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Scared to Live by Stephen Booth

Scared to Live (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Stephen Booth

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3001137,355 (3.42)6
Title:Scared to Live
Authors:Stephen Booth
Info:Harper (2007), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 640 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Scared to Live by Stephen Booth (2006)



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After being slightly disappointed with the previous installment in the series, I liked this one better: where The Dead Place was somewhat muddled and indecisive about where it wanted to go, Scared to Live is firmly focused on the mystery, with the personal life of Cooper and Fry taking place mostly in the novel's background. Which, paradoxically, leads to more time spend with some - I think of all the seven novels so far, this one is the one with the least points of view, the narrative straying only very rarely from our two protagonists.

So even though it is more of a sideshow this time, there still are some developments in the private lives of both Cooper and Fry (who, unlike most readers, I continue to think the more interesting character of the two). But the main focus is clearly on the police procedural, and this is something that Stephen Booth is really good at, his description of the inner workings of a police investigation strike me as utterly plausible and convincing. The plot itself relies maybe a bit too much on the Evil Empire myth of the Eastern European mafia and its ubiquitousness and omnipotence, particularly in the novel's final third things seem a bit over the top which clashes strangely with the realistic depiction of police work.

Another small niggle is that Booth's other strength, namely his striking nature descriptions of the Peak District are largely absent here. Still, Scared to Live is another solid entry in the series, and I'm definitely planning to stick with it.
  Larou | Mar 28, 2017 |
I read this book as an electronic advanced reading copy (e-ARC) provided by Edelweiss, and I have submitted my review to the publisher via that web site.

This book is a reissue of a middle novel in a series, originally published in 2006 in the UK. Frankly, this book is not good enough to be reissued, let alone added to a public library's mystery collection. The plot is slow moving, the characters (besides the protagonists Fry and Cooper) are poorly developed, and the mystery is haphazard and predictable. I was especially offended that the female pathologist (a physician) is addressed as "Mrs." while a male psychiatrist and a male psychologist are both referred to as "Dr." Not recommended. ( )
  librarianarpita | Mar 13, 2014 |
Although I enjoyed this latest in the Cooper and Fry series, and will be awaiting the next quite eagerly, I found [book: Scared to Live] a bit disappointing. Perhaps it's because I figured out the Big Surprise at the end of the book several chapters in advance. The book deals with the murder of a mysterious, reclusive woman, to which Cooper is assigned, and also with the arson death of a woman and two children, which Fry investigates. Not surprisingly, the cases turn out to be related, and both have a connection with Bulgaria. Suspects proliferate and witnesses fail to tell the whole truth for reasons of their own. Issues that crop up in the cases under investigation also resonate strongly with Cooper's and Fry's own personal issues. Somehow it just didn't come together quite as well as Booth's previous books did for me. I hope he's not getting tired of the series. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Quite a good, solid thriller / police procedural with main characters and motivations I could believe in. I kind of expected the plot twist at the end but it was very well executed.
  verenka | Feb 5, 2012 |
Another great episode with Fry & Cooper; how long can Booth keep Diane in Derbyshire though? First time I've wondered if the characters weren't becoming a little stale. Good story that goes off where you aren't expecting it to. ( )
  nocto | Dec 13, 2010 |
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This book is dedicated to my parents, James and Edna Booth
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Even on the night she died, Rose Shepherd couldn't sleep.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385339070, Hardcover)

With One Last Breath and The Dead Place, Stephen Booth has taken his place both among “the elite British crime writers” and as a master of psychological suspense. Now Detective Constable Ben Cooper and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry must uncover the secrets of two grim murder scenes in England’s Peak District—one inexplicable…and the other unspeakable.

How do you investigate the murder of a woman without a life? That is the challenge facing Cooper and Fry when a reclusive agoraphobic is found shot to death in her home by someone who took an exceptional amount of care in executing her murder. With no friends, no family, and virtually no contact with the outside world, the dead woman may have simply been an unlucky victim of a random homicide. Or was she hiding from a past that had finally come out of hiding to kill her?

At virtually the same time, a raging house fire claims the life of a young mother and two of her children. But as the debris is cleared, troubling questions remain in the ashes. Among them, how did the fire start, where was the husband at two a.m. the day of the blaze, and was it really the fire that killed his family?

Now, as Cooper faces the reemergence of a dark secret he’d hoped to forget, and Fry copes with problems both personal and professional, a horrific possibility begins to take shape: what if the two investigations are somehow connected? A killer is stalking the Peak District whose motives are a mystery and whose methods are unpredictable. And his next victims could very well be the only two cops who can stop him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A house fire that claims the lives of a woman and two children triggers an investigation by Detective Sergeant Diane Fry and Detective Constable Ben Cooper as they follow a trail that takes them from their native Derbyshire to the other side of Europe.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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