Fall Down Dead is the newest release from author Stephen Booth. This is the 18th (!) entry in his Cooper and Fry series. It's a first read of this series for me.
A group of thirteen ramblers go walking on Kinder Scout, a difficult - and dangerous - climb, in the Peak District of England. The group becomes disoriented in the fog, losing their sense of direction and the path. When the rescue patrol finally brings them off the mountain, there are only twelve. One of their number has fallen - or was she pushed - at Dead Woman's Drop.
Cooper and his team are charged with investigating the event, while Fry is herself being investigated by Professional Standards.
It's great having twelve suspects to choose from. (A hint of Agatha Christie) As each recounts their memory of the event, Cooper and his team must discern who is telling the truth. For it seems like none are being completely forthright. Especially the group's leader Darius. My opinion on who it could be changed with each new interview and revelation. (And when I did reach the end, it wasn't who I suspected)
Diane is unsure what Professional Standards is looking for. It is only as the interviews continue that she begins to get an idea of what they're after. And that she might need some help. Not something she's used to asking for.
I quite liked both of these characters. The relationship between the two seems complicated. They're polar opposites and that makes for a charged dynamic. I enjoyed the personal story lines of each key player. British police duos are the basis of some of my favourite series. However, I did feel like I was playing catch up with what has transpired in the past for Cooper and Fry. Booth does provide enough information that I could appreciate what was happening with Fry in this latest. I am not a reader who will go backwards once I know where the character's lives are now. But I would absolutely pick up Booth's next book to see where they go from here.
Booth's description of the Peak area, the mountain and the climbing was really descriptive and brought the setting to life. Bleak, beautiful and treacherous. (I went online to look at pictures and it is something to see.) And the history behind the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout was fascinating as well. I appreciate history woven into a fictional tale.
A new author to add to my list! Read an excerpt of Fall Down Dead.