Want You Dead by Peter James
Published by Pan
23rd October 2014
Single girl, 29, smouldering redhead, love life that's crashed and burned. Seeks new flame to rekindle her fire. Fun, friendship and - who knows - maybe more?
When Red Westwood meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, there is an instant attraction. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past, and his dark side, begins to emerge. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror.
Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But Red's nightmare is only just beginning. For Bryce is obsessed with her, and he intends to destroy everything and everyone she has ever known and loved - and then her too . . .
I'm a bit behind on my Peter James books, and I do have a few to read before starting on the 10th of the Roy Grace novels, but I couldn't resist starting it. Roy is a happy man these days, about to marry his long-term love Cleo and with a new baby in tow, having finally declared his wife Sandy dead, he is looking forward to his impending wedding day. Of course, being a DS means that his work life continues and this time, it begins with a burnt body on a golf course. Roy Grace isn't convinced by the verdict of suicide though, and as the days pass by, his hunch, of course, proves to be correct.
Alongside our daily visits to the Brighton constabulary, we meet Red Westwood, estate agent and single girl about town. Only Red isn't as out-going as she once was, and now her doctor boyfriend seems to have given up on her too. Surely it couldn't possibly have anything to do with her possessive ex-boyfriend Bryce?
Yes, you guessed it, of course it does. Bryce wants Red back, and if he can't have her, then he is determined that no one else can have her either; in fact, it would appear that anyone with a connection to Red might well be in danger.
This is one of the darkest Peter James books that I can remember reading. Bryce's childhood gave me the chills, it was very graphically described. Did I think Red a little naive at times, especially in this day and age - well yes I did, but then we all do stupid things and have that 'it won't happen to me' moments, except for Red, it all appears to be coming true. Bryce is a stalker who is never going to let Red go - he truly wants her dead.