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Black Dog Mass Market Paperback – 26 Nov 2001

80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; New edition edition (26 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671786040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671786045
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 3.2 x 10.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,652,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Booth is an award winning UK crime writer, the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DS Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in fourteen novels set in England's beautiful and atmospheric Peak District.

Stephen has been a Gold Dagger finalist, an Anthony Award nominee, twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, and twice shortlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year. DC Cooper was a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author, and in 2003 the Crime Writers' Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library Award for "the author whose books have given readers the most pleasure". The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into 15 languages. The latest title in the series is THE CORPSE BRIDGE. Stephen is also the author of a standalone crime novel TOP HARD.

A former newspaper journalist, Stephen Booth was born in the Lancashire mill town of Burnley and brought up by the sea in Blackpool. He attended Birmingham City University and worked on local newspapers in in the North and Midlands before his first novel BLACK DOG was published in 2000. He lives in Nottinghamshire.

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Stephen Booth's first novel Black Dog is an impressive portrait of two sorts of policing. Ben is a local man who knows everybody and perhap scares too much, while Diane is a stranger wherever she goes and is perhaps too cold-blooded; when they find themselves rivals for promotion, and colleagues on a difficult case, breaking strain is going to be reached sooner or later. Spoiled, young Laura Vernon is missing, soon to be found dead, and the question soon arises: is she only, or even, the first? Retired quarryman Harry found the body and perhaps knows more than he is letting on, but he will do anything rather than tell the police more than he has to. The Vernons' gardener is missing, a thuggish young man rather too fond of showing off his muscles--what does he know? What went on at the Vernons' smart cocktail parties and what do Harry and his friends talk about over their beer in the pub? This is an ingenious dark little mystery in which there may be solutions to problems, but no cures; Ben and Diane are two of the more interestingly flawed young cops of recent crime fiction. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The Boston Globe "Black Dog skillfully renders the small-village atmosphere of England's Peak District quite effectively while weaving a good puzzle into local custom....[Booth's] sense of smell and sound is a gift.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like traditional crime novels, then I am sure you will enjoy 'Black Dog'.
The story is well-crafted and perfectly paced. The dramatic setting of the Peak District, and the dynamics of the relationship between Ben Cooper and Diane Fry (two constables working on the case) serve to compliment the central storyline - that of the murder of wealthy teenager, Laura Vernon.
A number of murder suspects are amassed throughout the course of the novel, and there are a number of twists along the way. The style of writing is simplistic, yet taut - and the timing is excellent.
The only reason I am not awarding this book 5 stars is down to a personal feeling that the ending was a little disappointing. I think the revelation of the murderer was done well, but there were not enough hints to their identity and I couldn't help but feel the criminal should have been someone else!
In summary, this is an absorbing and well-written murder mystery, and whilst I did feel a little let-down at the end, it was an impressive debut nonetheless.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Black Dog 5 stars (plus)
Black Dog is one of the most amazing books that I have read in a very long time.
Stephen Booth's characters come alive on the first page and only get better as you go through the book to the last page. He actually takes you through the entire story making you feel as if you are there. And the people are real.
Laura Vernon is missing. An innocent, well liked, quiet, and well mannered 15 year old girl, according to some. To others, who seemed to know her better, quite wild.
As the helicopters fly overhead, and the police look desperately for this young girl, an old man sits on a rock, at the edge of the dark woods of England's brooding Peak District, watching and listening to the activity overhead. Suddenly his black Labrador, Jess, comes running up with something in her mouth.
From this minute on you will not be able to put this book down. The object that Jess retrieves takes you into the lives of everyone in the village. Secrets are divulged that have been hidden for years. Just when you figure you have this whole story figured out, you are led down another path. And then another.
Stephen Booth has written a story that will grab you, and not let you go. The only thing bad about this book is that you don't want it to end. You want to know more about the people, their lives and what will happen to them. You will defiantly have "The black dog's on your back". And you will not want it any other way.
Susan Hartigan Riverside, California USA
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. E. Hayes on 2 May 2000
Format: Paperback
Black Dog by Stephen Booth
Laura Vernon, fifteen years old and missing from home since Saturday night.
In the heat of the summer, in the Peak District, the search for Laura is underway. Ben Cooper along with every man in the line is equipped with a wooden pole to sift through the long grass and push aside the dense swathes of bracken and bramble.
Laura's parents Charlotte and Graham, appear at first, distraught at the absence of their daughter but gradually questions arise as to Laura's home life, the family situation, and the secrets they hold.
When Harry Dickinson out walking his dog, finds a trainer, why does he seem so determined to obstruct the police.
The new DC Diane Fry is fresh from Birmingham, determined to be noticed, ambitious and looking for fast promotion. Paired off with Cooper, who has known the villagers all his life, Diane finds herself in an alien world. It seems that erywhere she goes, she is with 'Sergeant Cooper's lad'. Both Diane Fry and Ben Cooper have emotional baggage, but both are suspicious of other people suspecting weakness, and have, each built a wall around themselves which has resulted in them both being locked up in their own world of pain.
This book is rich in emotion and complex relationships on several different levels. In fact the mystery can only be solved when the complexity of relationships are unravelled, much of which lies in the past. Even when the mystery was solved I felt that there was a great deal yet to be revealed in the human relationships of the main characters. I sincerely hope there is another book, as there is so much still to be said with the main characters, and I want to read more about them and how they each deal with the complex history that they both have.
The sense of place in this book was strong, as was the depth of feeling of small rural communities. For a debut novel, this is a wonderful book. Highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes 2 May 2000
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Atkinson on 31 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
I agree with all the one to two star reviews
This book was dull, poorly written and the characters were not that interesting. I tried to like them but they are poorly written with lots of clichés in the text.
I have read inspector banks novels, harry hole and harry bosch and loved them all. Couldn't put them down. Stephen Booth is no where near their level.
In fact I am currently reading Tony Hill series by Val Mcdermid but find I can't put them down and as I have to work and sort out the family (!) thought I would give the series a break and start the Stephen Booth novels. I have given up on the third book as so bored and uninspired by the story telling. On the plus side a very easy book to put down!
If you like/love Inspector Banks, Harry's Hole and Bosch, Inspector Morse and Inspector Diamond don't bother with Stephen Booth's creations - you will be disappointed.
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