You Are Dead: New Excerpt

You Are Dead (Roy Grace Series #11) by Peter James
You Are Dead (Roy Grace Series #11) by Peter James
In Peter James' You Are Dead, the last words Jamie Ball hears from his fiancée, Logan Somervile, are in a terrified mobile phone call from her. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the apartment block where they live in Brighton, and seen a man acting strangely. 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 an old asphalt path in a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a young woman in her early twenties, who has probably been dead for 30 years.

At first, to Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his Major Crime Team, these two events seem totally unconnected. But then another young woman in Brighton goes missing and another body from the past surfaces. At the same time a strange man visits an eminent London psychiatrist, claiming to have a piece of information on the missing woman, Logan, that turns out, at first, to be wrong-or so it seems. It is only later Roy Grace makes the chilling realization that this one thing is the key to both the past and the present-and now, beyond any doubt, he knows that Brighton has its first ever serial killer.

1

Thursday 11 December

Logan was driving fast in the pelting rain, hurrying home, glad that her shitty day, which had gone from bad to worse, and then progressively worse still, was nearly at an end. She was looking forward to a large glass of chilled white wine and a sneaky cigarette on the balcony before Jamie got home. The familiar Radio Sussex jingle played, then the female presenter announced it was 5:30 p.m. and time for the news headlines. As Logan listened, with half an ear, she was blissfully unaware that by this time tomorrow evening she would be the lead item on the local news, and the subject of one of the biggest manhunts ever launched by Sussex Police.

Her catalog of disasters had started as she had got out of bed, late for work, with a splitting headache after a tiresome dinner with clumsy, untidy Jamie and tripped over a boot he’d left on the carpet. She’d stumbled forward, gashing her big toe open on the edge of the bathroom door. She should have gone to hospital, but she couldn’t spare the time for the inevitable wait at A&E, so she’d bandaged it herself and hoped for the best.

Then to add insult to injury she had been flashed by the same damned speed camera she had driven past every working day for the past few years, at a careful 32 mph. Somehow, today, in her rush to get to work for her first appointment she had totally forgotten it was there, and had gone past it at well over 45 mph.

The gilding on the lily came when one of her partners in the chiropractic clinic—the woman who brought in the largest share of their income—announced she was pregnant with triplets, and intended if all went well to be a full-time mum. Without her income stream, the future of the place could be in doubt.

Overshadowing all of that were her concerns about Jamie. He stubbornly refused to accept anything was wrong. But there was; there was so much wrong. His untidiness, which at first had amused her, had grown to irritate her beyond belief—especially when he’d told her crassly that it was a woman’s role to keep the home tidy.

So she had tidied up. She’d scooped up all the clothes that he had left lying on the floor, and his beer cans and dirty beer glasses—left after a bunch of his friends had come round to watch the footy—and dumped them down the rubbish chute in the corridor of their flat.

She was grinning in satisfaction at the memory as she indicated right, braked, then halted her car at the entrance to the underground car park beneath their apartment block in Brighton’s Kemp Town. She pressed the clicker to open the electric gates.

Then, as she drove down the ramp, she was startled by a figure lurking in the darkness. She stamped her foot hard on the brake pedal.

 

Copyright © 2015 Peter James.

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Peter James is an international best-selling British writer of crime fiction. He was born in Brighton, the son of Cornelia James, the former glovemaker to Queen Elizabeth II.

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