Looking for a list of Peter James books in order? We’re here for you with this ultimate guide.
If you enjoy reading crime thrillers, then reading the Peter James books in order will be a delight. With each book, the story becomes more intense and suspenseful than ever before. He is well-known for his unexpected plot twists that keep readers hooked to find out what happened.
Before we dive into the list of Peter James books in order, let’s learn a little bit more about the author himself.
Peter James Books in Order
Do I need to read the Peter James books in order?
Each book in the Roy Grace series by Peter James is a standalone novel. Technically, that means that you can pick up any book and enjoy it without ever having read a Peter James book.
So, should you?
Well that’s up to you.
Each book contains its own crime and there are no series spanning villains, but each book reveals a little bit more about Roy Grace’s life. Therefore, it would be a shame to miss out on learning about Roy Grace the way it was meant to be read.
You may have found that your first ever Peter James book was Book 15 in a series, and that’s okay. But once you realize this, we’d recommend starting at the beginning and working your way forward. This way you can follow the character’s development and progression the way James intended.
Roy Grace Series
The Roy Grace series is probably Peter James’s most well-known work. This is a great place to start with his bibliography if you’ve never read the author before, so here is a list of all of the Roy Grace books in order of publication.
- 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 (2014) (Short Story with Ian Rankin)
- You Are Dead (2015)
- Love You Dead (2016)
- Need You Dead (2017)
- Dead If You Don’t (2018)
- Dead at First Sight (2019)
- Footloose (2019) (Short Story with Val McDermid)
- Find Them Dead (2020)
- Left You Dead (2021)
- Wish You Were Dead (2021) (Short Story)
- Picture You Dead (2022)
- Stop Them Dead (Expected: September 26, 2023)
Max Flynn Books
As previously mentioned, Dead Letter Drop was Peter James’s debut novel. The year following its publication he wrote a sequel once again following undercover agent Max Flynn in a race against time. Both books were originally published in the 1980s, and then reissued in the mid-2010s.
Next, chronologically at least, in Peter James’s bibliography are quite a few standalones. After the Max Flynn duology James transitioned to writing standalones for many years before beginning the Roy Grace series.
However, he has written a few more standalones in recent years and these are a great option to determine if you enjoy James’s writing without committing to a full series.
- Billionaire (1983)
- Possession (1988)
- Dreamer (1989)
- Sweet Heart (1990)
- Twilight (1991)
- Prophecy (1992)
- Host (1993)
- Alchemist (1996)
- The Truth (1997)
- Denial (1998)
- Faith (2000)
- Perfect People (2011)
- Absolute Proof (2017)
- I Follow You (2020)
As well, Peter James has also contributed short stories to multiple anthologies that feature some of the most popular crime thriller authors.
Short Story Collections
Finally, Peter James has also published his own short story collection featuring 30 stories. If you enjoy short stories and are a fan of his writing, this is a great collection to check out.
- A Twist of the Knife (2014)
Who is Peter James?
Peter James was born in Brighton in 1948. He spent his childhood summers in France, as his parents owned a place near St. Tropez.
He began writing stories at the age of 7. James realized his life’s ambition when he was 14 and read Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. After attending the Charterhouse School, a prestigious school in Godalming in Surrey, he enrolled at Ravensbourne Film School, London.
Peter James began writing standalone novels while he was still working in television and film. Dead Letter Drop was his debut novel in 1981.
He continued to write standalone novels after this book, and in 2005 he published Dead Simple. This novel would be the first in his bestselling series that featured Roy Grace, a Brighton-based detective superintendent.
Summary of Peter James Books in Order
Now that we’ve taken a look at all the Peter James books in order, let’s take a closer look at each of his standalone books.
If you’d like to learn more about the Roy Grace series, check out our dedicated Roy Grace books in order article.
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.
When he is offered the chance to write off his debts in exchange for special services and silence, Rocq can’t believe his luck. But how far will a desperate man go to harness the power players around him?
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 realised. Fabian has unfinished business and he is determined to come back. But why?
Whatever the answer, something terrifies the medium so much she refuses to return. Alex longs to turn to others for support. But there is a secret about Fabian that only she knows – a secret she must never share…
When waking from your dream means living your nightmare…
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.
Sam is being inexorably drawn into a vortex of terror from which there is no escape…
4. Sweet Heart
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.
Three muffled thuds ring from the partially filled grave of the newly wed girl.
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 centre is a respected anaesthetist 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?
Nothing – and no one – is going to stand in the way of his driving ambition . . .
A game that turns to a nightmare …
Non Omnis Moriar
I shall not altogether die
A young boy watches his mother die. A sadistic man dies in agony. Drunk students play with a 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 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?
How far would you go to live forever?
Brilliant scientist Joe Messenger believes that people can be made to live for ever. 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.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…
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.
Behind the respectable facade of the multi-national company which calls itself the ‘World’s Most Caring Company’ lies an outrage against the whole human race…
9. The Truth
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 – everything they’ve worked for.
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.
As she realizes the terrifying origin of the dark forces Saratzini controls she is in fear for herself and John but most of all for her unborn baby …
Introducing policeman Glenn Branson…
When actress Gloria Lamark takes her own life, her devoted son, Thomas, is heart-broken. 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 . . .
How perfect is too perfect?
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 – and why not? After all, he has spent enough hours in surgery to get her that way.
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. It defies logic, and Ross Ransome is a profoundly logical man. Logically, he can see no reason why any man should have his wife when he can’t. It’s all completely rational…
12. Perfect People
After the tragic loss of their young son to a rare genetic disorder, John and Naomi discover they both carry a rogue gene. Having another child by conventional means is too much risk to bear.
When they find geneticist Dr. Leo Dettore it seems like the answer to their prayers. Every aspect of the child can be chosen and manufactured, from height and eye color to intelligence and sporting prowess. But realizing the danger too late, Naomi is already pregnant when they understand the nightmare world they are entering…
A world of perfect people.
Utterly gripping and frighteningly plausible, Perfect People is a shocking thriller you won’t be able to put down about what happens when humans play God.
13. Absolute Proof
When investigative reporter Ross Hunter receives a sudden phone call from Dr Harry Cook, little does he suspect how it will change the world forever.
Cook is making an extraordinary claim. But as the details surface and the true ramifications become clear, the foundation of the world’s major religions threatens to collapse. With half the world decrying the claim, Hunter must get to the bottom of it.
If, that is, he can survive that long…
What would it take to prove the existence of God, and what would it mean? An explosive thriller with an incredible premise from number one bestseller Peter James, perfect for fans of Dan Brown.
14. I Follow You
Marcus Valentine seemingly has it all: he’s smart, charming, a successful doctor with a wife, three kids and a job he loves. But something, or rather someone, is missing…
One morning, driving to work, he almost runs down a female jogger crossing the road. Marcus cannot take his eyes off her. She is identical to a girl he was infatuated with in his teens. A girl he has never forgotten.
Lynette had dumped him harshly. For years he has fantasized about seeing her again. Might that jogger be her, all these years later? Or is it just an incredible coincidence? Soon Marcus is consumed with thoughts of this woman. But when events take a tragic and unexpected turn, his obsession threatens to destroy them both.
But still he won’t stop. Can’t stop.
Final thoughts on Peter James books in order
We hope that this list has helped you in your quest to read the Peter James books in order. To make things even easier, we’ve provided links for each book so you can find them easily and purchase them right away.
Do you have any comments or suggestions regarding Peter James books in order? If yes, drop it in the comments. Happy reading!
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