Stephen Booth

Secrets of Death

" original and intriguing novel."


Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets.

A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire's E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts. Meanwhile, in Nottingham Detective Sergeant Diane Fry finds a key witness has vanished...

But what are the mysterious Secrets of Death? And is there one victim whose fate wasn't suicide at all?

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I have read all fifteen novels in Stephen Booth's Cooper and Fry series and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. When a new one is released it's like receiving a visit from a long lost friend or a favourite relative - you know instantly what you're going to get a superbly written novel, expertly researched and engaging from beginning to end. Stephen Booth is a master storyteller and has crafted his most ambitious novel to date as DI Ben Cooper and his team of E Division investigate why people are flocking to the various Derbyshire beauty spots to end their lives. The beauty of the Derbyshire countryside is used wonderfully to explore this dark subject. Booth intelligently weaves the entertainment we get from a crime fiction novel with the stark reality of the implications of suicide - this is a novel to get you thinking and questioning your own beliefs on who has the final say over life and death. Cooper's fractious relationship with DS Diane Fry is further explored here. I enjoy how Cooper's character changes when she arrives on the scene. He doesn't quite feel comfortable around her on a personal and professional level. This is a wonderfully drawn and awkward relationship. 'Secrets of Death' is an original and intriguing novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will stay with me for a long time. I get the feeling we are going to have Cooper and Fry around for a long time to come. I really hope so.

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