Secrets of Death
by Stephen Booth
on Tour April 3 – 30, 2017
Residents of the Peak District are used to tourists descending on its soaring hills and brooding valleys. However, this summer brings a different kind of visitor to the idyllic landscape, leaving behind bodies and secrets.
A series of suicides throughout the Peaks throws Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire’s E Division into a race against time to find a connection to these seemingly random acts — with no way of predicting where the next body will turn up. Meanwhile, in Nottingham Detective Sergeant Diane Fry finds a key witness has vanished…
But what are the mysterious Secrets of Death?
And is there one victim whose fate wasn’t suicide at all?
Genre: Thriller, Fiction
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062690353 (ISBN13: 9780062690357)
Series: Cooper & Fry #16 (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗
Read an excerpt:
A newspaper and magazine journalist for over 25 years, Stephen Booth was born in the English Pennine mill town of Burnley. He was brought up on the Lancashire coast at Blackpool, where he attended Arnold School. He began his career in journalism by editing his school magazine, and wrote his first novel at the age of 12. The Cooper & Fry series is now published by Little, Brown in the UK and by the Witness Impulse imprint of HarperCollins in the USA. In addition to publication in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, translation rights in the series have so far been sold in sixteen languages – French, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Romanian, Bulgarian, Japanese and Hebrew.Stephen left journalism in 2001 to write novels full time. He and his wife Lesley live in a village in rural Nottinghamshire, England (home of Robin Hood and the Pilgrim Fathers). They have three cats.
In recent years, Stephen Booth has become a Library Champion in support of the UK’s ‘Love Libraries’ campaign, and a Reading Champion to support the National Year of Reading. He has also represented British literature at the Helsinki Book Fair in Finland, filmed a documentary for 20th Century Fox on the French detective Vidocq, taken part in online chats for World Book Day, and given talks at many conferences, conventions, libraries, bookshops and festivals around the world.
Q&A with Stephen Booth
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Both, I think. Everything is material for a writer. I spent 25 years as a newspaper journalist covering all kinds of stories – and meeting a lot of police officers. But I also want to make my books as contemporary as possible and deal with current issues.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
Definitely the latter. When I start a new book, I don’t know how it will end, or even much of what’s going to happen in the plot. I start with the characters (and a place the belong to, since the locations are very important). Then I devise a situation which puts them under pressure, with a murder happening or a body being found, and I watch how they behave. So the characters create the story, and what subsequently happens might surprise even me. For me, that’s a much more interesting and exciting way of writing than knowing what’s going to happen all the time. Of course, I rely heavily on Cooper and Fry and their police colleagues to do their part of the job and find out what happened. After all, they’re the detectives and I’m just the writer!
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
I think there’s a bit of me in every character. And of course everyone I meet is likely to influence me too. When we create a character, we use aspects of several people, including ourselves, to produce something new and hopefully unique.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I’m sure everyone is different, but this process works for me. I write a book a year, and in the early stages I might not be putting many words on the page because I’m developing the characters and locations, and the themes of the book. The actual writing can happen quite quickly later on. Although I may be at my desk during the day, there are lots of other things involved in being a writer other than the actual writing. My most creative time is in the evening and late at night, when there are fewer distractions. I work from home, but I’ve converted part of a stable block into an office. So I do physically leave the house to go to work, though I only have to cross the yard!
Tell us why we should read this book.
I think it explores series issues we might not have thought about too much, but in a gripping story that involves mystery, intrigue and some fascinating characters, all set in a beautiful and atmospheric location.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many. One of my great crime writing heroes was Ruth Rendell, who we lost a couple of years ago. She had the ability to come up with someone fresh and exciting, no matter how long she’d been doing it. I like series with a strong central character, so I’d include on my list Peter Robinson, John Harvey, Michael Connelly, Ann Cleeves, and Laurie King. There are lots of wonderful new authors coming through too.
What are you reading now?
Deborah Crombie’s ‘No Mark Upon Her’. I’m afraid I’ve fallen behind a bit on her Kincaid and James series!
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
There’s a new Cooper and Fry novel already written, called ‘Dead in the Dark’. I like to keep the dynamic between the characters moving forward, and there are changes ahead for both Ben and Diane. A lot of readers have been hoping for good news for Ben, and I think he’s finding some happiness now. Diane is always living on the edge, and with the return of her sister Angie into her life I’m afraid she has a crisis coming! Meanwhile, I’m starting work on number 18 in the series, so I’m anxious to see how Diane deals with that crisis
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
We’re in development for a Cooper and Fry TV series at the moment, so I’m often asked about casting. I thought Aidan Turner might make a good Ben Cooper. Diane Fry is much more complex and difficult…
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Walking in the Peak District national park (where my books are set)
And I’m just learning to play the guitar!
Chinese Probably a nice Dim Sum.
Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.
Thank you for inviting me! It’s been a pleasure.
Catch Up With Stephen Booth On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!
Stop by these blogs to follow the tour and learn more about this awesome thriller!