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Blood on the Tongue [Paperback]

Stephen Booth
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

5 Feb 2007

Guilt, sacrifice and redemption in a freezing Derbyshire winter in this tense psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of ‘Black Dog’.

'The sun had dropped over the edge of Irontongue Hill so that the snow-covered moor was in shadow … but Marie Tennent would never see the dawn.'

Marie's was not the only body lying undiscovered under the Peak District snow that January morning – nor the first. In 1945, the wreckage of a bomber was found on the Hill, full of dead crewmen. The missing pilot was declared responsible, but why would a decorated hero desert? The only other survivor refuses to talk. A young Canadian woman has arrived to uncover the truth – the pilot was her grandfather. DC Ben Cooper is intrigued. Perhaps he can help?

To his boss DS Fry, investigating two frozen bodies found on the moors, her colleague's interest is entirely unprofessional. But the past has a way of influencing the present and before either knows it, a long-cold trail in the dead of winter has grown dangerously hot …


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (5 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000713066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007130665
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,388 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 is THE CORPSE BRIDGE.

A former newspaper journalist, Stephen 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.

Visit the author's website at: http://www.stephen-booth.com

Product Description

Review

Praise for Stephen Booth:

‘Stephen Booth creates a fine sense of place and atmosphere … the unguessable solution to the crime comes as a real surprise’ Sunday Telegraph

‘The complex relationship between [Cooper and Fry] is excellently drawn, and is combined with an intriguing plot and a real sense of place: Stephen Booth is an author to keep an eye on’ Evening Standard

‘Stephen Booth makes high summer in Derbyshire as dark and terrifying as midwinter’ Val McDermid

'A leading light of British crime writing' Guardian

‘ 'Best traditional crime novel of the year'
Independent, Books of the Year

From the Back Cover

It wasn’t the easiest way to commit suicide. But Marie Tennent seemed to have just curled up in the freezing snow on Irontongue Hill and stayed there until her body was frosted over like a supermarket chicken. And hers isn’t the only death the police have to contend with either – not after the discovery of a baby in the wreckage of an old Airforce bomber, and the body of a man dumped by a roadside.

As if three bodies on her hands isn’t enough, snow and ice have left half of ‘E’ Division out of action and Diane Fry is forced to partner DC Gavin Murfin. She and Ben Cooper were never a match made in heaven, but next to Murfin, working with Ben starts to look like a dream.

He’s on a trail of his own, though – and one as cold as the Peak District January. In an equally bitter winter in 1945 an RAF bomber crashed on Irontongue Hill killing everyone except the pilot, who walked away and disappeared. Now his grand-daughter, Alison Morrissey, is in Derbyshire desperate to clear his name, and Ben can’t help taking an interest.

But is a fifty-year-old mystery really the best use of police time? Or does a vicious attack in the dark Edendale backstreets prove that the trail’s not quite as cold as he’d thought? Could the past be the only clue to present violence as an icy winter looks set to get even chillier?

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Powerful Performance 31 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
The third in the Cooper / Fry series once again uses the rugged, picturesque landscape of the Derbyshire Peak District as a stark backdrop to another enjoyable police procedural.
It’s January and the Edendale police are severely short-staffed thanks to terrible weather and a number of “slip and fall” injuries. Meanwhile the snow is falling and is creating havoc is a town that seems to be going through a bit of a crime wave. Beatings, missing children and a couple of dead bodies are discovered in the snow, one going unidentified and the other prompting more questions than are answered. On top of this comes an unusually high level of interest in a 57-year-old wartime plane crash that had taken place just outside of town. How had the plane crashed? Whatever became of the pilot? Why is there so much interest in it now after all this time?
Detective Constable Ben Cooper is still the hardworking, under appreciated officer who is more than willing to take on any task assigned to him. His immediate superior Detective Sergeant Diane Fry is still the antagonistic outsider who resents Cooper’s popularity and hardworking ethics. Surely something’s got to give between these two sometime.
This excellent series of books is continued by yet another strong entry. Powerful writing gives the feeling of being placed within sight of the beautiful peaks around Edendale.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLOOD ON THE TONGUE 24 Oct 2002
Format:Paperback
BLOOD ON THE TONGUE is another fantastic novel from Stephen Booth. Not only another fantastic novel, but one with old friends, and even some new ones. Reading BLOOD ON THE TONGUE felt like coming home again.
It is in the middle of the coldest part of the year in the Peak District. The time of the year for cold, frozen feet and red, burning ears. When snow flurries blow hard, and the snow banks along the roads grow so high that they hide all kinds of secrets. Perhaps even a dead body, or two.
Ben Cooper and Diane Fry find themselves together again, at the Edendale Police Department in the midst of a crime wave. Young men are beating each other, people are being found frozen in the snow, and there is a terrible shortage of help. To make life just that much more unbearable at the moment, Diane has a new nemesis, DC Gavin Murfin. A completely, in Diane's mind anyway, uncivilized brute who drives her nuts with both his disgusting eating habits, as well as just him simply breathing. Everything about Gavin disgusts Diane.
To top everything off E Division is getting a new Detective Chief Inspector. Stewart Tailby is retiring to a desk job at headquarters, and DCI Oliver Kessen is taking over.
In the middle of this chaos a young woman arrives from Canada in search of information concerning her grandfather, Daniel McTeague. The problem with this is that Pilot Officer McTeague has been missing since his RAF plane went down 57 years earlier in the peat moors around Irontongue Hill. It was reported at the time that Officer McTeague had survived the accident, and had left the wreckage, walking away from his military career and past life, never to be seen, or heard from again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper page turner 8 Nov 2008
By Duncan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been meaning to get around to Stephen Booth's work for a while now and I'm pleased that I finally managed it. This a satisfying, complex thriller, full of twists and turns that keeps you reading [and guessing] for over 600 pages - quite a feat. Booth has come up with an endearing pair of mismatched detectives in Cooper and Fry and a solid supporting cast of cops, villains and Peak District eccentrics. I've read and enjoyed most of Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks books - another police procedural with a rural England setting - and Booth is in the same league. The Derbyshire settings add to the enjoyment [as a native of that county] and are well integrated into the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic wintery chills 19 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback
The previous book was a tough act to follow but 'Blood on the Tongue' is a damn fine attempt. Stephen Booth has written another wonderfully unpredictable (yet perfectly logical, once you look back on it) murder mystery here set on the Derbyshire Moors. He's even created a charismatic new area for a murder to take place in; the mysterious Irontonge Hill, famous in local lore for bearing the brunt of a World War Two airplane crash. The narrative cleverly re-explores the more unexplained aspects of that crash as well as the murders in the present.

Because this tale takes place at the height of winter, snow is prevelent from the first page to the last. It's a nice touch to have freezing weather conditions hinder the investigation. From memory, I think Booth tried to produce a similar background effect in 'Black Dog', only with summer heat. Here though the intention works much better, partly because snow is a far more troublesome foe in middle England than a mild heatwave, and partly because the author is simply on much better form now than when he penned his debut. He's just doing everything so much better. Irontongue Hill, by the way, is extremely well suited to a wintertime murder mystery.

Cooper and Fry go through their usual routine of awkward co-operation, although Fry is slightly less hard-ass this time. The scene where she puts Cooper's picture above the mantelpiece is a very nice touch. In fact, the whole subplot which has Cooper moving out of home can only be a good thing for the series. I've never thought the scenes at the farmhouse with his brother add much.

To sum up, if you've got the patience for an expertly crafted 600 page whodunnit set in rural England, this is the book for you. It can also be enjoyed if you haven't previously touched the first two, as each book is a separate story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars blood on the tongue
Excellent story love the characters the story flowed well from each character's perspective did keep you guessing at some of the connections
Published 1 month ago by jmoll
4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful surprise!
I have just finished reading this book. It was the first of the Cooper/Fry series that I had read. Although at the time of reading it, I didn't realise there were other books... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Munday
5.0 out of 5 stars feedback
Quick service. I live in Derbyshire SO it was good reading about the area. This book got my imagination working. I would recommend it to family and friends
Published 4 months ago by Fiona Palabinskas
5.0 out of 5 stars a realy good read.
The book ws well researched and contained good ( believable ) charecters,an alround good plot made this an enjoyable read.
Published 4 months ago by bobalong
4.0 out of 5 stars The Detective of the Peak
I am enjoying this series of detective stories very much. The detective is not, as is usual, an inspector but a humble constable, which enables the author to present his story from... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr M G Dunstall
4.0 out of 5 stars another great storyteller.
The third book by Stephen Booth that I have read. All have interesting and believable themes. The descriptions of the Peak District and the various locations make it so. Read more
Published 8 months ago by chevron kelvin
5.0 out of 5 stars blood on the tongue
Another great book by a great author can't put Stephen booths books down once I get into them well done
Published 11 months ago by j b cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
"Blood on the Tongue" was a riveting read that I found hard to put down. Set in the dead of winter it sees Cooper and Fry investigate a murder and a possible suicide but Cooper... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
With his second book in the series featuring Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, the author excels in weaving an intricate but understandable plot, bringing together a World War II flying... Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Hassall
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben cooper series
Stephen Booth never disappoints. This book is extremely well written - his descriptions are so good that you feel you can actually see the scenes he paints. Read more
Published 13 months ago by JC
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