New Brighton Roy Grace book released in Quick Reads initiative

Thriller writer Peter James – creator of the Brighton-based Roy Grace detective series which recently made its TV debut – has joined the Quick Reads initiative, a life-changing scheme tackling the UK’s adult literary crisis.
Peter JamesPeter James
Peter James

Roy Grace is in for the holiday from hell in Wish You Were Dead which has been chosen as a Quick Read this year.

Peter said he hoped Quick Reads would encourage people to get started on their reading journeys: “The most treasured moments of my career have been when someone tells me they hadn’t read anything for years, often since their school days, but are back into reading via my books.

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“What more could an author hope for? Reading helps us tackle big challenges, transports us into new worlds, takes us on adventures, allows us to experience many different lives and opens us up to aspects of our world we never knew existed. So I’m delighted to be supporting Quick Reads again. I hope it will help more people get started on their reading journeys and be the beginning of a life-long love of books.”

For 15 years the campaign has supported the one in three adults who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six who find reading difficult.

Over the past 15 years, £1 short stories from best-selling authors have helped millions of people – from emergent readers to those with little time or who have fallen out of the reading habit – benefit from discovering the transformative power of reading. To mark the 15th anniversary, for every book bought from publication on May 27 until July 31 2021, another copy will be gifted to help someone discover the joy of reading.

‘Buy one, gift one’ will see thousands of free books given to organisations across the UK to reach less confident readers and those with limited access to books – bring the joy and transformative benefits of reading to new audiences.

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The full list this year is: Oyinkan Braithwaite: The Baby is Mine (Atlantic); Louise Candlish: The Skylight (Simon & Schuster); Katie Fforde: Saving the Day (Arrow); Peter James: Wish You Were Dead (Macmillan); Caitlin Moran: How to Be a Woman, abridged (Ebury); and Khurrum Rahman: The Motive (HQ). More information on

In Wish You Were Dead, Roy Grace and his family have left Sussex behind for a week’s holiday in France.

The website promised a grand house, but when they arrive the place is very different from the pictures.

And it soon becomes clear that their holiday nightmare is only just beginning.

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An old enemy of Roy, a lowlife criminal he had put behind bars, is now out of jail – and out for revenge.

He knows where Roy and his family have gone on holiday. Of course he does. He’s been hacking their emails – and they are in the perfect spot for him to pay Roy back...

Quick Reads, a programme by The Reading Agency, aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone. “The scheme changes lives and plays a vital role in addressing the national crisis around adult literacy in the UK,” a spokesman said. “Each year, Quick Reads commissioning editor Fanny Blake works with UK publishers to commission high-profile authors to write short, engaging books that are specifically designed to be easy to read.

Since 2006, more than 5 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 5 million library loans (PLR) have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading.

From 2020-2022, the initiative is supported by a gift from bestselling author Jojo Moyes.