A new Ben Cooper/Diane Fry mystery is always a read to look forward to, and Auntie M was happy to finally get her hands on Dead in the Dark, the 17th in a series that has lost none of its attraction and only grown over the years.

Ben is a DI now and reviews an old case that was never solved. A decade ago police believed that Reece Bower had killed his wife, Annette, but the case was never brought to court after the woman’s own father thought he saw her alive several weeks after she disappeared.

Now Reece himself has disappeared, and this time the old and new case are being investigated together. Reece’s new wife is pushing for answers for her and their two sons.

Ben would like the aid of the Major Crimes Unit and his old compatriot, DS Diane Fry, but can’t until he can produce a body.

A body is exactly what Diane Fry has on her hands, in a town that has a large Polish population who concern the locals to varying degrees. When a man is found dead at home, stabbed to death, it appears he was knifed in the alley outside his rented flat.

The victim’s landlord is someone being watched for right-wing extremist activites, and just might be involved in something more dangerous.

Add in arson cases, and family issues for both Ben and Diane, and you have a nicely plotted set of cases to keep both detectives busy.

Once again, the landscape will prove itself to be more than just a setting in this very satisfying addition to a prime series.

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