They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy's Story

From the Multi-Million Copy Bestselling Author of The Roy Grace Series

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 9 May 2024 | Archive Date 9 May 2024

Talking about this book? Use #TheyThoughtIWasDeadSandysStory #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Creator of Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s favourite fictional detective.

23 million books sold.

'One of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world' - Lee Child

Peter James, the number one, multi-million copy bestselling author of the Grace series returns to finally reveal the events of Roy Grace’s tortured past – the truth behind his wife’s disappearance. Thrillingly told from her perspective, this is Sandy’s story.

Some will know how it begins . . .

My name is Sandy.
My husband is Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.
But when I disappeared, even he couldn't find me . . .

This is my story.

There's more to Sandy than meets the eye. A woman with a dubious past, a complicated present and an uncertain future.
Then she was gone.

Some will think they know how it ends . . .

Her disappearance caused a nationwide search. Even the best detective on the force couldn't find her.
They thought she was dead.

But nobody knows this . . .

Where did she go? Why did she run? What would cause a woman to leave her whole life behind and
simply vanish?

For the first time the truth behind Sandy Grace’s dramatic disappearance is revealed. They Thought I Was Dead will thrill fans and new readers alike with its gripping story of a woman on the run. This is Sandy's story.


'One of the best crime writers in the business' - Karin Slaughter

'This is the one I’ve been waiting for. And it’s a masterpiece of suspense. I quite literally couldn’t put it down - even when I was supposed to be doing other things . . .' - Barbara Erskine, author of The Dream Weavers

Creator of Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s favourite fictional detective.

23 million books sold.

'One of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world' - Lee Child

Peter James...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529031430
PRICE £22.00 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 82 members

Featured Reviews

As an avid fan of the Roy Grace series, the mystery of Sandy is always lingering. So very pleased that her story has now been told and what a story! She had quite the adventure. Excellent writing as always and a read that was over all too quickly.

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to NetGalley, Pan McMillan and Peter James for my ARC of 'They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy's Story' in return for my honest review.

I have read all of Peter James' novels and was delighted to receive the advance copy of this and was not disappointed. The author takes us back to the beginning where Roy Grace's wife disappeared and tells the story of what happened to her. Her character plays a part in the background of many of the novels in the series.

Thoroughly enjoyable read with a complex tale with numerous twists and turns throughout.

Highly recommended

Was this review helpful?

I love the Roy Grace series of books so to finally get Sandys story of why she ran out on Roy and then finally reappeared ten years later has been an absolute joy. I loved this story and it has made me warm a bit more to Sandy rather than just think she is the nasty woman who robbed Ray of ten years of his child’s life. A great read for all fans.

Was this review helpful?

Peter James takes us back to the beginning, to when Sandy first decides to do what she does,and what a story it is.She starts off doing what she does from boredom but that leads to other vices.After a brief affair she decides to leave it all behind and that's when her problems really get a lot worse as there are plenty of undesirable characters waiting to prey on her vulnerable state.Sandy is a very complicated person not really knowing what she wants until its to late to go back.
This was a read that I raced through and can't recommend it highly enough
This is another brilliant read from the master storyteller who is Peter James. Thanks to Netgalley and Pan Macmillian for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgallery and the publisher for this ARC. The publication date is 9th May. I loved the ‘Roy Grace’ series on ITV and I was delighted to finally know what happened to Sandy the burning question on everyone’s lips!

I felt sorry for Sandy after all she had been through fans of the ‘Roy Grace’ series will devour this book! I’d highly recommend this book if you have watched the series on ITV.

Was this review helpful?

Fans of Peter James' long-running Roy Grace series will be familiar with the saga of Grace's ex-wife Sandy. Only legally "ex" after being declared dead 10 years after she'd disappeared ,leaving Grace with no clue as to where or why she'd gone and even briefly under suspicion of murdering her.
Sandy's whereabouts was an ongoing backstory in several books, Grace's efforts to find her and some very odd behaviour that he didn't know was her handiwork. An end did come that I won't reveal for those who don't already know and readers were no wiser than Grace as to her full story.................until now.

Finally Peter James has decided to reveal all,and the story of Roy Grace's deeply-flawed ex is an enthralling one.
Bored and feeling neglected ,as her husband's career continually takes priority over their marriage and social life, Sandy looks for thrills and makes a series of bad decisions that escalate until one becomes potentially life-changing......or ending. Straight from the frying pan into the fire she constantly has to move on,finding herself in strange situations,often with equally strange people.

Roy Grace fans will love this,finally some "closure" on the story of his errant wife. They'll also recognise many other characters and events from the series that are skilfully knitted into the tale, Sandy is a complicated person to put it mildly and I doubt I'll be the only reader to be left thinking that the best thing that happened in Roy Grace's life was her leaving.

An excellent read,and an overdue "reveal" of the events behind Sandy's disappearance.

Was this review helpful?

I've followed the Roy Grace series right back from the beginning so I knew the story (from Roy's side) of his wife Sandy. I didn't think I would like hearing Sandy's story from her side though, and thought I would miss having Roy and an investigation in the book. How wrong was I?! I really enjoyed this book. Having known of Sandy for so long, it was really interesting to hear her side of the story and see what really happened between her and Roy and why she left. I have to say though, you probably do need to have read the other books in the series to fully understand Sandy's story.

I never liked Sandy - I mean, she left Roy!! But, this book made me look at her in a different light. Her storyline confirms some things which we probably knew, made sense of other things that we didn't know and told us what she was doing for those missing 10 years. The thrills of the casino, the fear of the debt and the sadness of a questionable relationship kept me hooked to her story throughout and I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it.

It was different to the other books in the series, but definitely still one which should be read if you are a Roy Grace fan. Would recommend.

Was this review helpful?

You don't have to have read all 18 Roy Grace novels by this author before you read this as this story could be read as a standalone or as a companion novel to the series.
In the first book in the series, the main character is tormented by his wife who has been missing for 7 years and wound through each subsequent book are bits and pieces of Sandy's story as Roy gradually learns what happens to her. This new book is written totally from Sandy's perspective and is a mystery on its own.

For those of you who have read the series it adds a new dimension to what has been happening to Roy, but while it does explain her disappearance I don't believe it will spoil the series for a reader who hasn't read it as it would be just like reading two different people's point of view.

Was this review helpful?

The most anticipated book in my opinion. Sandy has always held intrigue in the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series. Why did she disappear, why move to Germany, is Bruno Roy’s son? The book finally put some meat on bones, providing detail and reasoning behind a lot of unanswered questions.
Sandy’s life is complex and full of secrets which all catch up with her. With several white knights that aren’t all as they seem, she has not had an easy time of things.
5 stars to Peter James and thank you for finally giving us the story we have all wanted!

Was this review helpful?

Wow, what a read. Really binge worthy. Love the amazing concept to tell your readers what really happened to Sandy. I am sure I was not alone in never really worrying about her, it was just a fact that she vanished without trace, and was always a back story. This really gave the reader why she left, and how she managed it without a trace. So clever the way her history was filled in. I thoroughly enjoyed it and struggled to put it down.

Was this review helpful?

I am a huge fan of the Roy Grace series, so was really excited to see that Peter James had written this book. When we first meet police officer Roy Grace, he is still desperately trying to find out what happened to his wife Sandy, who disappeared suddenly and without trace. Throughout the series we have been given little scraps of Sandy's story, but this is the complete picture and I really loved it!! I also found it very sad, as Sandy seemed to always be looking for something in life and never seemed completely happy. We already knew how it ended but it was good to get all the gaps filled in.
Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Copied to Goodreads.

Was this review helpful?

This is a story about the life of the very troubled wife of detective Roy Grace and how she managed to get herself into so much trouble with some very dangerous people and finally to disappear whilst all the time still holding a candle for Roy. This sad tale is well written and I am sure readers of the Roy Grace series will love it.

Was this review helpful?

Oh Sandy! Having read all of the books in the series I was pretty captivated by the story of Sandy and her mysterious disappearance. I always assumed there could be so much more to her story and felt the need to know all the answers so, in that respect, this book was to be a real treat. It was, however, so much more than just the answers Sandy’s own story is far more complex than I outdoor ever have dreamed and deservedly needed to be told. I’m aware I’m actually writing this as though she’s a real person because I’m so engaged and invested in the whole saga that I (almost) feel that way. Granted she doesn’t always make the right decisions along the way but who does? Her vulnerability and love for those around her, however, really shine through in this story and I’ve smiled but cried probably in equal measures. As ever the author makes the most foreboding and sinister of ‘bad guys’ and I felt lots of very real threat looming. Domestic abuse and coercive behaviours are also tackled headlong and sensitively and honestly. This book and definitely the ending will one hundred percent stay with me and in my thoughts for a very long time. Truly feel privileged to have been on the rollercoaster ride.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book as it gave an interesting view of things from Sandy's point of view. As a long-time fan of the Roy Grace books I really appreciated this clever addition to the series.
I will definitely be recommending this book.

Was this review helpful?

I have to be honest this is the first Peter James book I have read, my friends have read them all so that here goes... I was not disappointed at all, great storyline, characters you could relate to and there are some great funny moments.. won't say as it will spoil it. I am now going to start reading Peters books, brilliant author, thank you Netgalley and publishers

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: