- Paperback: 640 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (Feb. 5 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780007130672
- ISBN-13: 978-0007130672
- ASIN: 0007130678
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 4.1 x 17.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #477,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Blind to the Bones (Cooper and Fry Crime Series, Book 4) Paperback – Feb 5 2007
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Praise for Blind to the Bones:
‘He has got better with each book. This is another very fine book, masterfully plotted and filled with real flesh-and-blood personalities’ Daily Telegraph
‘Another of Booth’s fine Derbyshire mysteries’ Scotsman
Praise for Stephen Booth:
‘Stephen Booth creates a fine sense of place and atmosphere … the unguessable solution to the crime comes as a real surprise’ Sunday Telegraph
‘The complex relationship between [Cooper and Fry] is excellently drawn, and is combined with an intriguing plot and a real sense of place: Stephen Booth is an author to keep an eye on’ Evening Standard
‘Stephen Booth makes high summer in Derbyshire as dark and terrifying as midwinter’ Val McDermid
‘A dark star may be born!’ Reginald Hill
'A leading light of British crime writing' Maxim Jakubowski, Guardian
About the Author
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. This is the fourth novel in his series set in the Peak District.
Showing 1-5 of 9 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book starts off well and doesn't let up. I never give any plot lines in my reviews but suffice it to say, this is one of the better stories in the series.
Eventually, Dianeï¿½s search leads her to the dark, isolated village of Withens, where she runs into Ben Cooper, who has been temporarily seconded to the Rural Crime Squad, and is investigating both a series of burglaries and a vicious murder. A young man has been battered and left for dead up on the moors, left for the crows to find, and Ben finds nothing but a wall of silence. The man is a relative of the Oxleys, the oldest family in the area, descended from the very first men who buried under the moors to build the railways tunnels for 3 miles under the moors. But the Oxleys are a secretive family, protective of their own, and they refuse to talk to Ben, an outsider. Thus, progress on the investigation is almost nil. And, to compound Benï¿½s problems, Diane Fryï¿½s sister, who ran off when they were teenagers, turns up out of the blue, seeking his help. She wants him to convince Diane to stop looking for, to forget her private investigations and leave things be. With the two officersï¿½ relationship tense and fragile at best, this is a shift in the dynamic which could easily destroy it altogether.
Stephen Booth has, within the space of only four novels, safely joined the impressive ranks of Reginald Hill and Peter Robinson as Englandï¿½s most accomplished northern crime novelists. This series, set mostly on and around the remote moors of Derbyshire, has everything. The plots are cracking and clever, paced and patterned masterfully, and the writing is very good indeed, but the most powerful feature of the series is Boothï¿½s atmospheric evocation of place, which is dark and brooding and brilliant. The moors become terrifying, ominous and eerie, yet they also retain a dark beauty which draws the reader right in. And that ability to create atmosphere is displayed more strongly than ever in this fourth book, and all throughout the book he comes up with some excellent reflections of the gradual decay of the moors. The village of Withens, shrinking and dying; the forgotten churchyard, overgrown and tangled with weeds; the long-established family slowly finding themselves rent asunder.
Booth also has a great aptitude for character. His minor characters are as fascinating and well-developed as his two leads, who themselves possibly make up the most interesting duo on the scene in crime fiction. The relationship between Cooper and Fry is complex and compelling, its shifts and undercurrents have a way of making the reader slightly nervous. The tension between the two is palpable, and the obviousness of the fact that they do care about one another, on various levels, often has the reader imploring them to take a step back and just listen to one another properly just for a change. To be honest, I doubt there is another relationship with as great a dynamic and level of interest in all the crime genre. The series is worth reading just for the shifts and changes and subtle nuances in the pairï¿½s attitude toward one another.
Stephen Booth has won the Barry award for Best British novel two years running, and, with the fact that Blind to the Bones is the strongest novel yet in this powerful series, I wouldnï¿½t be at all surprised if he snatches it for a well-deserved third time.
The story centres around the tiny hamlet of Withens leading both Cooper and Fry there on their separate investigations. The murder victim is a young local man named Neil Granger. Granger is part of a large family that makes up the majority of the residents of Withens. It's Ben's job to interview the residents but like so many isolated close-knit communities they are particularly suspicious of outsiders, and this lot are especially suspicious when it comes to the police. Ben can't help but think they are hiding something but doesn't know what.
Meanwhile, there is one old couple in Withens, the Renshaws, who are more than happy to talk. The problem is, the only topic of conversation is their daughter Emma, who went missing 2 years ago. The Renshaws talk of Emma in the present tense, expecting her to walk through their door at any moment, much to Diane Fry's bemusement.
Because of Ben Cooper's secondment to the Rural Crimes Team, Diane has had to use the ever hungry and source of numerous lighter moments, Gavin Murfin. Murfin is taking an increasingly prominent role as the series progresses and is a nice counterpoint to Fry's more dour by the book attitude.
This series is getting stronger and stronger with each new book and the characters of Ben Cooper and Diane Fry are developing nicely. If you're after an exceedingly enjoyable police procedural, I strongly recommend this one. In my opinion, this is the best of the series so far.
Booth started out well in this book, and it was not a bad read. It just took him forever to get to the point. I don't mind big heavy books, in fact, I read them all the time having to do with bioethics and medicine. But writing just to prolong the book, even if the language is well-written, does nothing to keep the attention of the reader. I half suspect Booth was trying to bring attention to some problems that the British are having with dealing with the complex sociological problems of small towns disappearing and people have no where to go being pushed out by greedy landlords. We have the same problems here in the U.S. and yet in the end, the information concerning this in Blind to the Bones had very little to do with the murder. In fact, more information could have been given concerning the murderer's psyche...but it came rushing in at the end.
I think I will try this author again, with some of his other, more praised books. See if this is a regular problem in his writings, or if it was just this one novel.
Want to see more reviews on this item?