Peter James’ bestselling Roy Grace crime series is soon to be brought to life on the small screen with ITV. John Simm will be playing Detective Inspector Roy Grace, the Brighton-based sleuth who’s captured the attention of crime and mystery readers across the globe. The Roy Grace TV adaptation begins on March 14th, so in celebration of Peter James’ fantastic detective, we want to share five things to love about Roy Grace.
1. He launched with a bang
Luckily for our readers, if they haven’t started their Roy Grace journey, our first encounter of the ‘Sussex Sleuth’ is an incredibly compelling – yet tense – affair. Dead Simple is a great introduction to the world of Grace, but that’s a mere backdrop to the difficult-to-put-down main plot. I don’t want to be giving away any spoilers here, so I’ll let the synopsis do its job. Luckily for us, this is also the story that ITV have decided to focus their first visual interpretation of Roy Grace on.
It was meant to be a harmless stag-night prank. A few hours later Michael Harrison has disappeared and his friends are dead.Peter James, Dead Simple
2. He’s a local (to us!)
There’s nothing like a thriller that’s relatable, and as our head office is based on the South Coast sleeper town/retirement village of Goring-by-Sea – Grace’s locale is a great draw for us here at WoB HQ!
As Roy Grace and his trusty sidekick drive at great speeds to fight criminals over the A27, we can picture him delighting at the fact that he gets to cut through the barrage of red lights and traffic as he navigates his way through the Shoreham bypass. Don’t be surprised if we see Grace and Branson later discussing the pros and cons of the impending IKEA development in the region.
Author Peter James is a stickler for detail, so actually being from the area he’s elaborating on helps; whether it’s the wonders of Shoreham airport, the drudgeries of the Brighton underworld or the nuances of the local traffic hotspots, he has them covered.
3. He loves a full name
I apologise to anybody that hasn’t noticed this, but something that I can’t help but notice with Detective Inspector Grace/Peter James is this knack of referring to each and every character with their full name. A lot.
Obviously, now you know this, you’re not going to be able to unknow this, so I’m sorry for that. Just expect that when he turns up at a grisly crime scene, you’ll become fully acquainted with all the surrounding officers, their titles, and some of the intricacies of their day-to-day job.
4. He has an uncanny way of upsetting his bosses
We don’t really know what Grace did to upset his boss Alison Vosper – but we know she doesn’t like him. He doesn’t even know what he did to get on her wrong side, but there’s something quite enjoyable about the lack of rapport between the two.
When he does get into one of his many scrapes, Vosper’s possible reaction is at the forefront of Roy’s thoughts. There’s almost something quite slapstick about the whole thing, a little bit On The Buses’ Blakey/Butler-esque about it.
However she doesn’t have a catch phrase of “I ‘ate yewwwww Graceeeee”.
5. We genuinely like him
You expect your crime thriller protagonist to be slightly flawed. Roy Grace’s main one is his love for his work and how that has impacted his home life. It’s pretty tame in the grand scheme of things, and we’ve found Grace’s backstory of his marriage to Sandy and future relationship prospects just as compelling as his escapades chasing the worst people West Sussex has to offer.
Yes he’s a bit of a fuddy-duddy at times, and he can be a bit of a klutz when it comes to his cases, but that’s part of the charm. He’s relatable and not one of those machismo characters you come to find in other tales of this sort – although there are some very questionable intimate moments that make you think of our Roy in ways you don’t really want to think of him.
We’re rooting for you Roy. (Disclaimer: I’m only 7 books in, it’d be slightly awkward if it’s all a ruse and he turns out to be an evil mastermind as a side hustle).
Take a look at our review of Peter James’ Dead at First Sight. If you haven’t delved into the world of Grace yet, start with the first in the series, Dead Simple. Fill your bookshelves with bestselling crime fiction and check out the entire Roy Grace book series. You can also explore more crime fiction from a huge range of authors.
What do you think of Roy Grace? Are you excited to watch the TV adaptation? Let us know in the comments below.