15 June 2014

Already Dead; Stephen Booth

Already Dead: Cooper and Fry 13Already Dead by Stephen Booth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really love this series, but Diana Fry is starting to wear on my nerves. She's gone from cranky and reserved to just unlikeable - and after the last book, with what happened to Ben, you'd think she'd lighten up a little.

The mystery itself is rather slight, as if the author is allowing himself, his readers and characters to catch their breath a little. Only one death, and seemingly little chance of more. Ben, of course, is on compassionate leave but still gets involved. Is he truly going off the rails? It seems more like getting into character and hiding in plain sight than anything more. I am getting a little tired of his overwhelming local knowledge and ability to make connections, and then being told he's something of a mess and not as good as he could be. Huh?

One of the things that always grabs me is the sense of place, how Edendale and surroundings play such a large role not just in the mystery but in the lives of the characters. The history we get, from hill forts to plague villages to walking tours, really adds. But at times, less is more. Less angst from Fry, less assuming Cooper's going to mess up, and less scenery - more mystery, more enjoyment.

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