnie Wilson sees the chance of a lifetime, to disappear and reinvent himself in another country. Five years later the discovery of the skeletal remains of a woman’s body in a storm drain in Brighton, leads Detective Superintendent Roy Grace on an enquiry spanning the globe, and into a desperate race against time to save the life of a woman being hunted down like an animal in the streets and alleys of Brighton.
Dead Like You – 2010
“Don’t imagine for one moment that I’m not watching you … “
After a heady New Year’s Eve ball, a woman is brutally raped as she returns to her room. A week later, another woman is attacked. Both victims’ shoes are taken by the offender. Detective Superintendent Roy Grace soon realises that these new cases bear remarkable similarities to an unsolved series of crimes in the city back in 1997. The perpetrator had been dubbed ‘Shoe Man’ and was believed to have raped five women before murdering his sixth victim and vanishing. Could this be a copycat, or has Shoe Man resurfaced?
When more women are assaulted, Grace becomes increasingly certain that they are dealing with the same man and that by delving back into the past – a time in which we see Grace and his missing wife Sandy still apparently happy together – he may find the key to unlocking the current mystery. Soon Grace and his team will find themselves in a desperate race against the clock to identify and save the life of the new sixth victim.
Not Dead Yet – 2012
“Deadly obsession is only the beginning… “
For LA producer Larry Brooker, this is the movie that could bring the fortune that has so long eluded him. For rock superstar, Gaia, desperate to be taken seriously as an actor, this is the role that could get her an Oscar nomination. For the City of Brighton and Hove, the publicity value of a major Hollywood movie being filmed on location, about the city’s greatest love story – between King George IV and Maria Fitzherbert – is incalculable. For Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of Sussex CID, it is a nightmare unfolding in front of his eyes. An obsessed stalker is after Gaia. One attempt on her life is made days before she leaves her Bel Air home to fly to Brighton. Now, he has been warned, the stalker may be at large in his city, waiting, watching, planning.