Secrets of Death (Cooper & Fry #16)
Steeped in the atmosphere of the stunning Peak District, Secrets of Death is master crime writer Stephen Booth's most daring and clever Cooper & Fry thriller yet. A beautiful place to die . . . Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets. A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire's E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts - with no way of predicting where the next body will turn up. Meanwhile, in Nottingham Detective Sergeant Diane Fry finds a key witness has vanished... But what are the mysterious Secrets of Death? And is there one victim whose fate wasn't suicide at all?

Secrets of Death (Cooper & Fry #16) Details

TitleSecrets of Death (Cooper & Fry #16)
Author
FormatKindle Edition
ReleaseJun 16th, 2016
PublisherSphere
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Fiction

Secrets of Death (Cooper & Fry #16) Review

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    March 9, 2017
    I'm a latecomer to the Cooper & Fry series, just read the latest three books out of the sixteen that's been published, but I find the books interesting and I love how different Copper and Fry are. Fry isn't really the most, let say, warm person, almost wrote a human person, but she is still human, I think. Fry is struggling in this book with unwanted house guests in the form of her sister and nephew, meanwhile, Cooper is moving into his new house, probably in a way to try to cope with his re I'm a latecomer to the Cooper & Fry series, just read the latest three books out of the sixteen that's been published, but I find the books interesting and I love how different Copper and Fry are. Fry isn't really the most, let say, warm person, almost wrote a human person, but she is still human, I think. Fry is struggling in this book with unwanted house guests in the form of her sister and nephew, meanwhile, Cooper is moving into his new house, probably in a way to try to cope with his recent loss. What they don't know is that they are working on the same case, well they are investigating the same person, but for different reasons...It's a strange case, it seems that the suicide rating has been increasing lately, but what if the suicides is not a suicide, or rather what if someone is encouraging people to die? And, what's the connection with Fry's case?Personally, I found the second half of the story the best when Fry and Cooper were working together, they are an interesting team and it's so much more enjoyable reading about them working together than separately. And, I felt that Fry just didn't do much to the story until they discovered the connection between the cases although, the tone seems to be a bit more frosty than in the last book, but with Fry is it hard to tell, to be honest.I did not see the outcome of the case, how it all was linked and it was nice to not be able to figure it all out. Secrets of Death was a good book, perhaps not as engaging as the last one in the series, but I enjoyed reading this book.
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  • Ray Palen
    June 7, 2017
    Even though SECRETS OF DEATH is the 16th novel in the terrific Cooper and Fry mystery series by Stephen Booth, his name is still far from a household word here in the U.S.A. I can only hope that enough people, and other shrewd reviewers who have a nose for great novels, get the word out about this novel and the series that everyone has been missing out on.Stephen Booth resides near the place of his birth, the Lancashire town of Burnley, and sets this entire series in the area known as the Peak D Even though SECRETS OF DEATH is the 16th novel in the terrific Cooper and Fry mystery series by Stephen Booth, his name is still far from a household word here in the U.S.A. I can only hope that enough people, and other shrewd reviewers who have a nose for great novels, get the word out about this novel and the series that everyone has been missing out on.Stephen Booth resides near the place of his birth, the Lancashire town of Burnley, and sets this entire series in the area known as the Peak District. He knows this terrain like the back of his hand and the descriptions he utilizes in this series allows readers to envision it as well. If you are regular readers of Peter Robinson's DCI Banks series or the late Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series then the Cooper and Fry mysteries are for you!SECRETS OF DEATH very subtlety and ironically talks about the beauty and tranquility of the Peak District hills and its' picturesque landscapes --- and why it is an ideal location to kill yourself. As a matter of fact, people have been killing themselves --- mostly by jumping off one of the many cliffs --- for years. The recent string of suicides has not gone unnoticed by D.S. Diane Fry or D.I. Ben Cooper.It turns out the deaths have something in common --- something called "Secrets of Death" that not only gives advice on how to properly end your life but actually encourages it. The novel opens with a quote from this that reads "And this is the first secret of death. There's always a right time and a place to die." This is read by one of the suicide victims just prior to scouting out the ideal location to end it all.When Cooper locates a business card near one of the victims with the words Secrets Of Death on the front he realizes that this needs a much more intense look. This may be the most difficult case of Cooper and Fry's career for how do you prevent the deaths of people who want to die? As they begin questioning people who may have ties to the mysterious 'Secrets Of Death' one man named Anson Tate states his case for suicide by stating: "Doesn't it seem wrong to you that sick animals are put out of their misery by vets, but we aren't allowed to end our own wretched existences?" Cooper recognizes that Tate may be a person of interest he needs to keep a keen eye on.Cooper is very determined and more than a bit self-righteous and cannot abide with someone attempting to play God over the matter of life and death on his watch. Readers will find themselves torn on this one. Not saying that suicide is ever condoned, but shouldn't people be able to end their life in a peaceful manner as outlined in this mystery? I guarantee SECRETS OF DEATH will have you questioning this very controversial issue. It is also impossible to put down this or any of the novels in this masterful series as the characters are so likeable and Booth's writing is as smooth and easy as the territory he describes so well. If you have yet to discover Cooper and Fry, SECRETS OF DEATH is a great place to start.Reviewed by Ray Palen
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  • Jennifer
    June 17, 2016
    An eagerly awaited instalment of Peak District Noir. Stephen Booth is now very successful and a nice man to boot by all accounts and perhaps all of those goes to explain why the book suffers from the lack of a good editor. I found reading it a distinctly jangly experience for the nerves yet impelled onwards by his grasp of Derbyshire and by his theme - what one of the minor DCs refers to as 'suicide tourism'. It felt as though his threads needed combing through somehow - perhaps some taken out a An eagerly awaited instalment of Peak District Noir. Stephen Booth is now very successful and a nice man to boot by all accounts and perhaps all of those goes to explain why the book suffers from the lack of a good editor. I found reading it a distinctly jangly experience for the nerves yet impelled onwards by his grasp of Derbyshire and by his theme - what one of the minor DCs refers to as 'suicide tourism'. It felt as though his threads needed combing through somehow - perhaps some taken out altogether (although certainly used in another book) if they were not to be beefed up a bit more here. DS Diane Fry's mysterious and problematic sister and her new baby for example, and DS Dev Sharma who was a promising introduction in the last outing...immigration enforcement...students funding their studies through sex work.It was interesting to spend more time in this story in Nottinghamshire which is where Stephen Booth actually lives (now there's a mystery)
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  • Jane Fenn
    June 18, 2016
    Another cracker from Stephen Booth. A cluster of suicides trigger an investigation into whether there are links. Once again, a very topical subject area brought into modern crime fiction as a new coroner provides an opportunity to investigate the psychology of suicide and gives Ben Cooper a new character to interact with. Interesting and insightful in the framework of a great crime story. Loved it and can't wait to see what happens to Ben next!
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  • Joan
    April 8, 2017
    I liked this British police procedure novel. It has a good balance of investigation technique and detectives' personal lives. This novel is part of a series. There is a definite history between some of the characters but I found that the novel read well on its own.The novel has an unusual plot – an apparent epidemic of suicides. Cooper suspects someone is orchestrating the increasing number of deaths in the area. Trying to find a connection between the victims stretches Cooper's investigative sk I liked this British police procedure novel. It has a good balance of investigation technique and detectives' personal lives. This novel is part of a series. There is a definite history between some of the characters but I found that the novel read well on its own.The novel has an unusual plot – an apparent epidemic of suicides. Cooper suspects someone is orchestrating the increasing number of deaths in the area. Trying to find a connection between the victims stretches Cooper's investigative skills.Cooper is the main character in this story with Fry coming in later on. I could tell there was friction between the two investigators from past events. If one wanted to appreciate the full relationship between the policemen the previous novels should be read.This novel centers on suicide. There is much about it in the novel including ways of completing suicide, opinions on assisted suicide, whether it should be legal, etc. Readers sensitive to this topic may have difficulty with the emphasis in the book.I like the author's writing style. There was a clever spot I must point out. The detectives were talking about a sign of depression, a semi-colon drawn in ball point ink on the wrist of a teenage girl who had committed suicide. The sentence describing the meaning of the symbol had a semi-colon in it!This is a good British police procedure novel and I recommend it to those who enjoy the genre.I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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  • Dorothy
    April 22, 2017
    I love thi s crime series set in Britain's Peak District but this is my least favourite of the series. For me the subject matter was very difficult as I found myself in disagreement with the author and most of the characters on the issue of rational suicide so I was constantly arguing with them in my mind.The character of Diane Fry also bothered me. She seems to be getting worse as a colleague even though she now has a position that appeals to her more than being in Edendale. In all, I found it I love thi s crime series set in Britain's Peak District but this is my least favourite of the series. For me the subject matter was very difficult as I found myself in disagreement with the author and most of the characters on the issue of rational suicide so I was constantly arguing with them in my mind.The character of Diane Fry also bothered me. She seems to be getting worse as a colleague even though she now has a position that appeals to her more than being in Edendale. In all, I found it a bit depressing but grateful for the wonderful descriptions of place which once again made me want to jump on a plane and go there. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
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  • Kate
    June 10, 2016
    Another corking crime novel from Stephen Booth. I adore the Peak District setting of these books and it's particularly well used here.A review: https://forwinternights.wordpress.com...
  • John McDermott
    May 26, 2017
    My second Goodreads Giveaway! Many thanks to Goodreads and Little Brown for my free copy.This is the 16th in the Cooper and Fry series and my first foray into the world of Stephen Booth. It's fair to say that I'm somewhat late to the party!The novel can be read as a standalone but I did feel that I would have benefited from reading the previous books as there were references to the characters pasts. However this was good solid three star entertainment. Stephen Booth evokes a great sense of place My second Goodreads Giveaway! Many thanks to Goodreads and Little Brown for my free copy.This is the 16th in the Cooper and Fry series and my first foray into the world of Stephen Booth. It's fair to say that I'm somewhat late to the party!The novel can be read as a standalone but I did feel that I would have benefited from reading the previous books as there were references to the characters pasts. However this was good solid three star entertainment. Stephen Booth evokes a great sense of place and his atmospheric descriptions of the Peak District help create an underlying sense of menace throughout the book. Much like Conan Doyles' Hound of the Baskervilles Dartmoor; the Peak District almost becomes a character in of itself. This was a well written and original take on the norms of the genre with a genuinely intriguing mystery around a spate of suicides. I particularly liked the fact that the two main protagonists; Cooper and Fry don't get on and actively don't like each other. This made for an interesting dynamic between the two. A swift and entertaining read.
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  • Zoe
    May 26, 2017
    I have loved what i have read of this series and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the series. Since i won this as part of a giveaway i have read it out of sink. As a stand alone it is not the strongest. The crime element is not as strong as i would like but it was still a good read. The character driven part of the plot i am sure is stronger if read in order. Over all not his best but still good.
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  • Robert Dunn
    June 16, 2017
    Maybe I am getting tired of Booth. This story deals with a tough subject. Wishing to die when things are hopeless, people look for help to plan their own death. Unfortunately the book doesn't move along very quickly and is easy to put down. Booth wraps it up quickly at the end. Rather slow with a lot of domestic issues that drag on.
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  • Rog Harrison
    February 24, 2017
    I have read most of the books in this series and I like the characters and the setting of the Peak District. I don't think this story about suicides really works so I would not recommend this book to people new to this series. However if you are already a fan you will probably enjoy reading this.
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  • Gwen Castle
    June 10, 2017
    not,for meAfter having,read all of this series, I was disappointed with this one. I found it much too concerned with psychology of suicide as opposed to actual plot action.
  • Andy Plonka
    October 17, 2016
    The interplay between Fry and Cooper in this one is fascinating.
  • Myrna
    March 13, 2017
    Not my favourite in the series, but enjoyable none the less.
  • Bobby D
    July 7, 2016
    The suicides could be murders? That is what Detective Inspector Ben Cooper is questioning. His pleasant area in the rural beauty of the Peak district in central England is experiencing an epidemic of suicides all at major tourist stops. The areas serenity contrasts nicely with the ugly particulars of each suicide case. Cooper’s long ago partner Diane Fry who is now a Sargent in a nearby Major Crimes Unit has a case that might be linked to at least one of the suicides Cooper is investigating. And The suicides could be murders? That is what Detective Inspector Ben Cooper is questioning. His pleasant area in the rural beauty of the Peak district in central England is experiencing an epidemic of suicides all at major tourist stops. The areas serenity contrasts nicely with the ugly particulars of each suicide case. Cooper’s long ago partner Diane Fry who is now a Sargent in a nearby Major Crimes Unit has a case that might be linked to at least one of the suicides Cooper is investigating. And Diane Fry’s presence is one of the things that is fun about this new book by Stephen Booth as he has brought all of the series various characters back and even introduced a new one (maybe a Cooper love interest in future books). It indeed takes a village for Cooper to get through his personal issues and to the bottom line needed to solve the case. They say this series of books is going to be made into a TV series. No new news on that happening but hope it does and they film it in the Peak district. For those who enjoy hearing from authors Steven Booth does a very nice email newsletter and apparently attends a lot of book fairs in the UK. Now here is the downside for US readers like myself. He has no US publisher although many of his early books are now available and are on E-books. So the last few I have had to order from the UK. This is fine way to order the books as the price is discounted and they offer free freight anywhere in the world. I am rather new to reading mysteries or police procedurals in particular and have enjoyed Stephen Booth and another British author, Sharon Bolton (who’s LITTLE BLACK LIE is excellent), as well as Iceland’s Arnaldur Indridason (who’s SILENCE OF THE GRAVE is particularly good).
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  • Geoffrey Carter
    September 28, 2016
    Like others I feel that this series has lost its way a bit. The landscape is always brilliantly evoked but the core storyline seemed weak and it really is time to close out some of the long-running threads. The whole Angie thread has gone on too long - let us know the truth about her 'mysterious' links with law enforcement or just forget her. The Cooper / Fry dynamic seems contrived and formulaic now - move it on or split the series into Cooper books and Fry books with the occasional crossover. Like others I feel that this series has lost its way a bit. The landscape is always brilliantly evoked but the core storyline seemed weak and it really is time to close out some of the long-running threads. The whole Angie thread has gone on too long - let us know the truth about her 'mysterious' links with law enforcement or just forget her. The Cooper / Fry dynamic seems contrived and formulaic now - move it on or split the series into Cooper books and Fry books with the occasional crossover. I will continue to read these as they appear but I no longer look forward to the next one in the way I did a few years ago.
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  • Herzog
    August 2, 2016
    Slow moving with little action plot or psychological wise despite a moderately interesting premise surrounding an "epidemic" of suicides. Fry and Cooper do not interact until about 60% of the way in. As usual, their relationship is strained, but productive. There are lots of unresolved relationship questions - Fry and her sister, Angie, her new baby and a mysterious boyfriend; Cooper and Villiers and a new pathologist and, as always, Cooper and Fry. I'd love to see Fry interact with Carol Jordan Slow moving with little action plot or psychological wise despite a moderately interesting premise surrounding an "epidemic" of suicides. Fry and Cooper do not interact until about 60% of the way in. As usual, their relationship is strained, but productive. There are lots of unresolved relationship questions - Fry and her sister, Angie, her new baby and a mysterious boyfriend; Cooper and Villiers and a new pathologist and, as always, Cooper and Fry. I'd love to see Fry interact with Carol Jordan from Val McDermid's series.
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  • Liza
    September 9, 2016
    #35 a comfort readA new Stephen Booth is a must read and this had an intriguing if unpleasant crime to solve. It introduced the idea of "suicide tourism" and posed the question were all the deaths suicide? The usual strong sense of the Derbyshire countryside was there but the relationship of the characters Ben Cooper and Diane Fry is becoming annoying. Killing off Cooper's fiancee has led to all sorts of unresolved issues between various characters that distract from rather than enhance the stor #35 a comfort readA new Stephen Booth is a must read and this had an intriguing if unpleasant crime to solve. It introduced the idea of "suicide tourism" and posed the question were all the deaths suicide? The usual strong sense of the Derbyshire countryside was there but the relationship of the characters Ben Cooper and Diane Fry is becoming annoying. Killing off Cooper's fiancee has led to all sorts of unresolved issues between various characters that distract from rather than enhance the storyline
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  • Helen Pakpahan
    August 9, 2016
    Stephen Booth has clearly lost his way - and the series is decending into a list of road junctions as the protagonists travel (separately) around the area. The plot was so thin it could have fitted within an a4 sheet. Even the hint that Angie- Diane's heroin addicted sister maybe an undercover cop - looks like a vain attempt to bring life back to this once good series. Time to wrap it up? Or at least for mr Booth to have a holiday and come back when he has something serious to write.
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  • Joanne
    August 25, 2016
    Series of suicides has Ben and his team working to find the person advising the victims. Meanwhile, Diane Fry is working a multipke murder case when her chief suspect goes missing. She's forced to liase with Edendale and Ben's team when said suspect turns out to be one of the suicide victims.Things are hinted at about Ben's team members and others but whether they will be new story lines, time will tell.Lots of description of scenery and the area, seemingly irrelevant at times.
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  • Steve Gillway
    November 12, 2016
    The Derbyshire criminology and landmarks series continues with a viaduct as the main stage. As usual the story rattles along with the personal and criminal swirling around, but it is landscape that dominates. Sad to say, I've caught up with author so no more for a while.
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  • Graham
    July 12, 2016
    I wasn't impressed. Lots of words but it felt like too many words to tell the story without adding anything... hard to describeNice to see Diane Fry back but the author could have developed the new ME as a love interest for Cooper.
  • Lis
    October 25, 2016
    I found myself skipping a lot of paragraphs -- not his best, I'd say.
  • Natasha
    August 28, 2016
    Lots of words but it felt like too many words to tell the story without adding anything. I really don't like the character of Fry not sure if l will read the other books in the series.
  • Sal
    June 17, 2016
    Another great book by Stephen Booth. Love his books.
  • Barb
    January 4, 2017
    Typical British mystery with lots of local scenery, harried detectives, relationship problems, and intriguing crime.
  • Laura Valentine
    March 2, 2017
    Can Booth just stop calling this a Cooper/Fry mystery? Because they barely interact. Beyond that, the plot felt a little limp, as though this was published to deadline and not fully fleshed out.
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