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The Chosen Dead: Coroner Jenny Cooper mystery -book 5 (Coroner Jenny Cooper Series) [Paperback]

M. R. Hall
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Jan 2014 Coroner Jenny Cooper Series (Book 5)

Coroner Jenny Cooper investigates . . .

An unlikely suicide or a deadly conspiracy?

When Bristol Coroner Jenny Cooper investigates the fatal plunge of a man from a motorway bridge, she little suspects that it has any connection with the sudden death of a friend’s thirteen year old daughter from a deadly strain of meningitis. But as Jenny pieces together the dead man’s last days, she’s drawn into a mystery whose dark ripples stretch across continents and back through decades.

In an investigation which will take her into the sinister realms of unbridled human ambition and corrupt scientific endeavour, Jenny is soon forced to risk the love and lives of those closest to her, as a deadly race to uncover the truth begins . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (30 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330526626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330526623
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M R Hall was born in London in 1967, he was educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he graduated in law.

Whilst working as a barrister he spent his spare moments between cases writing screenplays, getting his first commission with the ITV hit series, Kavanagh QC starring John Thaw. He went on to write further episodes and shortly afterwards was commissioned to create a series for the new Channel Five, Wing And A Prayer. The first season earned him a BAFTA nomination in the best series category.

Matthew wrote exclusively for the screen for ten years, producing more than 40 hours of prime-time drama for BBC1 and ITV before writing his first novel, The Coroner. Published by Pan Macmillan in the UK in 2009, The Coroner was nominated for the Crime Writer's Association Gold Dagger in the best novel category.

He currently writes a novel each year, and in 2012 was again shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger with his fourth, The Flight.

His books have translated into many languages and published in the USA.

He is married to journalist Patricia Carswell and they have two sons.

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Product Description


"The coroner gallops to the rescue again . . . I enjoy this series greatly, and the fifth book is well up to the standard of its predecessors" --Literary Review

"M R Hall's previous four novels are very good. This one is even better . . . This exciting story raises eternal and unanswerable questions and teaches the eternal and unwelcome truth . . . the crusading coroner, neither ruthless nor calculating, comes out on top in the end" --Literary Review

"Hall is one of the more ambitious of crime writers, giving his books texture" --The Tuesday Book in The Independent

"A fast-paced tale with factual accuracy. This is the latest adventure for Bristol based coroner Jenny Cooper and it has a strong local setting, which Bristolians may enjoy." --The Bristol Magazine

"Gritty and compelling, The Flight, is breathless and thoroughly enjoyable."
--Daily Express --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 Coroner Jenny Cooper series: The Coroner, The Disappeared, The Redeemed, The Flight and short story The Innocent. Discover more at;; @MRHall_books

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely splendid read 31 Jan 2013
I highlighted this novel in my November "Watch out for these" post on the blog I write for (The Crime Warp). It's the fifth in M R Hall's Jenny Cooper series and an absolutely splendid read.

The protagonist is Jenny Cooper, coroner for Severn Vale, whose attention is caught by two deaths. The first is a suicide by a young aid worker who jumped into traffic off a motorway bridge. The second is a sudden death from meningitis of the young daughter of a family friend of her husband's.

Jenny tries to get to the bottom of each case, with inconsistencies and mysterious events convincing her that she needs to dig further to get to the truth. Her instincts are quickly confirmed when she's contacted by the oily and increasingly powerful civil servant Simon Moreton, who continues to try and keep Jenny in check to avoid any possible public embarrassment. As the plot develops, she finds the cases are linked and danger comes close to her and her family, putting lives at risk in a frightening way that she never expected or could even have imagined.

Using the role of coroner as the sleuth is a great idea, which Hall has made to work really well. Jenny Cooper herself is a credible and convincing character both as coroner and a person. She's changed as the series has developed, shedding her demons, rediscovering a zest for life, but always retaining an unwavering passion for the truth. Her character flaws however, remain - she's by no means perfect, but thankfully her judgement is spot and her doggedness is marvellous. The plot in this book is excellent and carries that trademark of all Hall's book of a big contemporary issue woven into the book as an underlying thread and crafted into a compelling narrative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chosen Dead 10 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Overall I liked these novels about a coroner, and thought they were well written. But, and it's a big but, I couldn't imagine a coroner ever behaving in the way this one did - frequently out of her normal sphere of operations and somewhat irrational in her approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The chosen dead 22 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just ok. Jenny cooper is becoming a bit tiresome. Does M R Hall write about other subjects aoart from The Coroner?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 13 Nov 2013
I enjoyed his earlier books and was looking forward to a new one.
I found the plot convoluted and beyond plausible. If you like conspiracy theories then maybe it's more your thing than mine. I felt that having done all the scientific research he had to show he knew it all in the book - bit like doing your academic coursework and wanting to put in a quote from every book you have read but missing the point in the process.
With a continuing series with a back story I like a bit of character development but Jenny never changes, her interactions with her son and ex husband are painfully predictable and she has just become tedious. Pity because the earlier books were so promising.Not going to be reading any more of this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars That's enough, thank you. 21 July 2013
I disliked the very first one - too implausible and awash with wish fulfilment denouements (plus implausible Welsh police deus ex machina).
Persuaded by a friend to try this after a long gap (also a great notice in the Literary Review) I had a go. Actually it all went rather well for the first half, despite several pages of "look what I've been researching" gobbledegook.
And then it all went haywire again: doors are splintered, eyeballs are slashed, in Oxford even the Head Porter at Worcester turns violent!
It was as if a painter, having tried terribly hard to keep to a restrained palette, had suddenly thrown caution to the winds and started throwing pots of paint at the canvas.
And, believe this or not, the Welsh police saved the day...again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointed 21 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i really enjoyed the previous Jenny Cooper books, and was really looking forward to this one. however, it was a little flat. It didn't have that "can't put it down" hook for me this time. It was an okay read, but not a patch on it's predicessors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where are friends when you need them? 5 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book 5 starts as do many American based crime novels - a murder more than 40 years ago to be followed by an intermediary event of defection from Russia and then forward to the present time back in the UK when we have the, by now, standard format for Jenny Cooper's affixation with obtaining the truth at all costs - though those are mainly personal. The truth is out there and she plugs away, as ever, in her determination to see that justice is seen to be done.

The odd case of a suicide of a UK aid worker recently returned from Sudan brings the whole matter to the attention of the Coroner. Thankfully, Cooper is off the pills and not before time. I never did understand the author's intent in having his protagonist suffer in the way she did; it made for uneasy reading in that it really broke up the flow of the storytelling. Now, we can move on though Jenny Cooper still faces exactly the same problems, uses the same people to help her including the rather odd Welsh police officer who's dislike of the English must surely go back to events long before somebody drew a boundary line on the west side of Britain.

The UK government has a heavy hand in all this, meted out by vague agencies, her Minister of Justice who suddenly seems to have shrunk in stature and several assorted 'heavies' who will do the bidding of whomever is pulling their strings.

If anything, there is just a little too much information about meningitus and strange resiliant viruses, not that I don't appreciate the education but just how on earth a layman could grasp the intricacies of such matters in only a few days is something I'll have to consider as being beyond my ken.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent booki
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another excellent book in the Jenny Cooper series. If you like crime novels I am sure you will enjoy this book. Set in Bristol/Wales area.
Published 9 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars M R Hall
Excellent ,gripping.
Published 15 days ago by June
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
As always this was a good read. Pleased to say a little less angst from the Coroner - she is obviously getting a grip.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Rita V Prior
5.0 out of 5 stars Very exciting!
I have just finished this book, and it is as good as al the previous books by this author.
It starts off innocuously enough with the Coroner investigating the death of a man... Read more
Published 1 month ago by G. W. Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars RIP
This is a well-written whodunnit with a female coroner doing all the detective work. It illustrates the strains this puts on her and shows how she deals with these: made harder... Read more
Published 1 month ago by byer
2.0 out of 5 stars Jenny cooper
Having read three previous books in this series I was looking forward to this one. It was just too full of scientific details that I didn't really understand and became boring for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul G
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a page turner
Yet another excellent story in the Coroner Jenny Cooper series. What seems like suicide by a man who falls from a motorway bridge turns into something much more sinister. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. V. Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
Two apparently unlinked deaths are linked as a coroner investigates them. Behind them lie a complex of events that raise serious issues about drug companies and biological... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jennifertapir
5.0 out of 5 stars Jenniy Cooper Series Book
The storyline was just as good as all the other M. R. Hall books of Jenny Cooper, a thoroughly good read, I look forward to the paperback of his next novel which will be next year.
Published 3 months ago by Anne Waters
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