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The Burning (Coroner Jenny Cooper Series) [Hardcover]

M. R. Hall
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014 Coroner Jenny Cooper Series (Book 6)

A family tragedy. A buried secret. What lies hidden in the flames?

A dense, bitterly cold fog has settled over the Wye Valley when Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to the scene of a dreadful tragedy: in the village of Blackstone Ley, a house has burned to the ground with three members of a family inside.

Though evidence of foul play is quickly uncovered, it isn’t long before the police investigation is drawn to a close. It seems certain that the fire was started by one of the victims, Ed Morgan, in a fit of jealous rage. But their infant son is still missing and Ed had left a message for his surviving wife, Kelly Hart, telling her that she would never find the child . . .

As Jenny prepares the inquest, she finds herself troubled by the official version of events. What could have provoked Ed’s murderous rampage? How might the other, guarded inhabitants of the village have been involved? And what could the connection be with the mysterious abduction of a little girl ten years ago?

Battling to supress gruelling events in her own life, Jenny soon becomes entangled in another perplexing inquiry that may have surprising links to this one. Can she unearth Blackstone Ley’s secrets, before it’s too late?


Frequently Bought Together

The Burning (Coroner Jenny Cooper Series) + The Chosen Dead: Coroner Jenny Cooper mystery -book 5 (Coroner Jenny Cooper Series) + The Redeemed (Coroner Jenny Cooper Series)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle; First Edition, First Impression edition (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230752047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230752047
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

M. R. Hall is a screenwriter and producer and former criminal barrister, a profession he left due to a constitutional inability to prosecute. Educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, he lives in the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire with his wife, journalist Patricia Carswell, and two sons. Aside from writing, his main passion is the preservation and planting of woodland. In his spare moments, he is mostly to be found amongst trees. Also available in the double CWA Gold Dagger shortlisted Coroner Jenny Cooper series: The Coroner, The Disappeared, The Redeemed, The Flight, The Chosen Dead and short story The Innocent. Discover more at www.m-r-hall.com; facebook.com/MRHallAuthor; @MRHall_books

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Gil_Gibbs_Hotch VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the first novel I have read by M R Hall. The premise of the story is for Jenny Cooper, the coroner for the Severn and Wye region to arrive at a verdict on the deaths of a step father and his two teenage step daughters. It would appear that this was a murder/suicide. However, clues are quickly uncovered which leaves this very much in question. Also is there a connection with the disappearance of a 4 year old girl 10 years ago from the same village of Blackstone Ley?
The author writes in an intelligent and relaxed manner. The prose is particularly effective and true to life. The reader is lead down several paths, each of which appear a plausible route to the truth. However, nothing is simple in Jenny's world and the red herrings begin mounting. Her persistence and trust in all those around her are tested to the limit. In addition, she also has to deal with a serious personal issue.
This novel is thoroughly engrossing and I simply had to finish it in one sitting as Mr Hall expertly weaves a story to which you have to know the answer; which doesn't happen until near the end. If, as I this is the first novel by Hall that you read, it will not be the last and I predict a healthy interest in the previous 4 Jenny Cooper stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspend Disbelief 27 Mar 2014
By C. E. Utley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am growing rather fond of Mr Hall's dotty coroner, Jenny Cooper. Actually, and this is a great improvement, she is not nearly as dotty in this book as she is in the earlier ones. But she does still have a very strange idea of a coroner's job. Readers should be aware that Hall's description of what coroners do is fantastic in the extreme, but it doesn't matter in the least.

The story opens with a dreadful fire in a house in a village near Bristol. It happens at shortly before midnight. Three charred bodies, assumed to be those of Ed Morgan and his two young step-daughters, are found in the burnt out house. On the following morning a detective inspector turns up at the coroner's house, tells her of the tragedy and goes with her to see the scene, where the bodies are awaiting removal to the morgue. In her strange way, Jenny immediately starts interviewing witnesses. On the following morning she is informed that the police have closed their files on the case and handed it over to her. That is despite the fact that it has transpired that all three victims have gunshot wounds, that they have not yet been identified and the post mortems have not yet been carried out. The Crown Prosecution Service, we are assured, has advised the police that they need not investigate any further (see what I mean by suspending disbelief?).

Still, this odd behaviour of the police and the CPS gives Jenny her chance to act as a detective (what she seems to like doing most). As is her habit, she charges round the country interviewing all sorts of potential witnesses for the inquest (real coroners leave that to the police) and uncovers all sorts of strange goings on, especially when there are some more violent deaths which, yet again, the police can't be bothered to investigate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great instalment to the series. 5 Mar 2014
By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Thank you to the author and publisher for the advance reading copy.

A family tragedy. A buried secret. What lies hidden in the flames? A dense, bitterly cold fog has settled over the Wye Valley when Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper is called to the scene of a dreadful tragedy: in the village of Blackstone Ley, a house has burned to the ground with three members of a family inside. Though evidence of foul play is quickly uncovered, it isn’t long before the police investigation is drawn to a close. It seems certain that the fire was started by one of the victims, Ed Morgan, in a fit of jealous rage. But their infant son is still missing and Ed had left a message for his surviving wife, Kelly Hart, telling her that she would never find the child . . . As Jenny prepares the inquest, she finds herself troubled by the official version of events.

The Jenny Cooper series is one I have followed from the beginning so never was I more pleased to see an early copy of a novel as I was to see this one.

In this instalment we find Jenny coping not only with an emotive case but with the aftermath of previous events and some tough decisions about her future.

I love these because they are so compelling – the mystery element is always intriguing, tightly plotted and often unexpected – and the characters always illicit an emotional response. The legal aspect of a coroner’s work is authentic and Jenny Cooper herself is an interesting protagonist both in how she thinks and acts…and realistically flawed.

This one kept me up into the early hours, always a good sign. And as usual the personal lives of the regulars was just as fascinating as the case they were solving..another great thing about this particular series is how well rounded each story is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and quite brilliant page turner 18 Feb 2014
By Mrs. V. Bradley TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the third M R Hall novel about Coroner Jenny Hall - and this is by far the best to date. When we first meet Jenny Cooper (the Bristol Coroner) is on her way to the scene of an appalling tragedy in the village of Blackstone Ley. A house has burned to the ground killing the three members of one family inside. Foul play is suspected, but for some inexplicable reason the police investigation is quickly closed, and Jenny is determined to find out why. As happened in the previous novels she soon finds herself in danger, because she likes to step outside the normal call of duty for a coroner.

Initially the case seems cut and dried - on the face of it it appears that the fire was started deliberately by Ed Morgan, one of the victims, as a way of getting back at Kelly Hart. He leaves a message for Kelly, his surviving wife, telling her that no matter what she will never find their young son who was not in the fire and who is still missing. But somewhere in the back of Jenny's mind there is something troubling her. What provoked Ed to start the fire? Were others involved, and why were some of the other inhabitants in the village reluctant say anything? Ten years prior to this event a young girl was abducted and was never seen again. Were the two events connected in some way.

There are some violent and unpleasant scenes in the story - all of which add to the mounting tension. There is a more human side to all this as well as we learn more about Jenny's complicated love life, and at times the stress of her job and her nerves begin to catch up with her. The story had me captivated from start to finish, and the ending came as a total surprise to me as I am sure it will to all who read it. Well done, M R Hall - and when can we expect the next book in the Jenny Cooper series?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read - another page turner from MR Hall - ...
Brilliant read - another page turner from MR Hall - cant wait for his next book in this series - have read all the others!
Published 6 days ago by MF Groves
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always original I love Matthew Halls Jenny Cooper series. Not the ending I expected!
Published 11 days ago by auriol
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really good read
Published 13 days ago by Sue pom
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read.
I have all of the M.R. Hall books and love the lot. Very addictive reading.
Characters and their lives/problems seem normal which makes a change, apart from the seeminly... Read more
Published 19 days ago by chris j
5.0 out of 5 stars Get hooked
I always enjoy reading about the coroner.Cant wait for the next book.
Published 29 days ago by knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 1 month ago by SMHP
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the series so far
Gripped from the first to the last page I read The Burning with a feeling of keen breathless urgency that is, for me, the acid test of an excellent crime thriller. M.R. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. J. Walsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I do like his books.
Published 2 months ago by Al Roughley
5.0 out of 5 stars Go Jenny!
Superb. Can't believe I've only just "found" this series. I intend to devour the whole lot. Bang goes the summer marking.
Published 2 months ago by Victoria Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great book, gripping story
Published 2 months ago by Donna Haycox
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