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Friday, 17 October 2014

Stephen Booth - Black Dog

review written by Brian Lowen & read on the bookshow 2014 


This is the first novel that SB wrote back in the year 2000 and since then I see he has written a dozen more books. I would describe his books as good detective mysteries, rather similar to Val McDermid’s books.

Smart, sexy teenager, Laura Vernon goes missing during a long hot summer in the Peak District. Her body is found by Harry Dickinson, an elderly retired lead miner, while out for a walk with his dog. Harry is one of three old blokes who have known each other all their lives and regularly meet up either on the farm or in the pub.

Ben Cooper, a young Detective Constable has known the villages all his life but his instinctive feelings about the case are challenged by the arrival of Diane Fry, a ruthlessly ambitious detective from another division who is tasked to work with Ben on the case. Ben is keen to follow his instincts and not worry too much about proper procedures and so clashes with Diane who is ruthlessly efficient and does everything by the book to get herself noticed and climb up the career ladder.

It is obvious to Ben that the three old boys are holding something back when they are interviewed and so we follow the investigation as several red herrings are thrown up as other suspects are found, including the girl’s parents, a rich couple

living in the local manor house and renowned for the wild parties that are held there.

A good story. The characters are built up slowly and become believable and I enjoyed it. It did not become boring as I have found some detective novels can be.

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