"Another first-rate mystery by Stephen Booth. The investigation makes engrossing reading, but, as in his successful first novel, ‘Black Dog’, the author's focus on the relationship between DC Ben Cooper and his moody colleague Diane Fry adds another level to the story. Booth is particularly good at creating credible characters."
- Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph

"Masterfully, Booth maintains the tension in this excellent thriller, proving once again that the countryside may be a haven of peace and quiet, but there's an awful lot of bloodshed and madness there too. Definitely something nasty in the woodshed…"
- Richard Shephard, Waterstone’s Online

"Oozing with psychological menace and twisting and turning to an explosive climax, ‘Dancing with the Virgins’ grows scarier and scarier by the page. Make sure you read it with the lights on!"
- Anne Timblich, World Books

"Ancient violence begets modern murder in this dark and brooding psychological thriller.... it’s high time you, too, enjoyed one of the brightest new stars in the British crime firmament."
- Kate Mills, Mystery and Thriller Club

"Mature and accomplished... The plotting is strong and confident and still allows Booth to develop his characters in a way which is remarkable for a crime book... could propel him to the very front ranks of crime writing. On this form, Booth will soon be up there with the likes of Reginald Hill. If you read only one new crime writer this year, he’s your man." 
- Janice Young, Yorkshire Post

"Terrific... an atmospheric, psychological stunner." 
- The Bookseller

"... a creepy crime novel -- unhurried, convoluted, suspenseful and supremely engaging. Booth has done a wonderful job: the local color is sober, the luminosity is stark, the tale he tells engrossing, and if we sigh when turning the last page it is because life's like that, and nonetheless we wish there was more of it."
- Eugen Weber, Los Angeles Times

"I would go so far as to say that this is a better book than Stephen Booth’s highly successful debut ‘Black Dog’ ... this one’s quite a page-turner. His new book appeals on numerous levels. The author’s key talents... include the ability to create characters who are psychologically compelling. But in the end it is once again his talent for letting the bleakly beautiful Peaks conjure up an atmosphere of incipient menace that gives his work its particular piquancy."
- Malcolm Pain, Nottingham Evening Post

"A tense, strongly built version of the traditional mystery. It gains immense power from the overshadowing sense of a larger death: that of British hill-farming."
- Jane Jakeman, The Independent

"This dark, brooding, atmospheric thriller has a plot which twists and turns, weaving an absorbing tale of mystery and deceit. It captures perfectly the pain and desperation of its cast of flawed and, at times, tragic characters."
- Helen Hepburn, Aberdeen Evening Express

"Highly recommended - a great series!"
- Seattle Mystery Bookstore

"‘Dancing with the Virgins’ is an engrossing crime mystery."
- Southern Daily Echo

"Back after last year's well-received debut, ‘Black Dog’, Booth provides another psychologically complex British police procedural featuring Detective Constable Ben Cooper. Booth ought to be popular wherever Barbara Vine and Minette Walters have a following."
- Library Journal

"Booth’s narrative gives new meaning to complexity... he puts all of the pieces out there for the police (and the reader) to see, and I’ll be darned if I could figure out the resolution. The cover has a quote from Reginald Hill – "A dark star may be born." Amen."
- George Easter, Deadly Pleasures magazine

" ...an extraordinary cast of characters, vivid and realistic descriptions of persons, places, and events that make all of them come alive. The writing is exquisite but never gets in the way of the story. There is a marvellous sense of place and the brooding and looming moors, the seedy little towns, the desperate and sometimes hopeless farms all lodge themselves in our mind's eye and we see them over and over again."
- Sally Fellows, Mystery News

" ...even more demanding, more substantial, and more knowing about the darkest recesses of the heart. A strong brew for readers who can take it."
- Kirkus Reviews

"This is possibly a book that the nervous want to read in daylight. Booth truly is a master at setting a mood, a scene, and it's not comfortable. The characters are real and fully-drawn, the mystery maintains itself throughout."
- Andi Schechter, I Love a Mystery

"The Peak District provides the brooding backdrop for a dark, tense, sometimes brutal but always gripping novel. The quality of writing is wonderful."
- Kathryn White, Sherlock magazine

"Booth's canny and deceptively smooth overturning of conventional expectations - not least of gender - as well as his dispassionate probing of the often ragged intersection of individual and society, lift this book well above the crowd."
- Houston Chronicle


Read the reviews of 'Black Dog'

Back to Stephen Booth Home Page