Stephen Booth's crime novels featuring detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry are very well crafted with, for the most part, gripping plots. The Corpse Bridge is the 14th outing for the detective duo and continues the thread of the previous 2 novels i.e. Ben Cooper is still trying to come to terms with the horrific events which took place in Dead and Buried and continued to affect him in Already Dead.
The Bridge of the title is part of an ancient route taken by mourners from outlying villages in the Peak District to a burial ground on the other side of the river Dove. This cemetery is now part of Earl Manby's estate and he plans to de-consecrate the burial ground in order to build a car park in its place but then bodies begin to appear...
While the plot moves quite slowly, Booth's love and knowledge of the Peak District is what sets his novels apart from many contemporary writers of detective fiction. This is probably the main the reason I am always so eager to buy his books as they appear in print; another reason is that Booth has created two very complex, difficult, prickly and intriguing characters in Cooper and Fry and it is this evolving relationship, more than the plots of the individual novels, that drive the series forward and this is why I am awarding The corpse Bridge 4 stars.
Just when Fry and Cooper's collaboration appears to be at an impasse Booth cleverly turns everything on its head and having become quite frustrated with both both characters and their interaction or lack thereof, my interest was suddenly piqued yet again.
All in all this is a most enjoyable read with the Peak District, quite rightly, taking centre stage and forming a perfect setting for the Cooper and Fry adventures!