John Simm to play Roy Grace as Peter James’ Brighton detective novels finally make it to the small screen

Posted On 19 Dec 2019 at 6:17 pm

Peter James’ best selling Brighton detective novels are finally coming to the small screen with John Simm cast as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.

ITV announced today it had commissioned two 120-minute screenplays of the first two novels in the series, Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead.

Entitled Grace, they will be written by Russell Lewis and begin filming in Brighton early next year.

Dead Simple was first published in 2005, and Peter James has been talking of a possible TV adaptation for several years.

He said: “John Simm, who actually looks like the Roy Grace of my imagination, is inspired casting! With John in the lead, the brilliant scripting by Russell Lewis, and our wonderful production team, I’m confident that fans of my novels and of TV crime dramas in general will be in for a treat.”

Writer Russell Lewis, who is also known for his work on Morse, Lewis, Murphy’s Law, Sharpe’s Peril and Kavanagh QC, said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be involved in bringing Peter James’ brilliantly gripping series of Roy Grace novels to ITV.

“Each story is a fantastic, hair-raising, twisting, switch-back of a roller-coaster ride that grips the reader from first to last, and the opportunity to translate that best-selling magic to television is like all one’s Christmases and birthdays come at once.

“As his millions of fans and admirers are well aware, Peter’s meticulous research and eye for detail is the stuff of legend.

“His long established, close relationship with the police, taken together with a knowledge of Brighton and the south coast that is the sole preserve of the born and bred lends his stories an unimpeachable veracity of place and procedure.

“That John Simm will be breathing flesh to the bones of Roy Grace really is the cherry on a dark, and troublingly encrimsoned cake.”

The drama opens with Grace’s career at rock bottom. He’s fixated by the disappearance of his beloved wife, Sandy, which haunts his thoughts. He’s in the last chance saloon running enquiries into long forgotten cold cases with little prospect of success.

Following another reprimand for his unorthodox police methods, Grace is walking a career tightrope and risks being moved from the job he loves most.

With so much at stake, his colleague Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson knows he has more to give and asks him for help with a case. When a stag night prank appears to go wrong and the groom goes missing, Branson calls upon Grace to unravel events that led to the mysterious disappearance three days before his wedding to his beautiful fiancé.

A successful property developer with everything to live for, there is no trace of the missing groom. Is this a case of stag night shenanigans gone badly awry? Or is this something more sinister?

With nothing but instinct, a lingering suspicion and his obsessive nature, Grace doggedly pursues the groom’s disappearance and becomes uneasily close to the bride to be.

  1. Chaz Reply

    Brilliant news and the Christmas present us James/Grace-fans were all waiting for. Thanks ITV.

  2. Andrew Whittle Reply

    I can’t wait for these! Fantastic books and will be great to see on screen! I hope Peter James gets to add his twists to the TV version, and keep us all hooked as the books do.

  3. Bruce forward Reply

    Me can’t wait to see Roy on the tv. Do u need an extras?

  4. Mary Forbes Reply

    So Grace is coming to Australia! What fantastic news and even greater news that John Simm will play Roy. I have read all the Roy Grace books and cannot think of any actor better to play Roy. He is just as I imagined him when reading the books. Will count down the weeks until this “magic” comes to our screen.

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