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Dead in the Dark: A Cooper Fry Mystery

(Ben Cooper & Diane Fry #17)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  923 ratings  ·  98 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 ne

ebook, 368 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Witness Impulse (first published July 13th 2017)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  923 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Shelleen Toland
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-read
10 years ago, Reece Bower's wife disappeared and he was accused of killing her. Police searched and never found anything. Now Reece has disappeared and his new wife wants to know what happened to him.
Ben Cooper and Diane Fry are detectives on the case and they won't stop until they solve it.
This is the 17thbook of the series and even though I didn't read any of the others in this series, I felt that I learned enough about them to read it as a standalone.
Thank you to Edelweiss for the book to rev
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
My Opinion:

I really liked it. I got into Ben and wanted to know more about him. I like how the case was intertwined in another case. I am not a big police mystery reader so this was fun for me. Ben seemed like a decent guy and someone you would easily want to work with. Fry, on the other hand, was a b**ch. I did not like this woman at all. In fact, they could have removed her and the book would have been better. She did not add anything to the story but misery. Like who wants to be in this woman
How I love this series....

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.
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
This is a difficult one for me to review as the fact that I've loved this series from the off (and actually read them in order!) must surely cloud my judgement.

I have always enjoyed the conflict yet successful working partnership between Cooper & Fry but once again this story sees them working independently, & in different areas to each other. However, circumstances are such that a connection is found between their cases...& a very tenuous one IMHO. In truth I found both crime stories a bit of
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 copy o
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
Colin Mitchell
Starts off well with someone dying in the dark but the plot quickly becomes muddled and finally fizzles out with barely a whimper. Ben Cooper runs about like a headless chicken, never sopping to think until it is almost too late. Diane Fry is her distant and uncooperative self and I wondered the reason that she appeared in this book at all. At least the writing style was easily readable and the book was finished quickly.

Unfortunately, this feels like a series that has run its course and should b
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. Reece ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
It didn't hold my attention and felt myself just going along with the story to find out the ending. But this maybe just myself not able to visualise some of the scenes and actions taken. It was just an o.k book for me.
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
This was not a good read at all. There are pages and pages of waffle. Just mind numbing nonsense that drags on for ages. At one point in the book, I felt like I was reading a travel guide for the Peak District and the dales. 5 pages describing a winding road and a hill side. If they cut out all the dribble, this book would probably be about 200 pages less. The ending was abrupt. At the end of one chapter the main character was conducting interviews and the start of the next chapter it was all re ...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.
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, Brow ...more
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
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not really sure why the novel is presented as a "Cooper and Fry" duo. The two characters don't really have anything to do with being a team. The characters seem flat and uninteresting and the two separate investigations have nothing to do with each other, other than the author creates weak plotlines to join them.

I have read one other book in the series, though can't remember the title and found the same lackluster writing.
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. Mystery & Thriller
“No one wants to die in the dark. To lie alone in the blackness, feeling the chill of death creep slowly over you.”

If those opening lines don't chill you to the bone, I don't know what will. They kick off DEAD IN THE DARK, the 17th Cooper & Fry mystery from British author Stephen Booth. Being “in the dark” is a running motif throughout the story. You have detectives completely in the dark with murder cases that confound them, such as missing bodies and lack of clues. There is also a very creepy
A soliloquy on dying is really not the way to start a mystery. And another soliloquy on death is not really the way to end a mystery. Neither one adds anything to this book.

Booth continues his in-depth travelogues of the Peak District. I see this desire to describe everything around the characters in many books set in England and they always slow the pacing of the book to a crawl – or slower.

In the earlier books, Cooper and Fry worked side by side and their clashes as they tried to solve crimes
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book in the Cooper & Fry series and a first for Stephen Booth. The procedure was different from what we experience here in the US; however, everything followed a strong procedural process that was easy to understand. I am a big fan of mystery/suspense and frequently watch criminal-style TV shows/movies. Proving a murder happened without a body is difficult but I love how Cooper is set on putting this case to rest. Fry is focused on understanding how an immigrant's move into the ...more
Brian Kitchen
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read Stephen Booth’s DI Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry detective series from the very first novel. Knowing the Peak District and particularly Bakewell very well, makes the novels come to life and adds interest to the stories.
Stephen Booth writes a very good police procedural novel and his stories always have a good plot. When a man who was suspected ten years ago of murdering his wife disappears, Ben Cooper wonders if the two events are connected. Reece Bower’s wife’s body was never found an
V.E. Lynne
Years ago, Reece Bower was suspected of killing his wife Annette. Now, Reece himself has gone missing and there is no shortage of people who wanted him gone, chief amongst them his ex sister in law and his own daughter. But was it revenge or are other factors at work? Ben Cooper is on the case whilst Diane Fry works to solve the killing of a Polish man in an impoverished, northern town hollowed out by globalism and riven by ethnic differences. 'Dead in the Dark' was a good story but, as usual, I ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How many books ago in this series did I swear I was going to quit reading them because I just can't stand Diane Fry's character THAT MUCH? LOL I still don't like her, but I've stopped trying to fight it and now just sit back and enjoy the books. Ben Cooper also seems more like a real person now...for quite awhile, it felt like he was just going through the motions, and I didn't really feel like I'd gotten to know him as a person. Now, Cooper and Fry's paths intersect once again on a couple of di ...more
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Stephen Booth is the author of 18 novels in the Cooper & Fry series, all set around England's Peak District, and a standalone novel DROWNED LIVES, published in August 2019.

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 Best Detective created by a British author. The Crime Writers’ Association prese

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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