BOOK CLUB: Stop Them Dead

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“Stop Them Dead” is the latest novel in the long-running Roy Grace series by Peter James. Offering very much the same as the earlier novels, this will please fans of the series. It’s also very accessible to new readers.

The book presents a solid crime story. Although the broad form of the novel offers no surprises, there’s an interesting angle on the crimes being investigated, and the wealth of investigative detail will absorb crime fans.

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is well used to the rhythm of major crimes, and swings into action when a local farmer is murdered in the middle of the night. However, the circumstances surprise him. The farmer was murdered while trying to stop the theft of his dogs. This leads Grace into a new world: the highly lucrative world of stealing or illegally smuggling dogs.

Grace never loses sight of the fact he’s investigating a murder, which underlines how ruthless the criminals he’s seeking are. They’re only interested in profit, and don’t care who gets hurt along the way.

I am not a dog person, but I was absolutely fascinated to learn about this emerging crime wave. It’s rooted in events around the pandemic, and James depicts it in a way that is utterly credible. If this isn’t based in fact, it sure sounds like it is.

James’ novels are notable for the great detail around the investigation. In particular, there’s a level of detail around the roles of particular police specialists, and the command structure, which I’ve rarely seen elsewhere. It adds both credibility and an interesting intellectual and practical level to the narrative.

Grace isn’t focused just on finding the murderers. He’s also focused on gathering enough evidence, of the right kind, to ensure an effective and lengthy conviction. This again leads to highlighting details some writers skim over. It sounds dry, but in fact it’s an absorbing insight into how real police officers think.

I have at times felt that this focus on the investigative details has meant some of the Grace novels are a bit lacking in emotional punch. However, here the main investigation is supplemented with a subplot involving a young family who unwittingly interacts with dog smugglers. Few readers will be able to resist their heart-rending problems.

Although the novel features ongoing characters, and their lives, there’s enough detail here for new readers to know what’s going on with them. You could step into the series here and start reading with no problems; you just might take a bit longer to engage with some characters.

This is an excellent crime novel. The wealth of technical detail around the investigation is fascinating, the new kinds of crime are interesting, and the sub-plot will emotionally engage most readers. I really enjoyed this, and I think most crime readers would too.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Stop Them Dead by Peter JamesYou can read their comments below, or add your own review.

6 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Stop Them Dead

  1. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace and Macmillan for my copy to read and review.

    Being a Peter James fan I was excited to receive this book and he did not disappoint. I love that he has a series of Roy Grace novels that can all be read as stand alone.

    Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team find themselves looking for a criminal dog trafficking ring who will do anything to make money including murder. Greed is a dangerous weapon.

    This book keeps you on your toes and has many different stories that are all connected to the dogs. I loved the characters portrayed in this book and the way it was written.

    I highly recommend any of Peter James books as they are thoroughly enjoyable.

  2. This crime novel centring on Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s quest to solve a farmer’s murder was suspenseful and intriguing.

    Readers are introduced to some serious dog kidnappers who are out to make serious money, and the procedures the police force uses to deal with such crimes. The many steps of the investigation appear to be portrayed realistically and this is very appealing.

    James’ characters were fabulously interesting – their stories and how they were a part of the illegal dog trade or whether they became causalities of it – really added substance to the narrative.

    I thought this was an action-packed book and would recommend it to anyone interested in police stories. Although a part of a series it can be read as a stand-along book.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Macmillan for the opportunity to read this crime novel – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. Stop Them Dead by Peter James is an excellent read for lovers of suspenseful crime thrillers.
    A farmer is murdered when he confronts intruders stealing his dogs.
    The black market price for puppies is flourishing and has brought about a new crime epidemic with minimal punishment compared to drug trafficking.
    Illegal importing of puppies has brought in a disease the UK has not had in many years.
    Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team are kept busy pursuing and bringing this ruthless gang to justice.
    The many story lines that keep you engaged all come together with a thrilling finish.

    I have read and enjoyed other Roy Grace books, this one does not disappoint. Peter James has come up with an exciting different idea for the crimes and murder.
    Thankyou Macmillan and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this great book.

  4. Thank you, so much Beauty and Lace and Macmillan, not having read any Peter James books before I was keen to read book 19, and the excitement increased exponentially as the story unfolded and I was introduced to the main character Roy Grace, I happily devoured this book as a stand alone read.

    Sadly due to Covid, lockdowns and working from home an increase in unscrupulous puppy napping became a worldwide by-product.

    James honed in on this and his research in Police procedures is so accurately portrayed, in particular gait analysis, and the highly effective use of drone surveillance delivering outstanding results.

    Simultaneously there is an emotional sub plot, that will have you fighting back tears and riding every wave with the distraught parents.

    I’m so thankful to have been introduced to a fabulous new author and even better Peter has a huge back catalogue I can’t wait to get started on.

  5. Stop Them Dead by Peter James is another Roy Grace character novel., wonderfully researched, believable and enthralling.
    Lovers of crime will devour this book that can be read as a stand alone novel.
    I highly recommend this book that will not disappoint.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Stop Them Dead by Peter James.

    Peter James doesn’t disappoint in this awesome murder mystery!!

    I absolutely loved this read!!

    There is something comforting in reading about characters that have familiar names. But in saying that, this is a standalone story.

    The main character Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is someone who you would love to be in your life! He’s tough as nails but caring and goes the extra mile.

    This story is about organised crime gangs and how ruthless they can be. And how they can devastate families and innocent lives.

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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