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Dancing with the Virgins: A Constable Ben Cooper Novel Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743431006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743431002
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.5 x 3.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,347,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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By Glenn McLeod on Dec 24 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Excellent mystery set in the north of England. Good sense of place, main characters well developed. plot complex and moves at a good pace. Detective Ben Cooper, a local copper with a good feel fo the locals is not led off on tangents like the others, particularly Detective Diane Fry, who has recently arrived from the south. The murder of Jenny Weston and attack on Maggie Crew appear to be related but it is only towards the end that the link between them becomes clear but is muddied considerably by the apparent link with a dog fighting business.
The resolution is slow coming but very satisfactory. The on-again-off-again relationship between Ben and Diane appears to be warming up but both have depths and secretes not yet available to the other.
Reminds me somewhat of the early books by Peter Robinson. rating 4.5/5
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a long, continuously rewarding whodunit, featuring two young detectives who do not get along. Sergeant Diane Fry and Detective Constable Ben Cooper have to work together to try to solve a murder near the Nine Virgins--ancient standing stones decorating the moors of the Peak District. They also have to link the murder to the hideous disfigurement of a woman who may have survived a first attack by the killer, though scarred Maggie Crew will never be the same and has very little memory of who attacked her. Through it all, Fry picks at Cooper's "naive" personality, while Cooper...well, I'm not sure that he does anything to justify Fry's critical remarks, so Cooper is technically the more sympathetic character, though maybe too wimpy?
This book is packed with red herrings, but in superior story like this, you can't just call the red herrings red herrings. They are full fledged, highly involving subplots. What I mean is, the police connect victim Jenny Weston to a whole lot of strange people, with odd secrets. There's the nasty farmer, with the quiet, scared little boys, whose wife found Maggie Crews after she'd been slashed, and who is up to something sinister in his barn. There is Mark Roper, area Ranger, who may be dangerously manic about the rules, and who seems to know a secret about his lonely boss, Owen, who doesn't always answer his radio when he should. There's another missing woman, Ros Daniels, who may have visited Jenny Weston in her home, but if so, were they friends or enemies?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The thing that I remember most clearly about _Dancing with the Virgins_ is that both of the detectives in it were a little annoying. Not drunken and rakishly annoying to women, but fussy and disorganized and at least a little bit thick at times. It takes courage to not give in at the last moment and not make your heros larger than life, and Booth at least has that courage.
I know that I enjoyed the book at the time-- it was a quick read and kept me well occupied in a week where I was sick, but the plot felt a bit overdone. And now that I sit (one week later) to write a review, I found it really difficult to remember who had done what to whom and why.
A woman's body is found in a ring of standing stones which legend has it are the remains of Virgins caught dancing on a Sunday and turned to stone. Bound up in the mystery are a woman with a disfigured face found wandering in the same location, a very angry farmer on the brink of ruin, and a missing girl with dreadlocks who nobody seems to be able to identify. Even while still being at odds, Ben Cooper and Diane Fry need to work together to solve the mystery.
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