Bones where there should be none and a chilling warning of an imminent killing challenge Detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry in their sixth novel. "This death will be a model of perfection. The details will be precise, the conception immaculate, the execution flawless..." When a caller taunts the police with talk of a 'dead place' and the threat of an imminent killing, most think it's a sick hoax. But Detective Diane Fry is sure there's a murderer at work. And when the voice calmly invites them to meet the 'flesh eater', Fry fears it may be too late. Meanwhile, her colleague DC Ben Cooper is investigating Derbyshire's first case of body snatching, entering the macabre world of those whose lives revolve around the deceased and their disposal. But does an obsession with death make for a killer? And what horrors will greet them when they finally find the dead place?
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(178mm x 111mm x mm)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
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US Kirkus Review »
A thorough, and thoroughly ghoulish, primer on death rituals.While DS Diane Fry tries to puzzle out the identity of the anonymous caller cryptically suggesting that he'll murder unless she stops him, DC Ben Cooper has two tasks: discover who shot Graceless, Tom Jarvis's hound, and put a name to the pile of female bones found in the woods at Ravensdale. Facial reconstruction leads to the identification of Audrey Steele, but Ms. Steele was supposedly cremated 18 months ago, the funeral handled by the venerable firm of Hudson and Slack. If she wasn't in the casket, who was? The trail to the answer will wend past the Eden Valley Crematorium - and include much discussion of decomposition rates, body fluids and the comparative weight of male and female final ashes, with gruesome historical insights provided by a haughty thanatology professor - before settling down to outbuildings on Alder Hall, an unoccupied estate up for sale. Arson will impede the investigation, and more bodies will pile up before Fry and Cooper's original cases collide in a bang-up finish.Fry and Cooper (One Last Breath, 2006, etc.) are not the most companionable characters to spend time with, and their author's penchant for lecturing rather than storytelling is another turnoff. Fans of real-life body-snatchers Burke and Hare, however, may find some refreshing moments here. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Stephen Booth
Stephen Booth was born in the Lancashire mill town of Burnley and has remained rooted to the Pennines during his career as a newspaper journalist. He lives with his wife Lesley in a former Georgian dower house in Nottinghamshire and his interests include folklore, the Internet and walking in the hills of the Peak District. 'The Dead Place' is the sixth in the series.