An irreverent crime story set in the coalfield villages of 1990s Nottinghamshire, England, told in a unique voice, with a cast of extraordinary characters. From the award-winning British author of the Ben Cooper & Diane Fry series, ‘Top Hard’ was a finalist for the Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger Award in 1998.
As he watches criminals target a French lorry parked by the side of the road, Stones McClure thinks his plans might actually come together for once. He’s looking forward to a life full of everything he could possibly want. Money, cars, a pair of fancy cowboy boots – who could ask for more? But things aren’t always what they seem. And Stones should know it better than anyone.
It’s Nottinghamshire, England, in 1998. Derelict pits, decaying villages, rundown housing estates – all surrounded by vast, historic mansions in country parks known as the Dukeries. And there’s no sign of Robin Hood to spread a bit of the wealth around.
In a world full of injustice, among people still haunted by memories of the Miners’ Strike, Stones is a man trying to put his old life behind him for good. But survival in these coalfield villages depends on the Top Hard Rule – you can’t trust anyone these days.
Now it’s all about to go very wrong for Stones McClure. Someone is out to get him. And most surprising of all, it isn’t one of the women in his life…
Stephen Booth is a multiple award-winning British crime writer, the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in eleven novels, all set in England’s beautiful and atmospheric Peak District. Stephen has been a Gold Dagger finalist, an Anthony Award nominee, twice winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, and twice shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year. DC Cooper reached the finals of the Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author, and in 2003 the Crime Writers’ Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library for “the author whose books have given readers the most pleasure”. The Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into 15 languages. The latest title is THE DEVIL’S EDGE.