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Friday, 14 April 2017

☀ Secrets of Death: Cooper and Fry Mysteries [16] - Stephen Booth

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Secrets of Death, a Thriller by (first published on 16 June 2016; this edition , Witness Impulse, 296 pages).

This is the sixteenth book in the Cooper and Fry Mysteries series.

Don't miss our interview with author Stephen Booth.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and the Kindle Cloud Reader Preview below.

Author Stephen Booth will be awarding a digital copy of Secrets of Death to three randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).


|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

Synopsis

For fans of Broadchurch, Louise Penny, and Peter Robinson comes a spellbinding new novel from internationally bestselling author Stephen

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 — with no way of predicting where the next body will turn up. 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?


The Series: Cooper and Fry Mysteries

|| [1] || [2] || [3] || [4] || [5] || [6] || [7] || [8] || [9] || [10] || [11] || [12] || [13] || [14] || [15] ||

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Black Dog [1]

Dark, intense and utterly compelling, Black Dog was an extraordinary first novel from a writer who has rapidly become the most promising crime author to emerge in the genre in years.

‘Where Cooper stood was remote and isolated… but the smell that lingered under the trees was of blood’

The long hot Peak District summer came to an end when they found Laura Vernon's body. But for local policeman Ben Cooper the work has just begun. His community is hiding a young girl’s killer and a past as dark as the Derbyshire night. It seems Laura was the keeper of secrets beyond her years and, in a case where no-one is innocent, everyone is a suspect.

But Cooper’s local knowledge and instincts are about to face an even greater challenge. The ambitious DC Diane Fry has been called in from another division, a woman as ruthless as she is attractive…

[Published 2 May 2000, 537 pages]

Dancing With the Virgins [2]

The second in the series set in the Derbyshire Peak District, Dancing with the Virgins is a tense psychological follow-up to Stephen Booth’s acclaimed debut Black Dog.

‘The body of the woman sprawled obscenely among the stones… She looked like a dead woman, dancing.’

The ring of cairns known as the Nine Virgins has stood on the windswept moors of Derbyshire for centuries. Now, as winter closes in, a tenth figure is added – a body – and a modern tragedy is added to the dark legend that surrounds the stones.

There’s no shortage of suspects, each with their own guilty secret, but what DS Fry and DC Cooper lack is any kind of motive. As they search separately for answers, it seems the reasons for the strange behaviour of the moor’s inhabitants may lie somewhere in the past, in a terrible crime yet to be discovered…

[Published 8 May 2001, 573 pages]

Blood on the Tongue [3]

Guilt, sacrifice and redemption in a freezing Peak District winter in this tense psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of Black Dog: ‘A dark star may be born!’ Reginald Hill

It wasn’t the easiest way to commit suicide. Marie Tennent seemed to have just curled up in the freezing snow on Irontongue Hill and stayed there until her body was frosted over like a supermarket chicken. And hers isn’t the only death the police have to contend with either – not after the discovery of a baby in the wreckage of an old Airforce bomber, and the body of a man dumped by a roadside.

As if three bodies on her hands isn’t enough, snow and ice have left half of ‘E’ Division out of action and Diane Fry is forced to partner DC Gavin Murfin. She and Ben Cooper were never a match made in heaven, but next to Murfin, working with Ben starts to look like a dream.

He’s on a trail of his own, though – and one as cold as the Peak District January. In an equally bitter winter in 1945 an RAF bomber crashed on Irontongue Hill killing everyone except the pilot, who walked away and disappeared. Now his grand-daughter, Alison Morrissey, is in Derbyshire desperate to clear his name, and Ben can’t help taking an interest.

But is a fifty-year-old mystery really the best use of police time? Or does a vicious attack in the dark Edendale backstreets prove that the trail’s not quite as cold as he’d thought? Could the past be the only clue to present violence as an icy winter looks set to get even chillier?

[Published 2 April 2002, 643 pages]

Blind to the Bones [4]

A death in the family-from-hell bring Detectives Fry and Cooper to a remote and unfriendly rural community in their fourth psychological thriller.

'And as it grew dark, Withens became almost entirely silent. Except for the screaming.'

A small village in the Peak District, Withens is troubled by theft and vandalism, mostly generated by local family-from-hell, the Oxleys. Now it is the focus of a murder investigation – a man's body has been found on the bleak moors nearby, and the man is an Oxley. To crack the case, DC Ben Cooper must break open the delinquent clan.

His boss, DS Diane Fry, is also in Withens. Grim new evidence has turned up in the case of a missing student but her parents refuse to believe she could be dead.

The darkness in Withens's heart is growing. And things are only going to get nastier…

[Published 20 October 2003, 643 pages]

One Last Breath [5]

Major new psychological Peak District thriller from the acclaimed author of Blood on the Tongue and Blind to the Bones.

The vast labyrinth of caverns, passages and subterranean rivers beneath the Peak District are a major tourist attraction. But this summer not all the darkness is underground, and not all the devils are folk legends. Mingling with the holidaymakers is a convicted killer, bent on revenge.

Fourteen years ago Mansell Quinn was sentenced to life imprisonment for stabbing his lover to death. Now he's out and within a matter of hours his ex-wife is found dead – a new identity and a new home no safeguard against murder.

Looking to the original case files for clues to the fugitive’s wherabouts, detectives Diane Fry and Ben Cooper discover there may be other potential victims out there. And as the son of the officer responsible for putting Quinn behind bars, Ben realizes that his own name could be high on the list.

[Published 5 July 2004, 551 pages]

The Dead Place [6]

Soon there will be a killing. Close your eyes and breathe in the aroma. I can smell it right now, can’t you? So powerful, so sweet. So irresistible. It’s the scent of death.

‘It’s perfectly simple. All you have to do is find the dead place’

The anonymous caller who taunts the Police with talk of an imminent killing could be a hoaxer, his descriptions of death and decomposition a sick fantasy. But Detective Diane Fry is certain she’s dealing with a murderer. The voice – so eerily, shiveringly calm – invites the police to meet the ‘flesh eater’. Fry fears it may already be too late to save the next victim.

DC Ben Cooper, meanwhile, is looking into Derbyshire’s first case of body snatching. The investigation takes him into the dark, secret world of those whose lives revolve around the dead and their disposal – from funeral directors to crematorium staff and a professor whose speciality is the study of death.

Where is the dead place? And what terrible deeds are done there?

[Published 23 May 2005, 610 pages]

Scared to Live [7]

A dark psychological thriller featuring Diane Fry and Ben Cooper, in which a small community is ripped apart by arson and murder. ‘Ingenious plotting and richly atmospheric’ – Reginald Hill.

An assassination in the night – an open window and three bullets from the darkness – the victim a harmless middle-aged woman. But can she really be quite as innocent as she seems? The death of Rose Shepherd swarms with questions – unlike the deaths of a woman and her two children in a house fire. A tragedy, yes, but an everyday one.

Then DS Fry discovers a link between the two cases, a link that crosses the borders between nations, between right and wrong, between madness and sanity. She and Ben Cooper discover why some people are scared to live – and others are fated to die…

[Published 5 June 2006, 594 pages]

Dying to Sin [8]

Detectives Fry and Cooper return in another supremely atmospheric Peak District thriller, perfect for fans of Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill

Building work at an isolated farm has unearthed more than just the usual remains… two human are discovered, seemingly buried years apart.

With little forensic evidence to go on, Detectives Diane Fry and Ben Cooper have to look back into the farm's history, where they uncover decades of abuse of migrant workers. Is the truth to be found somewhere in this piteous history?

Or does the answer lie elsewhere, hidden in the ground, and still waiting to be discovered?Detectives Fry and Cooper return in another supremely atmospheric Peak District thriller, perfect for fans of Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill

Building work at an isolated farm has unearthed more than just the usual remains… two human are discovered, seemingly buried years apart.

With little forensic evidence to go on, Detectives Diane Fry and Ben Cooper have to look back into the farm's history, where they uncover decades of abuse of migrant workers. Is the truth to be found somewhere in this piteous history?

Or does the answer lie elsewhere, hidden in the ground, and still waiting to be discovered?

[Published 3 Sep 2007, 382 pages]

The Kill Call [9]

An atmospheric new Fry and Cooper thriller for fans of Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill.

On a rain-swept Derbyshire moor, hounds from the local foxhunt find the body of a well-dressed man whose head has been crushed. Yet an anonymous caller reports the same body lying half a mile away. Called in to investigate the discovery, detectives DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper become entangled in the violent world of hunting and hunt saboteurs, horse theft and a little-known sector of the meat trade.

As Fry follows a complex trail of her own to unravel the shady business interests of the murder victim, Cooper realizes that the answer to the case might lie deep in the past. History is everywhere around him in the Peak District landscape – particularly in the ‘plague village’ of Eyam, where an outbreak of Black Death has been turned into a modern-day tourist attraction.

But, even as the final solution is revealed, both Fry and Cooper find themselves having to face up to the disturbing reality of the much more recent past.

[Published 2 April 2009, 549 pages]

Lost River [10]

An atmospheric Fry and Cooper thriller for fans of Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill.

A May Bank Holiday in the Peak District is ruined by the tragic drowning of an eight-year-old girl in picturesque Dovedale. For Detective Constable Ben Cooper, a helpless witness to the tragedy, the incident is not only traumatic, but leads him to become involved in the tangled lives of the Neilds, the dead girl's family.

As he gets to know them, Cooper begins to suspect that one of them is harbouring a secret - a secret that the whole family might be willing to cover up.

Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Diane Fry has a journey of her own to make - a journey back to her roots. As she finds herself drawn into an investigation of her own among the inner-city streets of Birmingham, Fry realises there is only one person she can rely on to provide the help she needs.

But that man is Ben Cooper, and he's back in Derbyshire, where his suspicions are leading him towards a shocking discovery on the banks of another Peak District river.

[Published 1 April 2010, 346 pages]

The Devil's Edge [11]

In the heart of summer, in the dead of night, something wakes you. The house is quiet. The children are sleeping. The kitchen is empty.

Except for the body on the floor.

A series of brutal home invasions is terrorizing the Peak District. Until now, the burglars haven't left a clue. This time, they've left a corpse. But as the death toll rises, two intrepid cops begin to suspect that the robberies - and the murders - are not what they seem. Beneath the scorching summer sun, a dangerous game is in play . . . and a merciless killer is hiding in plain sight.

Packed with twists, suspense, and danger, The Devil's Edge is a gripping thriller to rival the very best of Peter Robinson and Peter James.

[Published 7 April 2011, 350 pages]

Dead And Buried [12]

Brutal acts of firestarting have ravaged the Peak District, and now a new wave of moorland infernos sweeps across the national park. For DS Ben Cooper, the blazes are best left to the firefighters, even with the arsonists still at large.

But when an intruder breaks into an abandoned pub, Cooper is on the case - and he swiftly unearths a pair of grim surprises. The first is evidence of a years-old double homicide. And the second is a corpse, newly dead...

What links the three deaths? Where are the missing bodies? Who is responsible - and how do the raging fires fit in? For Cooper and his rival DI Diane Fry, it's the most twisted investigation of their lives... and with an ingenious killer pulling the strings, it could also be their last.

Drenched in atmosphere and danger, Stephen Booth's relentless new thriller builds to a shock finale that will catch even the most seasoned suspense readers off guard.

[Published 21 June 2012, 385 pages]

Already Dead [13]

A summer of endless rain in the Peak District leaves the officers of Derbyshire's CID with a problem. They have discovered a man's body lying in shallow water, but torrential rain has swollen the rivers and flooded the roads, making travel difficult and forensic examination impossible.

And that's not all. The absence of DS Ben Cooper, on extended leave after an arson attack, has left a serious gap. DS Diane Fry is a reluctant temporary replacement, but now their makeshift team is about to be tested to the limit. The fatal events of one damp August night are likely to remain shrouded in mystery if they can't track down a car glimpsed only as a dark outline in the rain by a passer-by.

As the rain turns into a deluge, loyalties among the officers will be put under intolerable strain as they try to solve their toughest case yet. And that's before it emerges that Ben Cooper is not at home, but has vanished into thin air...

Packed with atmosphere, suspense and danger, bestseller Stephen Booth's exceptional new Cooper and Fry thriller is a masterclass in British crime writing.

[Published 20 Jun 2013, 401 pages]

The Corpse Bridge [14]

The old Corpse Bridge is the route taken for centuries by mourners from villages on the western fringes of Derbyshire to a burial ground across the River Dove, now absorbed into the landscaped parkland of a stately home. When Earl Manby, the landowner, announces plans to deconsecrate the burial ground to turn it into a car park for his holiday cottages, bodies begin to appear once again on the road to the Corpse Bridge. Is there a connection with the Earl's plans? Or worse, is there a terrifying serial killer at work?

Back in his job after the traumatic events of previous months, Detective Sergeant Ben Cooper knows that he must unravel the mystery of the Corpse Bridge if he's going to be able to move on with his life. As the pressure builds, Ben doesn't know who he can trust and, when the case reaches breaking point, he has to make a call that could put everything - and everyone - at risk...

[Published 19 Jun 2014, 401 pages]

The Murder Road [15]

Ben Cooper and his team from Derbyshire Constabulary's E Division return in this gripping new page-turner from the master of the genre.

For the Peak District hamlet of Shawhead, there's only one road in and one road out. Its handful of residents are accustomed to being cut off from the world by snow or floods. But when a lorry delivering animal feed is found jammed in the narrow lane, with no sign of the driver except for a blood-stained cab, it's the beginning of something much more sinister...

'Booth skilfully portrays a stunning landscape with a dark heart that conceals secrets, vendettas and revenge.' Daily Mail on The Corpse Bridge

[Published 16 July 2015, 403 pages]



About the Author

A newspaper and magazine journalist for over 25 years, Stephen Booth was born in the English Pennine mill town of Burnley. He was brought up on the Lancashire coast at Blackpool, where he attended Arnold School.

He began his career in journalism by editing his school magazine, and wrote his first novel at the age of 12. The Cooper & Fry series is now published by Little, Brown in the UK and by the Witness Impulse imprint of HarperCollins in the USA. In addition to publication in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, translation rights in the series have so far been sold in sixteen languages – French, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Romanian, Bulgarian, Japanese and Hebrew.

Stephen left journalism in 2001 to write novels full time. He and his wife Lesley live in a village in rural Nottinghamshire, England (home of Robin Hood and the Pilgrim Fathers). They have three cats.

In recent years, Stephen Booth has become a Library Champion in support of the UK’s ‘Love Libraries’ campaign, and a Reading Champion to support the National Year of Reading. He has also represented British literature at the Helsinki Book Fair in Finland, filmed a documentary for 20th Century Fox on the French detective Vidocq, taken part in online chats for World Book Day, and given talks at many conferences, conventions, libraries, bookshops and festivals around the world.

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