Black Dog (Ben Cooper and Diane Fry Series #1)

Black Dog (Ben Cooper and Diane Fry Series #1)

by Stephen Booth
3.8 104

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Black Dog (Ben Cooper and Diane Fry Series #1) by Stephen Booth

Who killed Laura Vernon?

The helicopters are halted. The dogs are called off. The search for beautiful, teenaged Laura Vernon is over. Her body is found, mutilated, in the forest.

When he takes on the case, Ben Cooper is paired with a new partner: Diane Fry, a woman as tenacious as she is alluring. The two detectives are like fire and gasoline. But they must learn to work together to apprehend a killer who is hiding in plain sight.

This relentless, atmospheric thriller is perfect for readers of New York Times bestselling authors Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson, and for viewers of the hit TV series The Killing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062350428
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Series: Ben Cooper and Diane Fry Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 438,641
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Stephen Booth's fourteen novels featuring Cooper and Fry, all to be published by Witness, have sold over half a million copies around the world.

Customer Reviews

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Black Dog 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is 357 pages long. I was unable to figure out whodunit, until page 345, when the author revealed the scoundrel. This book is sat in England and uses the cockney accent quite a bit, there are a lot of English mannerisms and words also. There is some violence, (without a lot of gory details.) murder, attempted rape and a lot of talk about various sexual situations, There is a description of breeding a farm animal, that well...I don't know quite what to think about. There is not much humor, but there is a dab of romance. The first few chapters of this book seemed to move at a snail's pace. I almost quit reading this well edited book. The author was just filling in the back ground and the details needed, to make this one of the best murder mysteries, I have read in a long time. When the book's cadence picked up, it ( to use a term from the story) took off like a rocket was shot up its arse. I really enjoyed this book. I may change my mindset and become a fan of the English novel after all. I agree with another reviewer about the female protaganest, she was very unlikable and far too competitive. This novel has great characters and an abundance of convolutions which keeps the reader on their toes. The plot was good and very well thought out. This book would be enjoyed by all adult mystery lovers. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is quite a bit of scenic description, but well worked into the story. There are mysteries -- who killed the young girl, what is the new female detective's secret, what is the well known male detective's secret. Is the senior detective lecherous? Is the female detective really as oblivious and rude as she appears? Lots of puzzles to keep one reading. Located in the high country of England, it presents entirely new (to me at least) pictures and prejudices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully done for a first novel. Set in present-day rural ENgland, this mystery develops both its characters and plot with an understanding of generational differences that make for very enjoyable reading. Its very easy to get caught
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, but with another truly obnoxious female cop. Why do so many mystery writers make their female protagonists unlikeable pushy Bs? I've known plenty of female police who are pleasant and still strong cops. This particular stereotype gets on my nerves. I tend not to buy more books in a series that features protagonists I can't stand. And this writer is quite skilkful in every other significant area;he had no need to resort to this stereotype.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could barely put it down. The story made me feel like I have been to England, and met these people. I think the author did a great job of turning a "faceless" cop into a human being with his own issues and failings- just as we all have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author writes storyline well, but his characters are primary school caricatures at best. Fry is a simpleton's idea of a complex hardass female cop on the rise who comes off as simply being a completely manic b*tch. Cooper is even worse. If this is really how Brits act it's no wonder the sensible ones left for America.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The police task force searches on foot and via helicopter for the missing teenager, Laura Vernon. While most folks hope that Laura traveled to London, Detective Constable Ben Cooper expects to find a corpse in the nearby woods. Ben's expectations are met when matter of fact almost bored retired miner Harry Dickinson shows him the bloody trainer. Just beyond the sneaker in an overgrowth Ben finds the body.

Ben and his new partner outsider Diane Fry begin making inquiries. Their short list includes the enigmatic Harry, the victim's parents especially her father, and some of the hired help. As they close in on the truth, the case forces Ben and Diane, attracted to one another even as they compete for the same promotion, to look back into their own demons.

Readers who enjoy plenty of non-stop action or a highly constructed complex puzzler will not want to try BLACK DOG. However, fans who enjoy the deliberately slow husking away of layers of psychological protection and hidden lives that leave bare the inner most essence of the key characters will fully enjoy this tale. The psychological suspense crowd will warmly receive author Stephen Booth's debut novel.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book because of the many facets of the story with lots of twists and turns. I am looking for more in the series
DGA13 More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite type book. Charactors do not interact well. Ending not much of a surprise about who was the killer. Needs more action for interest.
Guest More than 1 year ago

Stephen Booth's BLACK DOG is peopled by physical, emotional, psychological, three-dimensional, characters the reader would recognize walking down the street. They are framed by settings the reader can see, feel, smell and hear in a story with an impossibly twisted plot that grips you like the black dog. Unlike the usual plot or character driven quick-read, BLACK DOG's steady tempo is carefully restrained, never hectic. Once established, the cadence never falters, but tugs the reader relentlessly toward the unexpected conclusion.

A gripping novel that whet's the reader's appetite for more, BLACK DOG is not just a story, but a memorable experience. Stephen Booth is an author to watch.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book so much so I bought two more of his books, Blood on the tounge, and gave it the required 50 pages and deleted it. Now I'M READING THE 9 VIRGINS BY HIM, IT IS PRETTY GOODI'FD GIVE IT THREE STARS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. It keeps you guessing til the end! New author for me but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll read his other books as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I really enjoyed reading this book!
NewNooker32 More than 1 year ago
I thought I might not like this as my unfamiliarity with the British police system was bogging me down. Police positions were almost always prefaced with initials but as my reading progressed I got used to it by repetition. I really did enjoy the, all 347 pages. I thought I had it figured out but the surprise ending did have clues there all along that I missed. I think you will too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephen Booth is a good storyteller and the story is good, although the ending is different than most mysteries and mystery readers may have a problem with it, but I liked it. The one thing I didn't like was the unrealistic behavior of a couple of the characters, especially Fry. Her brash attitude was not very believable and the willingness of the other characters to accept it was not believable. Anyone who treats people the way she does in the story does not go far nor do those around them continue to engage with them. I have the next two Cooper/Fry books in the series and I will read them, I just hope her character is toned down a bit, otherwise I won't continue with the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like British mystery novels, you will really enjoy this book. Great characters and awesome plot. I did not figure out who done it until the very end. Lots of character developement and his way of describing the countryside gave the reader a good idea of the landscape. I find that is very important for me to be able to walk alongside the characters and put me in their shoes so i am fully engrossed in the story. Excellent writer and i look forward to reading his next book. 5 stars.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read. Well developed characters and interesting plot. It kept me guessing until the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The who done it of the read was very good. I struggle with any book if I dislike a main character such as Fry. Due to extensive descriptions, I started skipping a lot of paragraphs.
SAC112750 More than 1 year ago
The writing was good. The book catches your interest right off. However, I found it to go on and on and never getting anywhere. It was just repeat after repeat. I am not finishing the book as I find the "goat rape" a bit too much. It totally disgusted me and the book could have been done without it. I will read no more of this authors books.
MRR62 More than 1 year ago
The black dog is not just a black dog... The story is a murder mystery, with a senior detective wondering if he'll gain his promotion, and a new female detective brought in who threatens to snatch it away. Can they work together and solve the mystery, without losing to one another? The story is excellently crafted, with skillful use of language, plot, and twist. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy mystery, insight, and clever characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good who-dunit, if this is a first, can't wait until the next book. It's not over till it's over.