Monday, May 22

The Dead Place by Stephen Booth

Review by Andrea Maloney

The police are receiving anonymous calls from someone taunting them that a killing is imminent and all they have to do is find "The Dead Place". It could be a hoax .  But Detective Diane Fry believes that they are dealing with a murderer and becomes close to obsessed with finding the caller whose calls are eerie with horrifying descriptions of death and decay.  

Meanwhile DC Ben Cooper is dealing with the first case of body snatching in Derbyshire. The investigation takes him into the secret world of people who lives revolve around the dead and their disposal, funeral directors, crematorium staff and a professor whose area of expertise is the study of death.

Fry and Cooper are soon looking for "The Dead Place" and find themselves learning much more about death and it's aftermath than they had ever wanted to know.

Wonderful descriptive detail gives an atmosphere that is dark and chilling. Fry is a character who appears to be deeply psychologically affected by the calls and who finds herself fixated on finding the threatening caller. Cooper finds himself dealing with death in ways very personal to him.

In depth characterization gives you a good sense of what makes these two tick and brings about an interest in learning more about them. Cooper appears to be a smart and caring detective with a brilliant mind for details. While at times Fry comes across as cold and uncaring but you come to see that deep down she perhaps cares too much.

Some of the descriptive details of what goes on behind the scenes at a funeral parlor are quite chilling and you will find yourself cringing and trying to get the images out of your mind.

The Dead Place offers a terrific storyline that moves along at a nice clip, offering up details and clues that will have you trying to figure out what is going on, but you'll find yourself one step behind until the very end.

Stephen Booth has written a brilliantly dark and disturbing police procedural that will leave you gasping for breath as you find yourself surrounded by death and all it entails.


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