About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Black Dog
Publisher: Harper Collins December 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
Fifteen-year-old Laura, daughter of the wealthy Vernon family, is missing. Possibly she's run off to London. Possibly she's dead. The police search, the parents wait by the phone, and Detective Constable Ben Cooper quietly dreads the worst.When retired miner Harry Dickinson reports that he's found the body lying in the woods, his strangely obstinate refusal to cooperate with the investigation raises more than a few eyebrows. Does Harry simply hate the police, or does his behavior implicate him in the crime? Detective Cooper has no shortage of suspects for the murder, but he realizes that Harry may hold the key. Whatever Harry knows about what has happened up in those woods, he's certainly not telling. Cooper teams up with Detective Constable Diane Fry, an ambitious rookie with a few secrets of her own. As they work to unravel the baffling crime, the young detectives find themselves in a complicated two-step of suspicion and sexual tension.Set against the atmospheric backdrop of Northern England's Peak District, Black Dog is an evocative, gorgeously written work of psychological suspense. Sure to garner comparisons to Barbara Vine and Reginald Hill, Stephen Booth makes a powerhouse debut.Review:
A neat little psychological thriller in the Barbara Vine tradition, debut novelist Stephen Booth's smart, spare suspense story introduces Detective Constable Ben Cooper, an up-and-coming English policeman who fears he'll never be able to fill the shoes of his father, a police sergeant who died a hero's death on the job in Ben's own precinct. Diane Fry, Ben's new partner, is an ambitious woman who's just been transferred to the Edendale force. She's jealous of Ben's familiarity with the locals, who won't tell her anything but treat Ben like a beloved son. The pair is teamed up to investigate the brutal murder of a 15-year-old girl whose parents, like Fry, are outsiders. The old man who finds Laura Vernon's body is an enigmatic, close-mouthed man who obviously knows more than he's telling, but even Ben can't budge Harry Dickinson from his determination to keep the real story of what happened in the dark woods of England's brooding Peak District to himself. Laura's father is anxious to pin the crime on a local boy who may have had sexual designs on her and who's conveniently gone missing. But the search for the killer turns up the dark secrets of the Vernons as well as a number of other suspects who keep Ben and Diane guessing until the last page of this well-written, carefully paced, and deeply atmospheric novel. A strong first showing from a writer worth watching, with a protagonist who'd be good company in a return engagement. --Jane Adams
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