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BOOK REVIEW:ONE LAST BREATH
BY STEPHEN BOOTH

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In the opening chapter of ONE LAST BREATH, Mansell Quinn sits beside a dying woman, listening to her struggle to breath, and in a struggle of his own, tries to make sense of the bloody mess surrounding her body.

Several years later, Quinn is released from prison, after serving a sentence for the woman's murder. Soon after his release, Quinn's exwife is found murdered, and the police suspect that Quinn may have embarked on a schedule of revenge. But maybe not - not all the movements and events surrounding her death can be timed to coincide with Quinn's known whereabouts.

Ben Cooper and Diane Fry are part of the investigating team. This pair of protagonists, who share a rather prickly relationship, don't always work well together. Yet each bring useful skills to the investigation. The Peak district is filled with caves and tunnels, and the physical features of the popular tourist area provide an intriguing backdrop to the search for Quinn. Booth has filled his books with imagery of breath, the passage of air, and the life sustaining action of breathing.

Long standing misunderstandings and deceptions, together with a long ago betrayal, are a part of the problem, and a challenge to Cooper and Fry as they pore over the police records from the original case. US readers can rejoice that Booth's books are finally available to a US audience, after too many years without a US publisher.

REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK

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