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Posts Tagged ‘Cooper and Fry’

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This novel is the first in a series of detective mysteries set in the Peak District and featuring DCs Ben Cooper and Diane Fry. A 15 year old girl is murdered and as the police try to find out who did it and why, they are hampered by the secrets being kept by many of the villagers, as well as their own personal demons.

There was a lot to like about this novel; I enjoyed the setting, which is obviously somewhere well known to the author, and he shows his knowledge through the Cooper character – Ben is a native Peak District inhabitant and knows the area like the back of his hand. Fry has recently transferred to the area from the West Midlands Police Service – for reasons that become apparent late on in the story, although hints are dropped here and there beforehand – and is therefore not as knowledgeable about either the area or the local people. Both are quite spiky characters, although Ben is infinitely more likeable. There are also other characters, mainly their colleagues, who I imagine will also feature in future novels in the series.

The mystery itself was well drawn and I didn’t guess the ending, which was a pleasant surprise, especially as it wasn’t outlandish (I hate it when you read a mystery where the ending turns out to be something completely out of left-field which no reader would have been able to guess; happily that wasn’t the case here).

My only slight niggle with this novel was that I felt there was a fair bit of unnecessary overly descriptive pieces, and I did think that it could have done with a bit of editing. But it’s the first book in a series and also the author’s debut novel, so I will be interested to see how the characters and how the writing develops.

I will be reading more books in this series, and I would recommend this novel to fans of the mystery genre.

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