Peter James is a British writer notably known for his work in the genre of crime fiction. In fact, his famous for his Roy Grace series, now a TV Series with John Simm.
Interested in criminology, religion, science, and the paranormal, Peter James explored all this in his books–he wrote more than twenty non-Roy Grace novels and even a couple of non-fiction books too.
How to read Peter James’ Books in Order?
Reading The Roy Grace Series in Order
The Roy Grace series is about a Detective Superintendent of the CID, in Sussex, England. He is a down-to-earth detective with a strong sense of conviction, and a sense of humor. He was touched by tragedy ten years ago when his wife disappeared. He still hopes to find her and even keeps some of her things in place in case she resurfaces. In his work, Grace investigates missing-person cases. For more information about the books, go check out our article about the Roy Grace series.
- Dead Simple (2005)
- Looking Good Dead (2006)
- Not Dead Enough (2007)
- Dead Man’s Footsteps (2008)
- Dead Tomorrow (2009)
- Dead Like You (2010)
- Dead Man’s Grip (2011)
- Not Dead Yet (2012)
- Dead Man’s Time (2013)
- Want You Dead (2014)
- In the Nick of Time: John Rebus vs. Roy Grace (short story)
- You Are Dead (2015)
- You Are Dead (2016)
- Need You Dead (2017)
- Dead If You Don’t (2018)
- Dead at First Sight (2019)
- Find Them Dead (2020)
- Left You Dead (2021)
- Wish You Were Dead (a Quick Read short story)
- Picture You Dead (2022)
- Stop Them Dead (2023)
Reading The Max Flynn Series in Order
Max Flynn is an undercover agent, and he has the unenviable job of spying on his side.
- Dead Letter Drop (1981) – When to kill, who to kill, whether to kill are all questions that have to be answered at great speed if Max Flynn wants to stay alive. Why does an innocuous airline ticket No. 14B matter so much? Who has gone to the trouble of committing suicide? And could Flynn’s beautiful companion be a spy? The hazy, murky world of counter-espionage leaves no room for errors of judgment and Flynn knows he’s finished if he makes one false move.
- Atom Bomb Angel (1982) – Terrorists are threatening to sabotage Britain’s nuclear power plants. One nuclear explosive smuggled inside a reactor would turn the entire core into a massive atom bomb . . . and bring death and disease to millions of people for centuries to come. When Sir Isaac Quoit, chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority, disappears without a trace, MI5 are alerted to the mysterious Operation Angel. Slick superspy Max Flynn is briefed to crack the code – but can he beat the deadline before Angel strikes?
Standalone Novels by Peter James
- Billionaire (1983) – City stockbroker Alex Rocq leads a comfortable life – with a luxury flat in London, a country cottage, a very expensive car, and a lucrative job that still leaves time for leisure. But all this isn’t enough. After receiving a tip-off, Alex decides to play the commodities market for himself. He soon learns the hard way that fortune doesn’t always favor the brave, and his luck comes to an abrupt end.
- Travelling Man (1984) – Based on the Granada Television series written by Roger Marshall.
- Biggles: The Untold Story (1986) – The novelization of the movie “Biggles Adventures in Time”.
- Possession (1988) – Fabian Hightower has been killed in a car crash. At least, that is what a policeman is asking Alex, his mother to believe. But Alex knows she saw him that morning – at a time when he must have been dead. When the funeral is over Alex tries hard to forget her bizarre experience. But her mind seems to be playing strange tricks on her, turning her grief into horror. When she turns to a medium her worst fears are realized. Fabian has unfinished business and he is determined to come back. But why?
- Dreamer (1989) – The last time the dream came, Sam was seven years old; and that was the night her parents were to die. Twenty-five years later, Sam’s nightmares are starting to come true once more. Now a successful TV commercials producer, juggling her roles of career woman, wife, and mother, she attempts to shut them out. But soon Sam is faced with the reality of dreams in which her life and that of her family are threatened. In desperation, she consults the experts: a psychiatrist; a clairvoyant … but to no avail.
- Sweet Heart (1990) – Charley has a strange feeling when she sees the idyllic mill house with its cluster of outbuildings, the lake, and the swirling mill stream; a powerful sense of recognition, as if she has been there before. Except she knows she hasn’t. After Charley and her husband Tom move into Elmwood Mill, sinister memories of a previous existence start to haunt her. Despite both their attempts to dismiss everything with rational explanations, the feeling turns to certainty as the memories become increasingly vivid and terrifying. Charley is persuaded to undergo hypnosis – but in searching deep into her past, she will soon fear her future.
- Twilight (1991) – Only the verger hears them and he dismisses the noise as his imagination. But over the next few days, others also hear faint sounds. An exhumation order is granted. Reporter Kate Hemingway sneaks into the small suburban churchyard when the coffin is opened, and the scene she witnesses is so horrific she can never forget it. As she starts work on the story, Kate finds herself caught up in a sinister and macabre cover-up. At the center is a respected anesthetist who has a secret obsession. He believes people can exist outside their bodies and that if he can prove it he will provide the answer to the question that has haunted mankind through the ages: is there life after death?
- Prophecy (1992) – A young boy watches his mother die. A sadistic man dies in agony. Drunk students play with an Ouija board in a damp cellar. Can bricks and mortar retain imprints of the emotions experienced within them? Frannie is delighted when a chance meeting with a handsome man and his son leads to a romance. The fact that the relationship is marred by gruesome tragedies, she dismisses it as an unsettling coincidence. But eventually, she can no longer ignore the fact that she is the only thing linking these horrible events. Is it a murderous practical joke?
- Host (1993) – Brilliant scientist Joe Messenger believes that people can be made to live forever. Knowing the human body can be frozen indefinitely, Joe devises a way of downloading the human brain into a supercomputer called ARCHIVE. But Joe’s wife, Karen, is worried by his preoccupation with ARCHIVE, which seems to be developing signs of a distinct and sinister personality of its own. Then, just as Joe is on the brink of a scientific breakthrough, a series of macabre accidents befall him and his family – and Joe finds himself facing the terrifying consequences of his own obsessions.
- Alchemist (1996) – Monty Bannerman’s father is a leading genetic scientist, and Nobel Prize winner, whose company has just been taken over by what will soon be the world’s biggest pharmaceutical giant. He had some misgivings about their company ethics – but ultimately, he needs their money, and they need his mind. Then a journalist comes to Monty’s door, with a far-fetched story about the pharmaceutical company. She doesn’t believe what she’s being told for a moment – but within a few short weeks, events are making the apparently fantastic claims look horrifyingly like the truth.
- Getting Wired (1996) – This story introduces TechnoTerrors, a group of children who are attempting to raise money for a new school computer. However, their efforts to bring their school into the 20th century, via the Internet, often result in mayhem.
- The Truth (1997) – Susan and John Carter are crazy about each other and life is perfect but for one thing – they are on the brink of financial disaster. Surely being a surrogate mother to another man’s child won’t harm such a strong relationship? Especially when the mysterious Mr. Sarotzini is offering to save their home and business. What seems to be a perfect solution begins to feel like an impossible situation. Susan’s pregnancy is disturbingly painful but no one will tell her why. It becomes apparent that Sarotzini wields immense power and Susan begins to doubt everything she knows.
- Denial (1998) – When actress Gloria Lamark takes her own life, her devoted son, Thomas, is heartbroken. Something must be wrong with a world in which such a tragedy is allowed to happen. How could her high-profile, media-star psychiatrist have failed to save such a special person, whom Thomas loved in such a very special way? Dr. Tennent has a lesson to learn – a very painful one. Michael Tennent is caught up in the first flush of love – but has no idea how dangerous romance can be. For both, Michael and Thomas will do anything for the women they love . . .
- Faith (2000) – Ross Ransome is at the top of his profession; one of the most successful, and certainly one of the richest, plastic surgeons in the business. Such a man would expect his wife to be perfect. But when his wife falls ill she turns her back on conventional medicine, and her arid marriage, and seeks help from the world of alternative medicine and a charismatic therapist who promises not just medical salvation. For Ransome, this is the ultimate betrayal. He can see no reason why any man should have his wife when he can’t.
- The Perfect Murder (2010) (novella) – Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for nearly 20 years. Victor secretly loathes Joan more and more each day. Joan is bored by Victor, and his snoring drives her mad. Their marriage has reached a crisis point. Victor decides there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever, but he’s about to get a nasty surprise. As it turns out, Victor’s not the only one with murder in mind.
- Perfect People (2011) – Be careful what you wish for . . . John and Naomi are grieving the death of their four-year-old son from a rare genetic disorder. They desperately want another child, but they realize the odds of their next child contracting the same disease are high. Then they hear about geneticist Dr Leo Dettore. He has methods that can spare them the heartache of ever losing another child to any disease. At his clinic is where their nightmare begins. They should have realized something was wrong when they saw the list. Choices of eye color, hair, sporting abilities. They can literally design their child. Now it’s too late to turn back. Naomi is pregnant and already something is badly wrong . . .
- A Twist of the Knife (2014) (short story collection) – With each twist of the knife, a chilling new journey begins . . . From a woman intent on bizarre revenge, to a restaurant critic with a morbid fear of the number thirteen; and from a man arranging a life-changing assignation to a couple heading for a disaster-filled vacation . . .
- The House on Cold Hill (2015) – Moving to the countryside is a big undertaking for born townies Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their 12-year-old daughter, Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House a huge, dilapidated, Georgian mansion they are filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, Ollie has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child. Caro is less certain, and Jade is grumpy about being removed from all her friends. But within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that they aren’t the house’s only residents. At first, a friend of Jade, talking to her on Facetime, sees a spectral woman behind her. Then there are more sightings, and two weeks after moving in, Caro, out in the garden, is startled to see faces staring out of an upstairs window from a room that does not appear to exist.
- Absolute Proof (2018) – Investigative reporter Ross Hunter nearly didn’t answer the phone call that would change his life – and possibly the world – for ever. ‘I know this is going to sound strange, but I’ve recently been given absolute proof of God’s existence – and I’ve been advised there is a writer, a respected journalist called Ross Hunter, who could help me to get taken seriously.’ What would it take to prove the existence of God? And what would be the consequences?
- The Secret of Cold Hill (2019) – Cold Hill House has been razed to the ground by fire, replaced with a development of ultra-modern homes. Gone with the flames are the violent memories of the house’s history, and a new era has begun. Although much of Cold Hill Park is still a construction site, the first two families move into their new houses. For Jason and Emily Danes, this is their forever home, and for Maurice and Claudette Penze-Weedell, it’s the perfect place to live out retirement. Despite the ever-present rumble of cement mixers and diggers, Cold Hill Park appears to be the ideal place to live. But looks are deceptive and it’s only a matter of days before both couples start to feel they are not alone in their new homes.
- I Follow You (2020) – To the outside world, suave, charming and confident doctor Marcus Valentine has it all. A loving wife, three kids, a great job. But there’s something missing, there always has been. . . . or rather, someone . . . Driving to work one morning, his mind elsewhere and not on the road, he almost mows down a female jogger on a crossing. As she runs on, Marcus is transfixed. Infatuated. She is the spitting image of a girl he was crazy about in his teens. A girl he has never been able to get out of his mind. Despite all his attempts to resist, he is consumed by cravings for this woman. And when events take a tragically unexpected turn, his obsession threatens to destroy both their worlds. But still, he won’t stop. Can’t stop.
Non-fiction Books by Peter James
- Death Comes Knocking – Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton (2016) – Peter James’s friend Graham Bartlett was a long-serving detective in the city once described as Britain’s “crime capital.” Together they have written a gripping account of the city’s most challenging cases, taking the reader from crime scenes and incident rooms to the morgue, and introducing some of the real-life detectives who inspired Peter James’s characters. Whether it’s the murder of a dodgy nightclub owner and his family in Sussex’s worst non-terrorist mass murder or the race to find the abductor of a young girl, the authors skilfully evoke the dangerous inside story of policing, the personal toll it takes and the dedication of those who risk their lives to keep the public safe.
- Babes in the Wood (2020) – On 9 October 1986, nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway went out to play on their Brighton estate. They would never return home; their bodies were discovered the next day concealed in a local park. This devastating crime rocked the country. With unique access to the officers charged with catching the killer, former senior detective Graham Bartlett and bestselling author Peter James tell the compelling inside story of the investigation as the net tightens around local man Russell Bishop. The trial that follows is one of the most infamous in the history of Brighton policing – a shock result sees Bishop walk free. Three years later, Graham is working in Brighton CID when a seven-year-old girl is abducted and left to die. She survives . . . and Bishop’s name comes up as a suspect. Is history repeating itself? Can the police put him away this time, and will he ever be made to answer for his past horrendous crimes?