Stephen Booth

The Devil’s Edge

"...this is a series that just gets better with every book."


A gang of violent thugs has been burgling properties and terrorising the inhabitants of the Peak District. When a well-off couple in an affluent area are found murdered it is assumed that the gang has struck again. Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Ben Cooper is assigned to the case. He knows the area well and soon begins to think that other motives are the cause of the deaths, He delves into the background and relationships of the neighbours in the case and teases out a host of undercurrents and emotions that could play a part in the deaths.

Feelings in the area are running high and when Ben's brother shoots an intruder on his farm, Ben is taken off the case and old adversary Detective Sergeant Diane Fry is put in charge. Unofficially Ben continues to take an interest and together with new officer, Carol Villiers, finally tracks down the killer.

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This is a case where local knowledge, both of geography and people is crucial to solving the case. Stephen Booth describes both beautifully. The local landscape is both scenic and atmospheric and definitely adds to the feeling of threat and menace. The beauty of the Devil's Edge and the surrounding moorland, as well as the sinister pools and strangely named landmarks build up the suspense. Ben Cooper and his family are satisfyingly normal, with the normal tensions and support. Diane Fry, on the other hand, is an enigma. The interaction between the two adds to the pattern of the story. This is the first of the series that I have read but I will now be returning to Booth's debut novel, 'Black Dog' and making my way through the remainder of his other books. From the standard of 'The Devil's Edge I would say this is a series that just gets better with every book.

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