Stephen Booth

Dead and Buried

"Booth's books, in my opinion, have got better and better..."


In the Peak District, fires are sweeping across the moorlands and the police and fire-fighters battle to keep everyone safe. When rucksacks are discovered buried amongst the peat, they are identified as belonging to a couple who went missing two years earlier after setting off in the snow. The police are unable to decide whether the couple simply got lost in the harsh landscape or whether they staged their disappearance to escape their debts.

When a local man's body is discovered, DS Ben Cooper and DI Diane Fry struggle to work together once more whilst trying to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together. Fry has moved on to bigger and better things and resents being back working with her old Derbyshire constabulary colleagues.

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Stephen Booth has developed a huge following for his books set in Derbyshire's Peak district. Booth's books, in my opinion, have got better and better as characters have settled down and the plots have become more intricate. In this latest book, a couple of strands are woven together from the recent past. Although the actual culprit isn't a huge surprise, the twists and turns that get you to the denouement mean that you are eager to keep turning the pages. Booth excels at describing the Peak countryside and in particular how it is changing over time. Particularly poignant in this book is the closure of a roadside inn that has failed to thrive as changes have taken place. DI Diane Fry is as prickly as usual and we are still only given glimpses into her past to explain why she is such a difficult character, which is very tantalising for the reader. Her relationship with Ben Cooper works well as usual although Cooper's character, I suspect, will be changing slightly in future books. 'Dead and Buried' is an excellent read and will appeal to both existing fans of Stephen Booth and also to readers new to the series.

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