Title – Dead in the Dark
Author – Stephen Booth
Published – July 2017
Genre – Crime fiction
If I were to pick one sub-genre of crime fiction as being my favourite it would have to be the British police procedural. Although I’ve only read one of Stephen Booth’s previous titles in the Cooper and Fry series (this book is number 17) this seemed like a series that I would really enjoy.
In Dead in the Dark there are two main police investigations – Fry is involved in investigating the murder of a Polish immigrant while Copper is on the hunt for a man who was accused of killing his wife ten years ago, but who has now disappeared himself. The story of the immigrant does allow Booth the opportunity to include some aspects of social commentary, proving that even the Peak District isn’t immune. Fry and Cooper are working independently now and although their paths do cross occasionally this book certainly didn’t lead me to understand any more about their relationship.
The problem is, I’m afraid, that I didn’t really enjoy this book. The single reason for this is that it felt like a much shorter, pithier one that had been padded out. It’s almost 400 pages long and I suspect that there’s a really good 300-page book trapped inside. There was a lot of background in the book that I didn’t need to know to understand the plot, not only did it slow the pace of the storylines but it was distracting too and I found myself skipping sections which was a real shame.
Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.