Soon there will be a killing. Close your eyes and breathe in the aroma. I can smell it right now, can’t you? So powerful, so sweet. So irresistible. It’s the scent of death.
‘It’s perfectly simple. All you have to do is find the dead place’
The anonymous caller who taunts the Police with talk of an imminent killing could be a hoaxer, his descriptions of death and decomposition a sick fantasy. But Detective Diane Fry is certain she’s dealing with a murderer. The voice – so eerily, shiveringly calm – invites the police to meet the ‘flesh eater’. Fry fears it may already be too late to save the next victim.
DC Ben Cooper, meanwhile, is looking into Derbyshire’s first case of body snatching. The investigation takes him into the dark, secret world of those whose lives revolve around the dead and their disposal – from funeral directors to crematorium staff and a professor whose speciality is the study of death.
Where is the dead place? And what terrible deeds are done there?
Praise for The Dead Place:
‘A dark Derbyshire mystery…not for the squeamish’ Daily Mail
‘A thoroughly enjoyable book from one of Britain’s best crime writers’ Sunday Telegraph
Praise for Stephen Booth:
'A leading light of British crime writing' Guardian
'Endows the traditional crime story with a literary strength that lifts it above the general ruck… He gives a satisfying read rather than a quick fix' Independent
‘Stephen Booth is an author to keep an eye on’ Evening Standard
‘In this atmospheric debut, Stephen Booth makes high summer in Derbyshire as dark and terrifying as midwinter’ Val McDermid
‘Black Dog sinks its teeth into you and doesn’t let go … A dark star may be born!’ Reginald Hill
About the author
Stephen Booth is a journalist. This is his sixth novel in his Peak District series featuring Ben Cooper and Diane Fry.
In the sixth circuitously plotted police procedural from British author Booth (after One Last Breath), Det. Constable Ben Cooper and his boss, Sgt. Diane Fry, pursue a possible serial killer who leaves haunting phone messages about impending murders, flesh eaters and decomposition at the Derbyshire police station. Cooper and Fry chase down all sorts of dead ends: a woman who disappears from a local car park, another whose body is found in the woods, and skeletal remains discovered on a hilltop. None of the crimes appears to be the killer's work, but they all may be connected in disjointed ways to a local funeral parlor whose business has dropped off significantly in recent years. Booth's meandering style lots of subplots and droll diversions may not be to everyone's liking. Some readers may also be put off by the lack of chemistry between the earnest and bumbling Cooper and the cranky and aloof Fry.