Blood on the Tongue: A Cooper & Fry Mystery

Blood on the Tongue: A Cooper & Fry Mystery

3.7 17
by Stephen Booth
     
 

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Stephen Booth returns with an evocative mystery perfect for fans of Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson.

It's a new year for Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, and that means new mysteries to solve in the icy depths of a bitter winter.

It isn't the easiest way to commit suicide, but the dead woman seems to have simply curled up in the freezing snow and lain

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Overview

Stephen Booth returns with an evocative mystery perfect for fans of Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson.

It's a new year for Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, and that means new mysteries to solve in the icy depths of a bitter winter.

It isn't the easiest way to commit suicide, but the dead woman seems to have simply curled up in the freezing snow and lain there until her heart stopped. There was no one to observe her death but the foxes and the hares. Yet she is riddled with bruises. Her demise is horrifying. Is it also suspicious?

When two more bodies are found, Cooper and Fry begin to wonder whether these tragedies are connected—and whether they will survive the winter . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The overworked police of Edendale (England) face their greatest challenge yet in Booth's outstanding third mystery (after 2001's Dancing with the Virgins). Det. Constable Ben Cooper, young, dedicated, diffident and thoroughly unorthodox, and his supervisor, Det. Sergeant Diane Fry, efficient, ambitious, aggressive and businesslike, are nearly overwhelmed when confronted by a vicious beating of two men that may have been fueled by racial hatreds, an unidentified corpse uncovered by a snowplow, and another corpse found frozen in the hills of the Peak District. A missing infant and a Canadian woman investigating what happened to her grandfather after his Lancaster bomber crashed 57 years before further complicate the absorbing, complex plot. The author examines the Polish community of Edendale, probing its insularity, its customs, passions and pride, and his country characters, like George Malkin of remote Hollow Shaw Farm, leave vivid, lasting impressions. Best of all are the interrelationships, particularly the wonderful tension that thrums the air between Fry and Cooper as respect and admiration war with suspicion and distrust to produce an almost erotic attraction. The early promise of Booth's debut novel, Black Dog, is fully realized here, and new readers should scurry to find his earlier books. (Oct. 22) FYI: Black Dog won the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Starring in his third British police procedural (after Dancing with the Virgins), Detective Constable Ben Cooper generates a good deal of this book's pleasure. Booth seems to acknowledge this with his title, which refers not to a crime but to Cooper's sensation of experiencing loneliness or betrayal of trust in the course of his investigations. During a bitterly cold winter, the understaffed Derbyshire police district contends with a serious assault, a succession of bodies found under the snow, and a missing baby. Then there's persistent Canadian Alison Morrissey, seeking answers about her grandfather, who vanished after the RAF bomber he was piloting crashed in the Peak District in 1945. Cooper's sensitive relationship with his supervisor, Detective Sergeant Diane Fry, takes a dive when she considers him distracted by both Alison and her inquiry, but disparate plot threads eventually revolve around the plane crash, and Cooper's compassion and intuition win the day. This is intelligent and substantive crime fiction, rich with complex characters. For all mystery collections.-Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Winter in frosty Edendale, Derbyshire, is always bleak enough for law enforcement, but these days the local CID, budget-struck to the bone, is undermanned and overwhelmed by a dismaying diversity of murder most foul. There's the Snowman, a well-dressed corpse devoid of ID brought to light by highway snowplows. There's the pregnant young woman beaten and left to die on ice-capped Irontongue Hill. But most worrisome of all to Detective Constable Ben Cooper is a case almost nobody is willing to think of as murder. During WWII, a British bomber smacked into the side of Irontongue, killing its crew instantly, except for the pilot, Daniel McTeague, and the co-pilot, Zygmunt Lukasz, a Polish volunteer. Having survived the crash, Lukasz subsequently made his home in Edendale. When McTeague walked away from the downed plane, however, he vanished. How and why? Is it possible something was being covered up? Now McTeague's granddaughter has come to Edendale, determined to find answers to the murky 57-year-old mystery. Ben becomes convinced the case is linked to everything else bedeviling the CID. His boss, Detective Sergeant Diane Fry, has ambivalent feelings about the direction of Ben's sleuthing. Then again, she's equally ambivalent about Ben, who's begun to stir her in ways that, as the series continues, could grow unsettling for both of them. Longer than it should be, but the best to date of this ambitious series (Dancing with the Virgins, 2001, etc.). The plotting is solid, the local color vivid, and the thorny romance fun to follow.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062302007
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/03/2013
Series:
Cooper & Fry Mysteries , #3
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
20,797
File size:
1 MB

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