|Fall Down Dead (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A cracking story which brings Kinder Scout to glorious, frightening life. A good read from a very reliable series. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496/9h34m||Date: August 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
DS Dev Sharma is delighted - if delight is the right word to apply to a murder case - but he's got a result when the husband of a murder victim is found with the knife, standing over the body, and admitting to the murder. DI Ben Cooper is concerned with a suspicious death on Kinder Scout. A party of walkers - the New Trespassers Walking Group - got lost in the fog and problems arose when one of the party was injured. The group split up to find help, or at least a mobile signal, but when they're rescued they're one short and the body of Faith Matthew was found at the bottom of Kinder Downfall. It looked like a dreadful accident, but Cooper wasn't happy about the way the body had fallen. Things are not always as they seem - in either case.
Then there's DS Diane Fry. She really should be up for promotion, but there's an odd atmosphere about when she's around (well, even odder than normal) and the Professional Standards came calling. Exactly what is it that they think they have on her and why do they keep bringing her sister, Angie, into the questioning?
I've read this book twice now - once by the traditional method and once as an audio download (which I bought myself) and the quality of the book shows through in that it stood up to two readings quite close together. There's a substantial cast of suspects with the walking group, but Stephen Booth handles them well. They're a disparate group, apparently there to commemorate the Kinder Mass Trespass of April 1932, but some seem to have little idea of what it's about and it's difficult to escape the conclusion that they're all, in some way, in thrall to the leader, Darius Roth. But, why?
It's the Kinder Scout case which dominates the book and Kinder Scout itself which comes across as the dominant character. Booth brings the mountain off the page better than any travel guide which I've read on the subject. It's somewhere I've wondered about walking, but Fall Down Dead has persuaded me that I'd be better off not risking having to call on one of the mountain rescue services. The writing is atmospheric and commanding: you sense a love of Kinder Scout - and a great deal of respect for the mountain.
The plot is good. I had someone inked in as the wrong 'un, but I was (as usual) proved completely wrong. I listened to the book a second time to see how Booth had done it and it was very, very clever. The narration of the book is by Mike Rogers and I was impressed. It's difficult to make such a large cast of characters seem individually vivid, but Rogers managed it well, without ever coming between the reader and the story. I look forward to listening to more of his work.
The book reads well as a standalone, but you will get more from the continuing story arc if you start at the beginning.
You could get a free audio download of Fall Down Dead (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fall Down Dead (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fall Down Dead (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.