MANY of his characters might not last long but the popularity of best-selling author Peter James shows no signs of dying.

The popular crime writer is enjoying another purple patch with his latest book, Need You Dead, flying high at the top of the charts.

The 69-year-old, who was born and raised in Brighton and now lives near Henfield, has seen the latest story in his Roy Grace series rest at number one in the Sunday Times fiction paperback chart for three weeks now.

He told The Argus: “I’m thrilled to bits that Need You Dead is at number one on the official UK bestseller list for the third week running – and at 24,560 units in print sold, my largest single week’s sale. This makes the book my 12th consecutive Sunday Times number one seller.

“I owe a huge thank you to all my readers here in Sussex and around the UK who support me so loyally, and also a very big thank you to The Argus which not only is hugely supportive to me, but plays a key role in all of Roy Grace’s investigations.

“My Roy Grace novels are translated into 37 languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese Finnish and Korean – which must surely make The Argus one of the world’s best-known local newspapers.”

And he has a message which will leave his fans delighted.

He said: “I’ve just finished the 14th Roy Grace novel, Dead If You Don’t, which begins with a youngster kidnapped at the Amex Stadium during the first Premier League game – and which will be published on May 17, 2018.”

Peter has always been meticulous in his research for his books, spending time with Sussex Police.

He has also spent lots of time with the police abroad including in the US, Australia and Germany.

The Argus, and fictional versions of our reporters, have often featured in the Roy Grace series.

He has spent time in the Argus office and has been out chasing stories with our crime reporters over the years. He first based a character on a reporter he met in 1992 after shadowing a journalist for a fortnight.

Last year he spent the day with crime reporter Rachel Millard and in June took on the role of editor of The Argus for the day, culminating in a fantastic newspaper which included features on the work of many of his contacts in the force.