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Dead in the Dark: A Cooper Fry Mystery

(Ben Cooper & Diane Fry #17)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  418 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews

M aster crime writer Stephen Booth ventures into the Peak District's dark subterranean world for a brand new, stunning and gasp-inducing Cooper & Fry thriller.

'A modern master'

How do you prove a murder without a body?

Ten years ago, Reece Bower was accused of killing his wife, a crime he always denied. Extensive police searches near his home in Bakewell

ebook, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Witness Impulse
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How I love this series....

Elaine Tomasso
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for an advance copy of Dead in the Dark, the 17th novel set in the Peak District to feature detectives Cooper and Fry.

It is a while and a few books back since I last dipped into this series so there are a few changes. Ben Cooper is now a detective inspector and still in Edendale. Diane Fry is still a sergeant but now works for EMSOU which I think is the East Midlands Serious Crime Squad based in Nottingham.

Ben has his work cut out w
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
I'm a big fan of this series and, as an added bonus, had the opportunity to read this while touring the Peak District. That said, I thought that this was among the weaker books in the series. The Cooper and Fry storylines are largely independent, though, as always, Ben lends a hand to the ungrateful Fry. I remain a bit put off by the Cooper/Fry relationship which seems rather directionless.
Jane Fenn
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More adventures with Ben Cooper and the now numerous women that influence his life - I know its crime fiction, but I'm more intrigued by his 'love' life, I'm sorry..... :-) All the usual excellent content you'd expect from Stephen Booth, with a really captivating portrayal of the Derbyshire countryside, with the odd dead body to add an excuse to explore more of it, but the relationship between Ben, his work colleagues, family and those he meets in the course of his job are at the heart of the bo ...more
A very solidly enjoyable read which I was not pleased to interrupt for normal life.

Booth loves his research and as usual there's plenty of it here, both up to the minute and historical/geological. We're in Lathkilldale in the White Peak, old mines replaced by nature and we're in Shirebrook on the border with Nottinghamshire, old mines (and miners) replaced by migrant workers and [unnamed] Mick Ashley's Sports Direct warehouse. As usual too there's a bit too much shoehorned in, with superfluous
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: september-2018
Many thanks to Harper Collins Canada for an early e-copy of Dead in the Dark for review.
Dead in the Dark is the 17th book in the Cooper and Fry series. They are not in the same division anymore but they do have some story overlap. I kind of miss them working together because Ben Cooper’s nice manner and incredible local knowledge was such a good foil to Diane Fry’s street smart tough guy attitude. I am not sure I’d recommend this one as a stand-alone. With 16 books worth of personal and professi
Jessica Bronder
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben Cooper has quite a case load, some arson fires, robberies, and a missing person. This all seems standard stuff until you learn that the missing person, Reece Bower was accused of his former wife’s disappearance ten years earlier. He maintained his innocence and without a body they really couldn’t prosecute him. Now he has disappeared the same way.

At the same time Diane Fry has moved on yet finds herself investigating the death of a Polish immigrant and some human trafficking cases. Although
Bruce Hatton
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-crime
Another worthy addition to this highly original series which I've now been enjoying for a decade or more. It is the case of a couple of motorcycling burglars which this time connects DI Ben Cooper in Edendale and DS Diane Fry in Serious Crimes at Nottingham. At the same time Ben is investigating the disappearance of a man who who acquitted of murdering his wife 10 years before whilst Diane's main case involves the murder of a Polish man in a run-down former mining town. Her case also involves pe ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading British mysteries and this is a good one. It has a good balance of scene description, character development and police procedure. I like that we get to read about some of Cooper's private life as he develops a relationship. Fry is a cooler character, all business it seems. I had difficulty liking her. It was interesting to see how their separate cases overlap.

What I liked best about this novel was the setting. I liked learning about the caves and previous mining in the Peak Distr
A British tale of two English detectives, Ben Cooper & Diane Fry. Each of them is working on a different case but their paths occasionally cross and sometimes they sometimes work on the same case. The pace is slow at the beginning but will pick up as you dig deeper into the cases. As for me, I much more enjoyed the case that had fascinated Cooper for over 10 years. Reese Bower is accused of murdering his wife, Annette . Evidence seems to point to the husband but the body can not be found. Re ...more
Bobby D
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is not unusual for Police Procedural mysteries to introduce a crime and then have the detective solve it. Like he or she has nothing else to do but focus on the single crime being solved. So what is fun and a bit unusual in Steven Booth’s 17 Cooper and Fry series is that Cooper is now in charge and has a missing person, a ten year old murder with no body, an arson, robberies and then Diane Fry (his former partner) is working a murder in Cooper’s district. Keeping all of these balls in the air ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike other crime series with two police protagonists, Booth writes about a "team" which is not a team. This is the 17th book of the Cooper and Fry series but Cooper and Fry no longer work together and Booth skilfully works the crimes that each is working into a satisfying and cohesive whole. This is a novel which examines the changes in British society from the miners' strike and Thatcher's era to Polish immigration and Brexit.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Being a big fan of this series from its inception, I wanted to like it. I really did. But for me it was just “okay”. I found the story a bit contrived. It almost seemed that the story connection between Cooper and Fry was created as there needed to be something since it’s a Cooper & Fry mystery. But if felt forced and fell a bit flat for me. I was waiting for a twist that didn’t come.
I’m also not a fan of the new love interest for no other reason than the character is a bit too much of a co
CrazyCat (Alex)
As a big fan of Stephen Booth I have read all the Ben Cooper & Diane Fry books. And this new one "Dead in the Dark" is just as amazing as all the others in this series. It's a fast paced page turner and pulled me in from the start. And the twist in the end was one more point in my score book for this author. A brilliant crime writer I can't wait to read much more of. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thanks to NetGalley and Little, ...more
Tracy Edley
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fantastic book. Fast pace and gripping. I love the twist at the end. Stephen is such an incredible crime writer, and in places that I know so very well. Just brilliant.
Pauline Morgan
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book

I can't wait for the next book ... what more can I say? I want to here more about the wonderful characters Stephen Booth has created.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction
This author certainly knows a lot about the Peak District, and he really wants you to know it. The detail seems a bit jarring and unnecessary at times, and a bit mansplainy, but maybe that’s just because I know the area quite well myself too (I was born there!). Maybe other readers would appreciate knowing stuff irrelevant to the plot such as the layout of Buxton Opera House or the history of mining in north east Derbyshire.

Anyway, according to Goodreads this is the seventeenth book in a series,
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Before rating this book, I called up book #1 in the series, Black Dog, to make sure I wasn't imagining things. But, no. There is more atmosphere, mystery and character development in Black Dog than in the rest of the books in this series combined. Perhaps Booth intends to create a feeling of emptiness, despair and futility, but it's simply not enjoyable to read. Why is the bulk of the story about people driving from one place to the next, and why are we told about this ferrying process over and ...more
I understand that there are about 16 novels featuring the detectives Ben Cooper and Diane fry. I can't believe that this is the first one that I have stumbled upon.

This story is told through the eyes of several people. I think that the characters are developed in an interesting way.

This helps to create a novel which slowly unfolds. It deals with two crimes which are separated in time by a decade.

I liked the writing style and the use of real geographical locations.

I also like the way modern soci
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
There's only one reason I gave this book only one star. There are whole sentences, and even paragraph's copied word for word from the previous book. Although I'm sure it's annoying giving background character and event information from previous books every time there is a new book in a series, it's up to the author to find new ways to do this. It's wrong that someone should pay good money for a book only to read many of the same sentences as were the previous book. That's just laziness. And sham ...more
Pam Gough
I've enjoyed all the Cooper and Fry books I've read so far, although I don't think this is one of the best. The link between Cooper and Fry in this one seemed a little contrived. Still an enjoyable read, though. What really let it down for me was the poor quality of the proof reading. There seemed to be a lot of places where a random extra word had slipped into the text, and others where a word was missing from a sentence, so that it didn't make sense.
Ann Tonks
I actually prefer these books for the history and geography of the Peak District rather than for the solving of murder mysteries. Ben Cooper's a decent chap but Diane Fry seems to be getting less likeable over the series and their connection seems forced in this set of stories. The murders were well plotted even if I didn't believe either the set up or the follow up of one. Perhaps I'm being too critical. It was a perfectly reasonable read.
I am addicted to this crime series set in the Peak District of Derbyshire. The geological and industrial history of the area play a role in investigating the crime, and the story is set in the current political and social conditions in the UK. The story happens after the Brexit Referendum and feelings are running high among the right wing English who resent the influx of workers from Eastern Europe, particularly Poland. 3 and half stars.
Kay Smillie
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Stephen Booth. You know you will get a well written crime novel based in a beautiful part of the country, with the usual unexpected twist. You also know that Cooper and Fry will link up whether they look it or not. Another solid entry to the series. As we say in Scotland, lang may yer lum reek, Stephen Booth.

Ray Smillie
Martha Brindley
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Booth never disappoints me with the Cooper and Fry series. This is a good solid series and I would recommend them to lovers of the genre. This was fast paced, modern and had a lovely twist at the end. Thank you Net Galley for my copy.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this 3 1/2 stars. I didn't like it as much as the earlier books in the series. The constant twitter feed of whatever Ben is thinking is starting to get on my nerves. He seems to be getting less experienced and grown up the higher up the ranks he moves.
Christine Parker
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, challenge
Keeps the quality of the series going.
The advantage of reading a series is the personal soap operas going on in the background.
Carol or Chloe for Ben?
What IS the matter with Diane! And her sister?..
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This is a long-running series, a British police procedural, featuring Ben Cooper and Diane Fry.
Well done, with two interlinked plots. Ben has a new almost-girlfriend. His sister has a lump in her breast. And several murders get solved.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I did not feel content with this one. There was too much hopping about between scenes and POVs, and there were way too many coincidences for my liking. Also, I do like Diane Fry less with each new book.
Gail Humphrey
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always love Stephen Booth's series with Cooper and Fry. The fire and ice of modern policing.
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A former newspaper journalist, British author Stephen Booth is the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, who have appeared in 17 crime novels, all set in and around England's Peak District.

The Cooper & Fry series has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and Detective Constable Cooper has been a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective

Other books in the series

Ben Cooper & Diane Fry (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Black Dog (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #1)
  • Dancing with the Virgins (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #2)
  • Blood on the Tongue (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #3)
  • Blind To The Bones (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #4)
  • One Last Breath (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #5)
  • The Dead Place (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #6)
  • Scared to Live (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #7)
  • Dying to Sin (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #8)
  • The Kill Call (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #9)
  • Lost River (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #10)
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