Secrets of Death by Stephen Booth

Secrets of Death

Steeped in the atmosphere of the stunning Peak District, Secrets of Death is master crime writer Stephen Booth's most daring and clever Cooper & Fry thriller yet. A beautiful place to die . . . 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 idyl...

Title:Secrets of Death
Author:
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Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:400 pages

Secrets of Death Reviews

  • Kate
    Jun 10, 2016

    Another corking crime novel from Stephen Booth. I adore the Peak District setting of these books and it's particularly well used here.

    A review:

  • Jennifer
    Jun 17, 2016

    An eagerly awaited instalment of Peak District Noir. Stephen Booth is now very successful and a nice man to boot by all accounts and perhaps all of those goes to explain why the book suffers from the lack of a good editor. I found reading it a distinctly jangly experience for the nerves yet impelled onwards by his grasp of Derbyshire and by his theme - what one of the minor DCs refers to as 'suicide tourism'. It felt as though his threads needed combing through somehow - perhaps some taken out a

    An eagerly awaited instalment of Peak District Noir. Stephen Booth is now very successful and a nice man to boot by all accounts and perhaps all of those goes to explain why the book suffers from the lack of a good editor. I found reading it a distinctly jangly experience for the nerves yet impelled onwards by his grasp of Derbyshire and by his theme - what one of the minor DCs refers to as 'suicide tourism'. It felt as though his threads needed combing through somehow - perhaps some taken out altogether (although certainly used in another book) if they were not to be beefed up a bit more here. DS Diane Fry's mysterious and problematic sister and her new baby for example, and DS Dev Sharma who was a promising introduction in the last outing...immigration enforcement...students funding their studies through sex work.

    It was interesting to spend more time in this story in Nottinghamshire which is where Stephen Booth actually lives (now there's a mystery)

  • Jane Fenn
    Jun 18, 2016

    Another cracker from Stephen Booth. A cluster of suicides trigger an investigation into whether there are links. Once again, a very topical subject area brought into modern crime fiction as a new coroner provides an opportunity to investigate the psychology of suicide and gives Ben Cooper a new character to interact with. Interesting and insightful in the framework of a great crime story. Loved it and can't wait to see what happens to Ben next!

  • Dorothy
    Apr 22, 2017

    I love thi s crime series set in Britain's Peak District but this is my least favourite of the series. For me the subject matter was very difficult as I found myself in disagreement with the author and most of the characters on the issue of rational suicide so I was constantly arguing with them in my mind.

    The character of Diane Fry also bothered me. She seems to be getting worse as a colleague even though she now has a position that appeals to her more than being in Edendale. In all, I found it

    I love thi s crime series set in Britain's Peak District but this is my least favourite of the series. For me the subject matter was very difficult as I found myself in disagreement with the author and most of the characters on the issue of rational suicide so I was constantly arguing with them in my mind.

    The character of Diane Fry also bothered me. She seems to be getting worse as a colleague even though she now has a position that appeals to her more than being in Edendale. In all, I found it a bit depressing but grateful for the wonderful descriptions of place which once again made me want to jump on a plane and go there. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the series.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    Mar 09, 2017

    I'm a latecomer to the Cooper & Fry series, just read the latest three books out of the sixteen that's been published, but I find the books interesting and I love how different Copper and Fry are. Fry isn't really the most, let say, warm person, almost wrote a human person, but she is still human, I think. Fry is struggling in this book with unwanted house guests in the form of her sister and nephew, meanwhile, Cooper is moving into his new house, probably in a way to try to cope with his re

    I'm a latecomer to the Cooper & Fry series, just read the latest three books out of the sixteen that's been published, but I find the books interesting and I love how different Copper and Fry are. Fry isn't really the most, let say, warm person, almost wrote a human person, but she is still human, I think. Fry is struggling in this book with unwanted house guests in the form of her sister and nephew, meanwhile, Cooper is moving into his new house, probably in a way to try to cope with his recent loss. What they don't know is that they are working on the same case, well they are investigating the same person, but for different reasons...

    It's a strange case, it seems that the suicide rating has been increasing lately, but what if the suicides is not a suicide, or rather what if someone is encouraging people to die? And, what's the connection with Fry's case?

    Personally, I found the second half of the story the best when Fry and Cooper were working together, they are an interesting team and it's so much more enjoyable reading about them working together than separately. And, I felt that Fry just didn't do much to the story until they discovered the connection between the cases although, the tone seems to be a bit more frosty than in the last book, but with Fry is it hard to tell, to be honest.

    I did not see the outcome of the case, how it all was linked and it was nice to not be able to figure it all out. Secrets of Death was a good book, perhaps not as engaging as the last one in the series, but I enjoyed reading this book.

  • Joan
    Apr 08, 2017

    I liked this British police procedure novel. It has a good balance of investigation technique and detectives' personal lives. This novel is part of a series. There is a definite history between some of the characters but I found that the novel read well on its own.

    The novel has an unusual plot – an apparent epidemic of suicides. Cooper suspects someone is orchestrating the increasing number of deaths in the area. Trying to find a connection between the victims stretches Cooper's investigative sk

    I liked this British police procedure novel. It has a good balance of investigation technique and detectives' personal lives. This novel is part of a series. There is a definite history between some of the characters but I found that the novel read well on its own.

    The novel has an unusual plot – an apparent epidemic of suicides. Cooper suspects someone is orchestrating the increasing number of deaths in the area. Trying to find a connection between the victims stretches Cooper's investigative skills.

    Cooper is the main character in this story with Fry coming in later on. I could tell there was friction between the two investigators from past events. If one wanted to appreciate the full relationship between the policemen the previous novels should be read.

    This novel centers on suicide. There is much about it in the novel including ways of completing suicide, opinions on assisted suicide, whether it should be legal, etc. Readers sensitive to this topic may have difficulty with the emphasis in the book.

    I like the author's writing style. There was a clever spot I must point out. The detectives were talking about a sign of depression, a semi-colon drawn in ball point ink on the wrist of a teenage girl who had committed suicide. The sentence describing the meaning of the symbol had a semi-colon in it!

    This is a good British police procedure novel and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  • Ray Palen
    Jun 07, 2017

    Even though SECRETS OF DEATH is the 16th novel in the terrific Cooper and Fry mystery series by Stephen Booth, his name is still far from a household word here in the U.S.A. I can only hope that enough people, and other shrewd reviewers who have a nose for great novels, get the word out about this novel and the series that everyone has been missing out on.

    Stephen Booth resides near the place of his birth, the Lancashire town of Burnley, and sets this entire series in the area known as the Peak D

    Even though SECRETS OF DEATH is the 16th novel in the terrific Cooper and Fry mystery series by Stephen Booth, his name is still far from a household word here in the U.S.A. I can only hope that enough people, and other shrewd reviewers who have a nose for great novels, get the word out about this novel and the series that everyone has been missing out on.

    Stephen Booth resides near the place of his birth, the Lancashire town of Burnley, and sets this entire series in the area known as the Peak District. He knows this terrain like the back of his hand and the descriptions he utilizes in this series allows readers to envision it as well. If you are regular readers of Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series or the late Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series then the Cooper and Fry mysteries are for you!

    SECRETS OF DEATH very subtlety and ironically talks about the beauty and tranquility of the Peak District hills and its' picturesque landscapes --- and why it is an ideal location to kill yourself. As a matter of fact, people have been killing themselves --- mostly by jumping off one of the many cliffs --- for years. The recent string of suicides has not gone unnoticed by D.S. Diane Fry or D.I. Ben Cooper.

    It turns out the deaths have something in common --- something called "Secrets of Death" that not only gives advice on how to properly end your life but actually encourages it. The novel opens with a quote from this that reads "And this is the first secret of death. There's always a right time and a place to die." This is read by one of the suicide victims just prior to scouting out the ideal location to end it all.

    When Cooper locates a business card near one of the victims with the words Secrets Of Death on the front he realizes that this needs a much more intense look. This may be the most difficult case of Cooper and Fry's career for how do you prevent the deaths of people who want to die? As they begin questioning people who may have ties to the mysterious 'Secrets Of Death' one man named Anson Tate states his case for suicide by stating: "Doesn't it seem wrong to you that sick animals are put out of their misery by vets, but we aren't allowed to end our own wretched existences?" Cooper recognizes that Tate may be a person of interest he needs to keep a keen eye on.

    Cooper is very determined and more than a bit self-righteous and cannot abide with someone attempting to play God over the matter of life and death on his watch. Readers will find themselves torn on this one. Not saying that suicide is ever condoned, but shouldn't people be able to end their life in a peaceful manner as outlined in this mystery? I guarantee SECRETS OF DEATH will have you questioning this very controversial issue. It is also impossible to put down this or any of the novels in this masterful series as the characters are so likeable and Booth's writing is as smooth and easy as the territory he describes so well. If you have yet to discover Cooper and Fry, SECRETS OF DEATH is a great place to start.

    Reviewed by Ray Palen

  • John McDermott
    May 26, 2017

    My second Goodreads Giveaway! Many thanks to Goodreads and Little Brown for my free copy.

    This is the 16th in the Cooper and Fry series and my first foray into the world of Stephen Booth.

    It's fair to say that I'm somewhat late to the party!

    The novel can be read as a standalone but I did feel that I would have benefited from reading the previous books as there were references to the characters pasts.

    However this was good solid three star entertainment. Stephen Booth evokes a great sense of place

    My second Goodreads Giveaway! Many thanks to Goodreads and Little Brown for my free copy.

    This is the 16th in the Cooper and Fry series and my first foray into the world of Stephen Booth.

    It's fair to say that I'm somewhat late to the party!

    The novel can be read as a standalone but I did feel that I would have benefited from reading the previous books as there were references to the characters pasts.

    However this was good solid three star entertainment. Stephen Booth evokes a great sense of place and his atmospheric descriptions of the Peak District help create an underlying sense of menace throughout the book.

    Much like Conan Doyles' Hound of the Baskervilles Dartmoor; the Peak District almost becomes a character in of itself.

    This was a well written and original take on the norms of the genre with a genuinely intriguing mystery around a spate of suicides.

    I particularly liked the fact that the two main protagonists; Cooper and Fry don't get on and actively don't like each other. This made for an interesting dynamic between the two.

    A swift and entertaining read.


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