Peter Grainger books in order
Peter Grainger is a British author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels with a primary focus on detective work.
Although he has always been an avid reader, Grainger first got drawn to crime novels thanks to television series such as Morse and Frost.
Even though he discovered that reading about characters that he had watched on television was a strange experience, there was however nothing strange about him not always agreeing with the producers and scriptwriters; owing to the fact that Grainger considers himself as one of life's disagree-ers.
Grainger started by independently publishing three general fiction books on Amazon Kindle under the pen name Robert Partridge, before finally writing crime fiction, which he found quite straightforward—even though developing characters takes time.
He has so far authored three series, namely DC Smith Investigation, Kings Lake, and Willows and Lane.
Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery
DC Smith Investigation
- An Accidental Death (2013)
- But For The Grace (2014)
- Luck and Judgement (2015)
- Persons of Interest (2015)
- In This Bright Future (2016)
- The Rags of Time (2016)
- Time and Tide (2017)
- A Private Investigation (2018)
- The Truth (2021)
- Songbird (2019)
- On Eden Street (2020)
- Roxanne (2020)
- Missing Pieces (2021)
Willows and Lane
- Lane (2017)
- One-Way Tickets (2018)
Detailed book overview
DC Smith Investigation
The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters.
As a former Detective Chief Inspector, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear some of his superiors wish that he would do so. With a new trainee detective in tow, Smith begins to unravel the truth about what happened to Wayne Fletcher.
As the investigation proceeds, it becomes obvious that others are involved - some seem determined to prevent it, some seem to be taking too much interest. In the end Smith operates alone, having stepped too far outside standard procedures to ask for support. He knows his own safety might be at risk but he has not calculated on the life of his young assistant also being put in danger.
"We are living in the departure lounge," said Ralph Greenwood, "and flights leave with monotonous regularity."
So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no-one is very surprised – not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary.
Police Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated.
To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end...
When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations – it was a tragic accident or a suicide.
It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unraveled, Smith must get a new team working together; Waters and Murray are still there but one of Wilson’s men is transferred to him, and the female detective constable from Longmarsh poses some unexpected problems for her new sergeant.
Together they begin to investigate the links between the companies and the people that bring ashore the oil and gas, and they also find themselves caught up in the seamier side of life that exists beneath Lake’s everyday comings and goings. Jo Evison begins to delve more deeply into the story of the Andretti murders, and Smith himself has to face the fact that he might no longer be considered fit for duty.
In the peace and tranquility of the woods at Pinehills on a Saturday afternoon, a mobile phone begins to ring. The phone belongs to DC Smith and it isn’t unusual that the call is from Kings Lake Central police station; what is unusual is the fact that he seems to be the subject of an investigation rather than taking part in one.
What can the links be between a prisoner’s violent death in another county, the disappearance of two teenagers and the highest profile case in Kings Lake for many years? As Smith and his team begin to untangle the threads, one thing becomes clear – they are dealing with some of the most dangerous people that they have yet encountered.
Two weeks of rest and recuperation – that’s what the doctor ordered. Detective Sergeant DC Smith could listen to some music, make some of his own and maybe even catch up on his reading; he is almost looking forward to it. And then there is a knock on the door. It’s only his next-door neighbor but it is the beginning of a sequence of events that will bring him face to face with some of the darkest episodes and the most dangerous people from his own past. This is Smith’s fifth investigation but this time it’s personal.
Mark Randall lay dead in a field near Lowacre long before Smith had done what he had to do in Belfast. By the time he went back to work, the investigation was well underway. “It’s not my case” he says more than once, and he really doesn’t need it to be; he has enough to think about as it is.
But going around the Norfolk countryside dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, speaking to the local farmers and the Brothers of St Francis from Abbeyfields, Smith begins to suspect that the investigation might be heading in entirely the wrong direction.
Arrests are made, charges are brought and Christopher Waters asks Smith if he has ever seen the wrong man convicted in a murder case. The answer is yes, and the next question is, what can be done to prevent it happening again?
Change is afoot at Kings Lake Central police station. A most unexpected new detective inspector takes up his post this Monday morning, and the oldest detective in the place takes a momentous decision.
Around them, other officers are considering their own situations, and even the building itself seems to be facing an uncertain future. But life and death go on, nevertheless, and by lunchtime someone will make a grim discovery on the Norfolk saltmarshes. A stranger seems to have suffered a slow and agonizing death out there.
As the team from Kings Lake uncover his story, they reveal another, much older one with its origins far back in the previous century.
In the tide that governs the affairs of men, it seems, love and loss, betrayal and revenge are timeless themes.
When fourteen-year-old Zoe Johnson doesn’t come home on a Monday night in early December, the alarm bells in Kings Lake Central police station do not ring straight away – after all, she’s from the Dockmills, one of the toughest estates in the town.
But for Detective Sergeant DC Smith, due to retire in just three weeks’ time, there are some strange echoes of the case that has haunted him for the past thirteen years. Maybe it’s simply his over-developed sense of irony, or maybe, in his final days as a police officer, Smith must look once more into the eyes of a serial killer.
“He said if he hadn’t heard from you by high noon today, he was going to strap on his six-guns and ride back into town. So I think you should call him, Charlie. Call him before you come home.”
Charlie Hills, former desk sergeant at Kings Lake Central, is in trouble. He hasn’t told Smith, his old friend and sparring partner, but someone has, and now the two former policemen are about to embark on a difficult and potentially dangerous search for the truth. For one of them, it could be life-changing.
“He saw a bare arm first, the hand palm up with fingers curled inwards. Then he stopped and took a few breaths. He could hear the two constables making arrangements before they separated, one saying he’d bring the other some tape from the car, and then it was just the summer morning quiet again.”
Detective Sergeant Chris Waters got the call at 05.29 that July morning. This is it, said DCI Reeve, you’ll be first there, it’s all yours, you’re the crime scene manager. Suddenly, after months of waiting and wondering, Waters finds himself in at the deep end, and alone at the scene of a puzzling murder.
As the investigation proceeds, the detectives at Kings Lake Central find themselves visiting familiar places and talking to some familiar faces, while old enmities reappear in the incident room. Before this is over, Chris Waters will need to make a career-changing decision, and another member of the CID team will find herself facing an unexpected challenge. And Smith? Gone but not forgotten? Surely, he would say, you cannot write me off with a worn out cliché like that…
“He might be a nobody, but he was their nobody and their first case.”
The new Kings Lake Central murder squad is about to spend its first morning on team-building exercises and reviewing cold cases when the call comes in that the body of one of the city’s rough sleepers has been found in a shop doorway. It happens, someone says, he isn’t the first to die on the streets and he won’t be the last, but the story the new team begins to uncover is far from routine.
New characters appear and new relationships form as the pressure grows on Detective Chief Inspector Cara Freeman to deliver a result and show that Kings Lake’s first specialist team is worth the money. Detective Sergeant Christopher Waters discovers links to a previous investigation, learns that there is more than one way to run a successful squad and finds flower-arranging more interesting than he would ever have imagined.
“And see if there’s any news about the missing girl.”
Life, as Smith used to say, is just one thing after another – as one investigation ends, a new one begins. But for reasons unknown to the rest of her team, DCI Cara Freeman will be haunted by the next case for the Kings Lake Central murder squad. They find themselves delving into the seamy side of life in the town, and one of their number will have departed before this new investigation is over. Perhaps Detective Sergeant Chris Waters should have seen it coming but he has a lot more than work on his mind these days.
As the first anniversary of the formation of the Kings Lake murder squad approaches, there is a problem – they’ve run out of murders. As a result, they are given the task of reviewing unsolved cold cases. One of these comes back to life in unexpected ways as the team try to discover the identity of the young woman whose body was found in the Norfolk countryside two decades ago. And even if they can give her a name, how can they possibly find her killer after so many years?
Willows and Lane
“So I thought I might take up para-gliding. You know, buy one on eBay and just jump off the cliff one morning.”
Emily Willows is middle-aged, widowed, wealthy and bored. When she makes those flippant remarks to her son over coffee one Friday, she has no inkling that within a few hours she will be facing the most terrifying situation of her life. Nor could she have guessed that she will be confronting it with the enigmatic young woman who moved in next door a few months ago and who has hardly spoken a word to her since. And neither of them has realized yet that after this meeting, their lives will never be the same again.
When a local man, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, goes missing, his parents have good reason to be concerned. Emily Willows is a friend of the family and says that she knows just the person to find him – and, as Summer Lane soon points out, the fact that this also fits in with Emily’s plan to set up her very own detective agency is surely just a fortuitous coincidence.
But it isn’t long before the former detective inspector finds herself on a train heading back to London, and back into situations that she thought she had left behind.
Some old acquaintances are renewed and some difficult memories must be confronted as Lane searches for the missing soldier and discovers the shocking truth about what happened to him five years earlier.