Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth

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Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Faced with an epidemic of suicides DI Cooper and his team have to find a connection between the victims and make certain that no one utters the words 'suicide tourism' for the sake of one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: June 2016
Publisher: Sphere
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0751559989

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A strange phenomenon has hit the Peak District. There are those who call it 'suicide tourism', but it's frowned on, although it does rather hit the nail on the head. There have been an number of suicides in reasonably public, but picturesque place and all the victims seems to be remarkably competent at what they've done and usually from outside the immediate area. It's almost as though they've been tutored. But whilst it's against the law to assist someone to commit suicide, what's the legal position about providing information and support? Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his colleagues in E Division have to try and find some connection between the people who have died. But in what might almost be another world - the city of Nottingham - Detective Sergeant Diane Fry finds that a key witness in a case she's involved with has vanished.

Sometimes the reviewing gods are very kind. It's only a couple of weeks since I read and enjoyed Stephen Booth's The Murder Road and just as I'd posted my review, Secrets of Death dropped onto my desk. In the normal course of events I might not have taken a second look at this book: suicide doesn't appeal to me as a subject and please don't ask me to explain the perversity of the fact that murder does! But one book propelled me into another and I've just had a very indulgent couple of days with the book, enjoying the sun in the garden.

It's neatly handled: it would be all too easy to go into far too many gruesome details just for the sake of authenticity but Stephen Booth stays just nicely this side of providing a self-help manual for the would-be suicide. You do feel as though you're in the mind of someone at that low ebb - and there are some quite surprising insights. I was intrigued as to where the plot was going - were we going to end up with a book about people not being murdered? - but there are some neat twists and an outcome I really wasn't expecting.

The book would read perfectly well as a standalone, but I'll confess that I'm becoming more and more involved with Cooper's CID team. I can't help but feel relieved that Diane Fry has gone to Nottingham and the remaining team members are a good mix: there are no stereotypes, which you get in so many police procedurals and that's refreshing in itself.

I'd rather given up hope of finding a decent police procedural series which was already well established and had a decent back catalogue to get my teeth into: this series shows that you're never too old to learn and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more top quality police procedurals we can recommend anything by Elizabeth Haynes.

Stephen Booth's Cooper and Fry Books in Chronological Order

Buy Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon You could get a free audio download of Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Secrets of Death (Cooper and Fry) by Stephen Booth at Amazon.com.


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