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Mass Market Paperback The Dead Place Book

ISBN: 0440242711

ISBN13: 9780440242710

The Dead Place

(Book #6 in the Ben Cooper & Diane Fry Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

"This killing will be a model of perfection. An accomplishment to be proud of. And it could be tonight or maybe next week. But it will be soon. I promise." The anonymous phone calls indicate a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Another excellent mystery from Booth

#6 DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry mystery set in the Peak District of England. Once again, two cases end up tangled together. A strange caller rambles on about death, looking for 'the dead place,' quoting poetry and literary sources and makes it known how special they think the moment of death is. The call is made with a voice changer, and calls are made from public phones, often in the vicinity of where a funeral is taking place. And they promise that a death is coming. Is this a funeral home employee, or one of those ghouls who goes to funerals to soak up people's grief? Meanwhile, there is a case of a body found in an open area--first thought to be a murder victim, but once she is identified after a forensic artist's composite drawing is published in the newspapers, it's determined that she was a woman who had died of natural causes 18 months previously and had been believed to be cremated by her family. So who was cremated in her place? And how was the switch made? The story delves into the details of the funeral home/crematorium business as well as thoughts on death itself--which weighs heavily on Ben Cooper's mind as his mother suffers a stroke and is hospitalized, not doing well. Great story as always (although I still intensely dislike Diane Fry!) and I did not figure out the bad guy in this one at all. Looking forward to the next one!

A corpse-laden Dead Place

I've been a pretty faithful Stephen Booth reader with his ups and downs and this book falls somewhere in the middle. He is one of the best at setting a scene and clearly describing the countryside, but his plots sometimes seem unnecessarily labyrinthine. Oddly enough, in The Dead Place, I had the killer spotted pretty early but it was so obvious that I figured I was wrong and spent nearly the rest of the book homing in on the wrong person. In that sense, the book really was a success because it was enough to make me not trust my instincts. I am getting a little tired of the tension between Fry and Cooper, though. Fry's acid tongue and negativity certainly have potential to adversely influence morale and Cooper seems to be stuck in a rut out of which he only finally emerges toward the end of the book. On the plus side, the best part of this book is a detailed and completely believable portrait of the world of funeral homes and crematoria. I was absolutely fascinated by the description of a modern embalming, as well as the approach to "mending" and cosmetically enhancing corpses. It could have been sensational or gruesome, but it was presented quite scientifically and without drama.

Some of the Best Crime Writing Around

A newspaper and magazine journalist for over 25 years, Stephen Booth was born in the English Pennine town of Burnley. He was brought up on the coast at Blackpool, where he began his career in journalism by editing his school magazine and wrote his first 'novel' at the age of 13. Stephen gave up journalism in 2001 to write crime novels full time. He and his wife Lesley live in a former Georgian dower house near Retford, Nottinghamshire, in Robin Hood country. Derbyshire police are in a quandary. Is the anonymous caller who taunts them with an imminent killing just a hoaxer getting kicks from the calls he makes or is he for real. He is certainly very graphic in his macabre calls with descriptions of both death and decomposition, but anyone could read about that in books. Maybe it is just someone's sick fantasy. Can they afford to take the chance. After listening to the voice, so calm and controlled Detective Diane Fry is convinced that this is no sick, time waster, but a real killer and one who enjoys telling the police what he is going to do next. Challenging them to stop him before it happens.

Brit Crime and Suspense

This is a good read ... especially for those of us who like our mysteries British style and in a setting other than the usual city of London. Stephen Booth does a good job with characters and has the ability to be graphic without being ghoulish, entertaining and educational ... adding up to a satisfying experience when the book is finished.

Don't eat lunch

The calls are unnerving as the individual promises soon to begin his "killing will be a model of perfection". The receiver of the frightening calls Detective Superintendent Diane Fry prays some crackpot is making crank calls, but thinks this guy is the real deal that will keep on killing once he starts until he is stopped. Adding to the discomfit of the DS is the fact a woman has reportedly vanished from a nearby office. At the same time Detective Constable Ben Cooper investigates what happened to the woman whose human bones were recently found in the woods. Electronic facial reconstruction names the victim as Audrey Steele, who officially was cremated 18 months ago. Ben follows the fiery trail until the case turns stranger when an arsonist burns up potential proof as to who was cremated. Soon Ben's inquiry and Diane's preventative endeavor collide. Don't eat lunch while reading this exciting police procedural as a secondary character go into graphic detail lecturing the cops and readers on human decomposition rates and what happens to bodily fluids in death amongst other icky and yucky (scientific terms for gross) forensic insights. The two prime subplots are well written and fascinating to follow, partially because the respective tour guides, Ben and Diane, are sub-genre unique as they not likable protagonists. The bottom line is those who could stomach high school biology will enjoy this interesting look at the art of studying death. Harriet Klausner
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