The fourth and newest book in the Roy Grace series by Peter James introduces the reader first to Ronnie Wilson, a Brit visiting the US and New York City to try to enlist financial assistance for his latest money-making venture, one hopefully not doomed to failure as were his past endeavors. His business meeting, after which he plans to fly back to the UK, is scheduled for 9 AM in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001.
We next, in October of 2007, meet Abby Dawson, a 27-year-old woman who has just returned from Australia to her native England, and whose background is somewhat shadowy, as we are told she has done everything she can think of to disguise her identity, describing herself as a 'fugitive.'
And then Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex Police enters the tale, when he is called in as Senior Investigating Officer after a skeleton, probably that of a woman of about 30 years old, is discovered in a storm drain within his community of the City of Brighton and Hove. Just a run-of-the-mill murder investigation, it would seem, until Roy realizes that the description perfectly fits that of his adored wife, Sandy, who had disappeared nine years before, at age 28 and on his 30th birthday, and had apparently 'vanished off the face of the earth.'
The characters introduced in the earlier books are still here: Glenn Branson, still having marital problems; Grace's lover, Cleo, Chief Home Office pathologist, who has always been sympathetic to Grace's lingering and continuing search and nightmares concerning his wife; his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Alison Vosper; and his surprisingly fast-rising fellow D.S., Cassian Pewe, all of whom are made real in the author's terrific depictions of these disparate personalities.
As a resident of the metropolitan NY area, I can attest to the accuracy of the depiction of the feel of the city on that horrendous day and in its aftermath, and will not comment further on this aspect of the novel. The author expertly weaves together all the disparate threads in a suspense-filled tale with the surprises, twists and turns typical of this author, and a particularly stunning final sentence, leaving me avidly awaiting its sequel. Highly recommended.