Read an extract from The Kill Call by Stephen Booth [pdf].
The Kill Call (Cooper and Fry Crime Series, Book 9) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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Praise for The Kill Call:
‘Informative and clever’ Literary Review
‘Plenty to get your teeth into here… adds an extra edge of darkness to an already twilight tale’ Northern Echo
Praise for Dying to Sin:
‘Clever, intricate plot… Cooper is an ascendant Lewis to Fry’s lonely, bitter Morse in this… gripping procedural’ Financial Times
Praise for Scared to Live:
'It's easy to see why Stephen Booth's novels are so popular. The Peak District's awesome scenery is an ideal background for a murder or two; he has developed his two principal characters into rounded personalities and he always gives them an intriguing mystery to investigate' Sunday Telegraph
'A modern master of rural noir' Guardian
'Booth's aim is to portray the darkness that lies below the surface… in this he succeeds wonderfully well' Daily Mail
'Ingenious plotting and richly atmospheric' Reginald Hill
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
'Sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go … A dark star may be born!' Reginald Hill
'A leading light of British crime writing' Guardian
From the Author
One strand of the story is set in 1968, but one character describes it as being ‘more like the Fifties’ in Derbyshire. Does that sense of anachronism still exist?
Yes, in certain areas. But I think this is true of all the remoter parts of Britain. I’ve personally visited places where I felt as though I was stepping back in time by a good 10 or 20 years. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! I love places which are able to retain their unique character, despite the arrival of the 21st Century. The Peak District still has lots of those.
To what extent do you think the current events of the 60s, such as the Cold War, informed the local mindset then?
Living through the 1960s was a very odd experience, in retrospect. It’s strange how we only seem to remember the music and the fashions, and all the things that went with them. In fact, for most of the country, Carnaby Street was a remote and alien concept. When I look back at my childhood, growing up in the 60s, one of the things I remember most is that we lived with the expectation of a Third World War starting at any moment. We all knew about the four-minute warning of a nuclear attack. At school, a common topic of discussion was what we do during those last four minutes before the bombs hit. So I was interested in exploring the idea of how that awareness could affect the way people lived their lives.
In the series, you draw upon the differences between attitudes in the city and the country. How did you decide to explore this with the emotive issue of hunting?
Given the area in which the Cooper & Fry series is set, it was inevitable that I’d tackle the issue of fox hunting at some stage. People who live in the countryside often have ambivalent attitudes to hunting, and Ben Cooper’s approach represents this conflict. Diane Fry, on the other hand, has no knowledge of hunting and her views are founded on ignorance. I was intrigued by the fact that active support for hunting has increased dramatically since the anti-hunting legislation was introduced a few years ago. That shows us something about country people, doesn’t it? They don’t like being told what to do!
Diane Fry keeps using the wrong words (e.g. ‘dogs’ when the locals say ‘hounds) so it’s obvious she’s from somewhere else. But can an outsider ever fit into such a tight-knit community, even if they wanted to?
No. In a really tight-knit community, you’re always an outsider until your family has lived there for generations. Of course, there are fewer and fewer communities now which are quite so insular. But in Britain you don’t have to do much to be regarded as an outsider. When I was a child, my family moved just 30 miles from one part of Lancashire to another, and all the kids made fun of me because my accent was so different! Diane is not only a city girl, she’s from the Black Country, so she marks herself out as soon as she opens her mouth. She will always be an outsider, and that’s why I like her as a character.
What drew you to use the village of Eyam as a key setting?
I love to use some aspect of the Peak District’s history in my books, and the story of the Eyam ‘plague village’ is one of the best known. It’s a very atmospheric place in its own right, especially when you stand in the main street and look at the plaques outside the cottages with the names of the plague victims listed on them. One Eyam woman had to bury her entire family with her own hands during that period. Anyone with an ounce of imagination can’t escape being affected by such stories.
‘One man’s pet is another man’s protein,’ says the suspect who’s supplying horse meat. An acceptable view?
Well, he’s right of course, in pointing out that horse meat is very healthy, with half the fat of beef and ten times the Omega Threes to reduce your cholesterol level. It’s also free from bird ’flu, mad cow disease, tuberculosis, Foot and Mouth… From a practical point of view, what’s not to like? Lots of countries in Europe eat horse meat, yet most of us here in the UK find the idea unacceptable. In the USA, they’re even more anti. And let’s not even mention eating dogs... At the same time, we happily consume cows and pigs, which in other parts of the world are taboo. It’s entirely cultural, isn’t it?
Did the inspiration for this book come from the idea of the kill call itself, and its double meaning?
As with many of my books, it was a coming together of several apparently unrelated subjects – in this case, those subjects were hunting, the plague village, and the legacy of the Cold War. The concept of the kill call formed the link between them and gave me the direction of the story. It’s one of those irresistible synchronicities that the kill call consists of three long notes on a hunting horn, while the warning of imminent nuclear fallout is three bursts of a maroon. It’s true that everything comes in threes… -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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Top Customer Reviews
This story contains several very different themes, fox-hunting and the saboteurs, illegal horse trading for meat and oddly, the former Royal Observer Corps.
A man is found near an old abandoned building on the moor, dead from head injuries and after a search for his identity, is found to be a shady character who is known to be involved in buying horses, most of whom end up in the abattoir. The plot is complex and the characters numerous, but as always, all is eventually explained. There are some disturbing facts about the horse-meat exporting trade, which seems to be burgeoning on the continent - as well as some graphic descriptions of horse-slaughtering.
I always look forward to a Booth novel, especially as he is such a good writer, particularly in evoking the feel of the countryside. I have to say that this is not one of his best, as it was very slow going for at least the first half and I found the endless antipathy between the miserable Fry and the solicitous Cooper becoming a bit of a drag, especially as the root cause of their eternal feud never really gets explained. However, it remained a good read, even though it seems somewhat unrealistic for a multiple suspicious death investigation to be largely handled by a mere sergeant, with only the occasional languid appearance of her DI. In a case like this, DCIs and Supers would be crawling out of the woodwork!
Bernard Knight ex Home Office Pathologist and author of the highly acclaimed Crowner John series
The relationship between Cooper and Fry has always in my view been a bit difficult, she is rather dominant where Cooper is very laid back. Having said that though if Diane Fry looks to be in difficulties she seems to ask Ben first off rather like a shoulder to cry on metaphorically.
Gavin Murfin I think is a jolly character, come day go day and he certainly likes his cakes, also good banter between the police teams.
Looking forward to reading LOST RIVER, its bound to be another winner.
Well done Stephen all the best.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
usual high standard of Stephen Booth's story. His detail about Derbyshire, both dark and white peak area is incredible. very interesting!Published 4 months ago by Mrs C A Turner
I love the Cooper & Fry series and none have let me down so far.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Part of a series that I am dedicated to read. Well written, if a bit wordy,Published 10 months ago by Don Erskine