But really Roy is a peripheral character. This is the story of the trial of a major drug dealer and an attempt to nobble the jury by leaning on Meg Magellan, a 42-year-old widow, who is about to be made redundant. The book begins as a customs officer notices Mickey Starr, a one-armed, one-eyed career criminal, looking dodgy as he pulls off the cross channel ferry.
It’s hardly surprising as he is trying to smuggle £6million of cocaine into England, hidden inside what appears to be a classic Ferrari.
Roy makes an appearance in chapter eight as he ends his secondment to the Met and prepares to return to Sussex.
There is tragedy on his homecoming but this is glossed over rather quickly.
Meanwhile, Meg Magellan is wondering what to do with her life – she is facing unemployment and Laura, her daughter is travelling in South America with best friend, Cassie, before going to Edinburgh University to study to become a vet.
Arriving home one day, Meg finds she has been summonsed for jury service.
She finds out she will be sitting on the jury in the trial of Terence Gready, a Brighton lawyer, who is also a drugs kingpin and behind the importation of the drugs in the Ferrari.
In a rather convoluted way, Meg is chosen to be the one who ensures Gready gets off and to make sure she complies a series of threats are made against Laura.
So rather than telling the judge, she begins to try to influence the jury.
To help her, she goes out and buys a DVD of the Henry Fonda classic Twelve Angry Men – she would have been better off getting the Tony Hancock version.
Gready wants the court to believe that he has never met Starr, his lieutenant, and to ensure his silence a couple of thugs are sent to rough up Starr’s brother who has Down’s Syndrome.
However, they go too far and Starr vows revenge.
The killers are eventually tracked down but it’s Norman Potting who breaks the case, not Roy.
The book’s ending is totally unbelievable.
Hot on the heels of this very disappointing book is the news that John Simm has been cast as Roy Grace in the TV adaptation.
Simm is a great actor but he’s not Roy Grace, a piece of miscasting as woeful as that of David Morrisey as Tom Thorne in the dismal PC Sky series Thorne ten years ago.