AUTHOR: STEPHEN BOOTH
Details: A Peak District Novella
Claws is another of Stephen Booth's Peak District mysteries, but it is not part of the series as such. This is a shorter story (only 80 pages) featuring only Ben Cooper and fitting in the series either just before or just after "Dying to Sin", judging by the publishing date.
Like I said Claws is much shorter then the books in the series and is more of a novella then a novel.
In this story Ben Cooper is investigating wildlife crime with the Rural Crime Squad. The investigation focuses mainly on a man known to collect Goshawk chicks and eggs. The goshawk is a protected birth so those collecting activities alone would warrant an arrest, but the man is also suspected of involvement with the trade in illegal drugs.
Before too long though, Ben and his colleagues are not just dealing with threatened and dead birds but also with a human murder victim, and Ben finds himself facing a choice between law and humanity.
I enjoyed this story, but I thought it was too short. Not only because I prefer longer books with more detail in general, but also because I feel that this story would have benefited from fleshing out. I would have loved to learn more about almost everybody and everything in this story, and did miss everything that wasn't there.
Having said that, Booth always knows to capture me with his writing and his descriptions of the Peak District and Claws was no exception. And with Ben Cooper being my favourite character in Booth's series, this novella was like a nice treat to tie me over until I can get my hands on the latest title in the series.