A Cooper & Fry mystery
Stephen Booth
Sphere 2018
378 pages

You pretty much have to be a fan of the Cooper & Fry mystery novels by Stephen Booth to enjoy Fall Down Dead, the eighteenth book in the series. If you are not already familiar with Booth’s series, Fall Down Dead is not particularly interesting. So much so that I would not be surprised that even Cooper & Fry fans will agree. Kindle at Amazon: Fall Down Dead

If you do not have the backstory to the adventures of DI Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, the tension between the two is hard to understand. Then again, it is hard to understand how this book belongs in a series since the detectives have little contact with each other in Fall Down Dead.

In this mystery novel thirteen hikers went up a mountain called Kinder Scout, only twelve come back down. DI Ben Cooper investigates who killed Faith Matthews, the thirteenth hiker. Meanwhile, DS Diane Fry is under investigation by Professional Standards and so not involved in any way with the murder investigation.

With twelve suspects, keeping a who’s who Fall Down Dead by Stephen Booth is a bit complicated but nothing a mystery fan can’t handle. Stephen Booth has easy to distinguish suspects and even splits up the hikers in two groups before the murder so it is easier to keep track.

Though Stephen Booth spins his wheels a bit in the solve of the murder, the resolution makes sense. Much less satisfactory is how the investigation into Fry’s conduct is handled and resolved. No spoilers aside from saying the reader will find it too facile.


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