Hardcover edition  ISBN: 068487301X

What the reviewers are saying:

"Stephen Booth is a brilliant writer who gets everything - atmosphere, character, plot - just right. This book took my breath away."
                  - Bonnie Claeson, Black Orchid Bookshop, New York

"Such authors as Minette Walters, Reginald Hill, Barbara Vine, Peter Robinson, Deborah Crombie, Elizabeth George, Robert Goddard, Frances Fyfield and others retailored the original 'Golden Age' novel to their own styles, creating a fresh and sophisticated energy... Now, with his debut novel, 'Black Dog', already published to great acclaim in Britain, Stephen Booth instantly takes his place amid these talented ranks....  it's Agatha Christie filtered through the sensibility of Ross Macdonald, a process then again adjusted to reflect the sort of interpersonal complexities - read sexual tensions - exposed in the brilliant 'Prime Suspect' police dramas. The result is simultaneously classic, contemporary... and haunting." 
                                       - Otto Penzler, Mysterious Bookshop, New York

"In addition to a nicely complex plot and excellent characterization, Booth excels at creating a sense of place.... he has achieved a tour de force in this his first outing. In fact, if I were to assign a star to each of the main writing elements of plot, characterization, pace, dialog and setting, Booth would get five stars, hands down. Highly recommended."
                                          - Maddy Van Hertbruggen, Mystery Books

"I recommend Black Dog highly. The last time I felt such a strong sense of place while reading a novel was in Charles Frazier's 'Cold Mountain'. Stephen Booth is definitely an author to watch."
                                                                        - Carol Segina, MysinDepth

"The cryptic activities of eccentric, unco-operative murder suspect Harry Dickinson add depth to this intriguing first-time offering, a psychological suspense story from a British journalist. Dickinson is one of a triad of macabre old men who haunt the woods and countryside near Edendale in northern England's Peak District.... Booth's intention here, in which he succeeds admirably, is to unveil secret lives against the seemingly placid background of a country village."
                                                                                      - Publishers Weekly

"... in a welcome change from most crime fiction, the woman cop is not at all a sympathetic character.... Implications ripple out from the discovery of the girl's body, ultimately tearing off the facades that many of the villagers have constructed. Booth's "something is very wrong here" tone is satisfyingly similar to Ruth Rendell's. Chilling and thought-provoking."
                                                                           - Connie Fletcher, Booklist

"A neat little psychological thriller in the Barbara Vine tradition .... a smart, spare suspense story... a well-written, carefully paced, and deeply atmospheric novel. A strong first showing from a writer worth watching, with a protagonist who'd be good company in a return engagement."
                                                                     - Jane Adams,

"Booth melds canny psychological insights, faultless procedural details and a rural crossroads setting that add up to a powerful and impressive debut that shows few traces of the novice. Beautifully written and executed with wonderful flair... the struggle to uncover the complicated roots of a violent crime has seldom been better rendered. Booth's first effort deserves every consideration when awards are considered and ought to be one of the favorites."
                                                                              - Bob Hahn, BookBrowser

"There has been a resurgence in the quality and perspective of British suspense in the past few years, and 'Black Dog' is a prime example.... Booth has produced an engaging, smart crime story that will keep you guessing throughout."
                                  - Peter Mergendahl, Denver Rocky Mountain News

"You can add me to the list of fans. I thought this was a superb first novel. Great characters, great plot, oodles of atmosphere, and a beautifully rendered setting. This is exactly the type of British police procedural that I love sinking my teeth into. I'll be very much looking forward to the second in the series."
                                   - Dean James, Murder by the Book, Houston, Texas

"Stephen Booth skillfully renders the small-village atmosphere of England's Peak District while weaving a good puzzle into local custom... his sense of smell and sound is already a gift. This is a fine debut, and you can quote me on that."
Robin Winks, Boston Globe

"This is easily one of the best, if not simply the best, debut novels of 2000.  What Mr. Booth succeeds in doing, besides his richly detailed landscape, is creating some breathtakingly real characters.  The mystery is tantalizing and its solution quite satisfactory. All of this reveals a great depth of talent in an author's debut the likes of which we may see only every few years-- if we are lucky. I eagerly await the next volume."                                                         - Larry Gandle, Deadly Pleasures 

"Steeped in atmosphere, dark but not hardboiled, worked on a colorful canvas."
                                   - Barbara Peters, The Poisoned Pen bookshop, Arizona


And readers say:

"Black Dog is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I can't use the expression lyrical because it is not. It is much too grounded in describing real life in real places to be called lyrical. I will have to go with the expressions used on the back cover........evocative and gorgeously written....... The easiest thing to compare this book to is one of the Dutch Old Masters that really let you see a moment in the day of real people. I know these people and this town...... read the book, you will want to know them too. By the way, the plot and the characterizations are also great."

"It's just brilliant, it reminds me of the best English authors, Reg Hill, Colin Dexter, Frances Fyfield, Elizabeth Corley. There are never enough books by these authors and I am always left waiting for a new title to come out. Happily I can now add you to the list and have many happy hours filled with beautiful writing, great plots, intelligent cops and robbers."

"I just finished reading Black Dog last evening and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. In many ways it did remind me of Reginald Hill. The sense of place was very strong, as were the characters. Thank you and I hope this is a best seller, it deserves to be!"

"This is a wonderful book. I couldn't stop reading, yet I didn't want to finish and say goodbye to the characters. Your writing has such a fine literary quality, which is rare among mystery/crime writers."

"A top-notch British police procedural; by far my best mystery read of the month, maybe even the year. I loved this book!!!"

"Wonderful. Dark, full of secrets. Pulled me out of my cozy little cocoon and gave me the shivers."

"The atmosphere is terrific. I feel like I am right there in the Peak District!"


Order the Scribner hardcover edition of 'Black Dog' online (published October 2000):

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