Dancing with the Virgins


The second novel in the Ben Cooper and Diane Fry series is 'Dancing with the Virgins', published by HarperCollins in the UK and by Scribner in the USA. Translation rights have been sold in Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Japan.


Dancing with the Virgins won the 2002 Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel and was shortlisted for the UK's top crime writing award, the Macallan Gold Dagger

"An atmospheric, psychological stunner" - The Bookseller.

In a remote part of the Peak District stand the Nine Virgins, a ring of stones overshadowed by a dark legend. Now, as winter closes in, a tenth figure is added to the circle when the body of Jenny Weston is discovered, her limbs arranged so that she appears to be dancing.


Weeks earlier, another woman had been attacked on the moor. Maggie Crew had been found by a local farmer’s wife, severely traumatised, her face savagely cut open. Is there a maniac on the loose knifing women at random? Unlocking the memories trapped in Maggie’s mind is a now a matter of utmost urgency, and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry is given the task of drawing the truth out of her.


For Detective Constable Ben Cooper, there are too many lines of enquiry leading to too few answers. Two travellers sleeping rough near the scene of the  murder baffle the detectives with their strange rituals and language. Then there is the Park Ranger whose past hides shameful secrets. And what of the farmer on whose land the Nine Virgins stand, a desperate man whose own children fear him?


Against the dramatic backdrop of the White Peak, Ben and Diane struggle to make sense of a murder that seems motiveless. But the moors have witnessed more bloodshed than either realises, and violence is to beget more violence before the answer is found.



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  Read the first chapter

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  Find out more about the Derbyshire Peak District

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