A death in the family-from-hell bring Detectives Fry and Cooper to a remote and unfriendly rural community in their fourth psychological thriller. 'And as it grew dark, Withens became almost entirely silent. Except for the screaming.' A small village in the Peak District, Withens is troubled by theft and vandalism, mostly generated by local family ...
A death in the family-from-hell bring Detectives Fry and Cooper to a remote and unfriendly rural community in their fourth psychological thriller. 'And as it grew dark, Withens became almost entirely silent. Except for the screaming.' A small village in the Peak District, Withens is troubled by theft and vandalism, mostly generated by local family-from-hell, the Oxleys. Now it is the focus of a murder investigation - a man's body has been found on the bleak moors nearby, and the man is an Oxley. To crack the case, DC Ben Cooper must break open the delinquent clan. His boss, DS Diane Fry, is also in Withens. Grim new evidence has turned up in the case of a missing student but her parents refuse to believe she could be dead. The darkness in Withens's heart is growing. And things are only going to get nastier...
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-09-08 Set in a damp English village on the midland moors, Booth's fourth suspense novel is a moody, meandering tale, bringing back the two police protagonists of Blood on the Tongue and Dancing with the Virgins. Det. Constable Ben Cooper has just been transferred to a rural beat when he finds himself up to his handcuffs in the gruesome murder of a young man, Neil Granger. Meanwhile, his former superior, Det. Sgt. Diane Fry, is investigating the two-year-old disappearance of 19-year-old Emma Renshaw. The cases are almost certainly related-Emma and Neil both grew up in the Peak District village of Withens and were housemates in the Black Country, an urban area just west of Birmingham-but clues linking them are scarce. As Fry and Cooper pursue their separate investigations, Emma's distraught and unbalanced parents prove a hindrance, and a family of petty criminals further hamper progress. An accidental shooting, the discovery of a second corpse, a possible link to a burglary ring and a suspicious land development deal add more complications. Bogged down in this plethora of subplots, Fry and Cooper are also plagued by personal troubles. Fry's own sister has been missing for 15 years, and Cooper has information about her that he doesn't know whether to share. Though the two detectives wrestle with their feelings for each other, their conflicted relationship produces few sparks. Short on suspense and long on melodrama, this is a tepid effort from a much-praised writer of sophisticated crime fiction. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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