Saturday, September 11, 2021

Secrets Of Death by Stephen Booth


The Peaks District is known for its beauty and wonderful towns such as Derbyshire and Nottingham.  Tourists flock to view the beauty and hike on the miles of nature trails.  DI Ben Cooper is used to the tourist influx every summer but not what this summer has brought.  All of a sudden, suicides are being found all over the district and the terms suicide tourist is being bandied about.

This won't do and Cooper's superiors want him to look into it and see what, if anything, can be done.  The victims vary in age and gender and in methods of death.  There have been leaps from bridges, drug overdoses, slit wrists and asphyxiation.  What could possibly tie these deaths together?  But shockingly, Ben finds a common thread.  Each of the suicide victims has a card in their possession, a black card embossed with the phrase Secrets Of Death.

In the past, Ben would have been working with Diane Fry, his colleague with whom he had an uneasy work relationship.  But Diane has been transferred to Nottingham to the Major Crime division and is no longer a worry to him.  Until she reappears telling Ben that his latest victim was also one of the Major Crime's suspects in three womens' deaths.  What is the cord that binds these cases?

This is the sixteenth Cooper and Fry novel in the series.  Ben has had some personal setbacks and is just pulling himself out of a personal depression.  He meets several women who make him think about getting back into the dating game although he hasn't done so yet.  The relationship between Ben and Diane is fraught with tension and disconnects as always which makes the book more interesting.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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