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The Coroner (Jenny Cooper #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  1,078 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
A vulnerable boy hangs himself inside a young offenders' centre. A teenage girl is found dead of a heroin overdose. Then, after dealing with these two cases, Coroner Harry Marshall suddenly dies, apparently from natural causes. Jenny Cooper is his replacement & she is puzzled by Marshall's strange behaviour just before his death.
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by MacMillan (first published 2009)
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Jan 28, 2009 Pat rated it it was ok
Not bad, not great. Definitely too long (450 pages), in spite of the rather sparse script-like writing style. The villain of the piece and the nature of his/her villainy was spottable from a fair distance. And, by the way, Temazepan is not an anti-depressant. It sends you to sleep.
Apr 24, 2009 Sunnie rated it it was amazing
It isn’t very often that a new author comes my way about whom I know nothing at all. Usually if they are good, there is a buzz about them. People start talking about the book they’ve just read and others pick up on it. I hadn’t heard a word about M.R. Hall’s, THE CORONER so I had no real expectations that this was anything other than just another run-of-the-mill crime novel. You know the type of thing. You read it and a couple of weeks later you’ve forgotten most of the plot. I am happy to admit ...more
Dec 03, 2009 David rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2010 Ursula rated it really liked it

The Coroner's protagonist is, surprise, a coroner. Since she just starts out in this position, she teaches herself, and the reader, on the duties and rights of the coroner as needed, and as the investigations proceed, a point of view that I knew little about before I read this book.

The combination of the crime story, and political issues like private prisons and the difference between punishment and rehabilitation, together with a background story of a woman struggling with mental issues, makes
Terrie Sharp
Jun 18, 2011 Terrie Sharp rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
slow start, interesting story and satisfying end.
First Sentence: The first dead body Jenny ever saw was her grandfather’s.

Jenny Cooper spent 15 years practicing child-care law, but a serialized cheating, emotionally abusive husband and subsequent divorce, a missing year from her childhood, resulted in an emotional breakdown and severe panic attacks. She’s beginning to put her life back together and has been appointed local coroner in the Severn Vale District Corner, inheriting the office, and it’s rather resentful clerk, from recently deceased
Mar 22, 2010 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
I’m not sure what drew me to this one. I read a certain amount of crime, but I’m not a great lover of straightforward modern procedurals. But there are some authors who can give them that little bit extra to make them more than a generic read.Could M R Hall be one of them?

The set-up was promising. Jenny had an established career as a family lawyer but, after a nasty divorce and a breakdown, she opted for a new career in a new town. As a coroner.

It’s an interesting angle. One that I’d not come ac
Gerald Sinstadt
Apr 09, 2010 Gerald Sinstadt rated it liked it
Shelves: crime

Brave of a male author to make a female character the main protagonist, but M R Hall succeeds well enough. Though Jenny Cooper, the coroner of the title, isn't easy to like. She is in psychiatric consultation for some childhood trauma, suffering guilt pangs after a custody struggle from a messy divorce, at the same time addicted to pills and too much alcohol (a bottle of red, followed by a bottle of white, beer from the can, brandy meant to be for cooking, etc). Difficult to see how she was app
Aug 08, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, excellent crime writing and UK based
Mar 27, 2011 Zelda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deeply flawed main character and totally believable. Very engrossing how she refuses to give up searching for more evidence after she finds unsatisfactory procedures and verdicts carried out by her predecessor coroner. Glad to see that this is the first of a series.
May 18, 2011 Teryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Good, a page turner.
Melinda Elizabeth
Jul 10, 2011 Melinda Elizabeth rated it it was ok
This was a fairly bland procedural crime novel... I assume the author is setting up storylines for further novels, but it would have been nice to tie up some of the loose ends. There was just too much whinging and dragging, boring stories in this book to be good. If it had stuck with the coronial part, and cut out the pill popping lead character it might have been a little more tolerable than it was. The characters were one dimensional and I didn't really care what happened to any of them. Don't ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is first book about Jenny Cooper a newly appointed Coroner in Bristol, SW England. It introduces us to a struggling 42 woman who has endured a recent marriage break-up, with her teenage son chosing to stay with his Dad, a new remote home and a serious drug addiction following a nervous breakdown. Having lied on her application about her current medical issues she throws herself into her new job.
Unfortunately, she can hardly manage with all the demands on her and when a couple of cases appea
Rin Simpson
Feb 14, 2012 Rin Simpson rated it it was amazing
Synopsis: It's Jenny Cooper's first day on the job as Bristol's new coroner, and she's feeling nervous. Not only does her role come with a lot of responsibility, she's also recovering from a nervous breakdown in the wake of her marriage ending, juggling alcohol and pills to keep the darkness at bay. But something much worse is about to hit her. Was her predecessor's untimely death caused by a heart condition? Or was it more to do with his investigations into the suspicious circumstances surround ...more
Jenny Cooper mag dan een hoge functie bekleden bij Justitie, schrijver Matthew Hall zet zijn hoofdpersoon niet neer als een onaantastbare heldin. Jenny is een vrouw die zowel in haar werk als in haar privéleven nogal wat last heeft van angst en onzekerheid – met alle kalmeringsmiddelen en therapeutische consulten van dien. En toch staat ze (ondanks alles, natuurlijk) haar mannetje. Heel knap van een mannelijke auteur om zich zo in te leven in een vrouw, zonder van haar een karikatuur te maken.

Aug 02, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it
Found this book a bit of a slog at first, and it took a third attempt to really get into it, but once I did I found it pretty good.
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Apr 06, 2013 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it really liked it
I have been considering reading this one for a while now and decided it was time to get stuck into it. The story follows the newly appointed Coroner, Jenny Cooper to the Severn Vale District. Jenny is recovering from a breakdown following her divorce and losing custody of her teenage son to her husband, who is a right a***hole. Jenny is a troubled soul, addicted to tranquilizers and drinking a little too much. This seems to be connected to an incident in her childhood, she has blocked out of her ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Stevedutch rated it really liked it
Are there any professions allied to the police left for thriller writers in which to set their heroes or heroines? We’ve had any number of cops of all shapes, race, sizes, sexual persuasions, degrees of sobriety, degrees of mental turmoil; both male and female, married, unmarried, divorced or bereaved, in addition to just plain old pathologists, forensic pathologists, forensic psychologists, forensic archaeologists, paraplegic criminologists, graphologists, and the list goes on.

Now it’s the tur
Aug 27, 2013 Jools rated it it was amazing
Listened to as an audiobook, and I picked it up on the recommendation of a customer at the library. I was in no way disappointed - I thoroughly enjoyed it! The main character is flawed, struggling with mental issues and dependent on prescription drugs.........but how she deals with the corruption of the system she lands in, and emerges triumphant in her endeavours to get through the day on fewer pills, and STILL manages to solve the mysteries and bring the criminals to book is a great story. Eve ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Christie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, first in series featuring the main character a Coroner. A real good story, I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished book I downloaded the next in the series
Mar 29, 2014 Baoyi rated it really liked it
This is the first time I've encountered a heroine/hero in a capacity of coroner, not to mention that she has a therapist. The Coroner was pretty informative on the legal aspect and job scope of a coroner so I was pretty satisfied. The plot was slow going at first and there wasn't a lot of action as most of the suspense happened in the 'court rooms', but it detained my attention and Jenny Cooper fascinated me. She's one of the few characters who made me feel frustrated for her and not at her. The ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Shelbycat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read anything by this author before and I've never read a coroner based police procedural book either but I can tell that this will not be the last one of these i read. I loved the fact that a fair quantity of this book is based in south Wales as well. Oh and the cliffhanger ending about Jenny's past was a bit sneaky!
Jill Burkinshaw
Jun 18, 2014 Jill Burkinshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had mixed reviews so was a bit undecided whether to order it or not but decided that given the low cost it was probably worth the risk. I cant say with all honesty that it is the most gripping book I have ever read but it is certainly educational. At 55 years old I have never given much thought to what a Coroner's job entails so it was good to have it explained in such an easy to understand interesting manner. The book covers many topics including Jenny's struggle with mental health pr ...more
Lou Robinson
Sep 19, 2014 Lou Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a friend, I think I've found another author who I'll be adding to my series list. This is the story of a somewhat damaged lawyer who takes up a new post as coroner in the Severn Valley. Jenny Cooper has taken the role following on from the death of the previous incumbent. A mysterious death and closely following the mysterious deaths of his last 2 cases. Jenny takes up the challenge, and finally exposes the truth and corruption rife on her patch. Already ordered the next book...en ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Robyn rated it liked it
I found it hard to put this book down.. I don't think her anxiety helped my anxiety though. :)
Lynda Kelly
This was a pretty good story in itself but with way too many errors in it for a paid-for book. I wasn't impressed in the least. For me there were also a few unexplained loose ends....I have the second in the series in my wishlist and may try that although I'm not in any great rush, I must admit.
I loved the cover although the ASIN number didn't pick up the cover I had on my download with the woman and the bridge. I don't get why so many authors keep altering their covers and editions. I see no re
Oct 03, 2016 Liette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The investigation into suspicious death was very interesting but it could have been much better if some of the crap about getting drunk and high on meds had been in a smaller dose. I might give a try to book 2 in the series to see if it's better.
For a while there, I had the feeling that the drugs and alcool induced delirium were more important to the author that the investigation.
First by this author, Jenny Cooper, Severn Vale Coroner. excellent reading
Sep 21, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it
Like the series, which I read out of sequence. Recommended.
Tracy Wood
Oct 12, 2016 Tracy Wood rated it really liked it
This is a very good start to a series which goes from strength to strength. The heroine, Jenny Cooper, has serious problems which she is reluctant to face and take her more than one book to work through.
The details of how the coroner's office work are fascinating and add an extra element to the 'whodunnit' genre.
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M R Hall, otherwise known as Matthew or Matt Hall, lives and works in the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire. Born in London in 1967, he was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he graduated in law.

After several years as a criminal barrister in London, Matthew started writing TV drama, beginning with epsiodes of ITV's Kavanagh QC. He was nominated for a BAFTA for his
More about M.R. Hall...

Other Books in the Series

Jenny Cooper (6 books)
  • The Disappeared (Jenny Cooper, #2)
  • The Redeemed (Jenny Cooper, #3)
  • The Flight (Jenny Cooper, #4)
  • The Chosen Dead (Jenny Cooper, #5)
  • The Burning (Jenny Cooper, #6)

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