Jenny Cooper is the featured character in the Jenny Cooper series of novels by British novelist and screenwriter M.R. Hall. The first novel in the series that featured Cooper was “The Coroner” that was first published in 2012. The series of novels are generally within the mystery thriller genre.
Order of Jenny Cooper Series
|5||The Chosen Dead||2013|
The Jenny Cooper series of books are a series of crime fiction books written by the author MR Hall.
The lead character, Jenny Cooper, works as a coroner in Severn Vale, Gloucestershire. Cooper is originally a lawyer, but is appointed to the position of Severn Vale District Coroner in a move that is designed to give her a more peaceful life. However, as with all crime fiction series, things become far more complicated and the cases start to pile up for Cooper.
When we are first introduced to Jenny Cooper, she has just been appointed the coroner for the Severn Vale District. Cooper is recovering from a messy divorce, and is hoping the job would help her forget the events of her just ended marriage. But Marshall Harry the previous holder of the office never told her about the trail of buried evidence and dark files she would have to deal with.
Getting down to investigate the premature death of her predecessor, she believes Marshall’s death has some connection to the death of the teenage boy that had been under the charge of the police. Her curiosity aroused, she starts questioning Marshall’s strange behavior just before he died. Could he have been on the trail of some injustice or had he already found the evidence of some sinister crime.
She soon finds herself confronting some sinister and dark forces determined to prevent her from uncovering their dark deeds. The vulnerable coroner is now on a dangerous and lonely one-woman crusade to try to uncover some hidden truths and expose the killers of her predecessor. All the strain is taking its toll not only on her sanity but is also negatively affecting her job. What follows is a gripping investigative thriller that shows why M.R Hall was a two-time CWA Dagger Award nominee.
The first book in the Jenny Cooper, The Coroner, was published in 2009. It introduces the reader to the character of Jenny Cooper as she is making the transition from lawyer to Coroner for Severn Vale. In the pursuit of a quieter live after a divorce that put her though the wringer, Cooper makes the move, but what she finds are neglected case files, lots of secrets and evidence that has been buried. She starts by looking into the case of a young boy who died in custody, which quickly escalates with several more cases that Cooper may be able to link into the bigger picture. Cooper begins to look into what her predecessor actually was covering up before she took over, and things are not as simple as they seem. After its publication in 2009, the Crime Writers’ Association put The Coroner on the short listed for its Gold Dagger Award, which is given to the best crime book of the year. While The Coroner lost out to William Brodrick’s A Whispered Name, it was enough to put the Jenny Cooper series firmly on the map in the world of crime fiction.
Hall followed The Coroner up with The Disappeared, which was published in 2010. Again, it focuses on Cooper looking into corruption amongst her peers, but it also involves the disappearance of two young men who authorities believe have become radicalised.
In 2011, the third book in the Jenny Cooper series was published, The Redeemed. And in 2012, the fourth book in the series was released, The Flight. Like The Coroner, The Flight was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award, again missing out, this time to The Rage by Gene Kerrigan. In The Flight, as the name would suggest Jenny Cooper has to deal with a plane crash in the Severn Estuary. She is charged with investigating the death of a sailor whose boat was struck by the falling plane, as well as a young who was a passenger on the plane, who survived the crash, but died hours later. As with the previous books in the Jenny Cooper series, Cooper has to deal with cover ups and secrets from within her own authority, with the official investigation refusing to look into various questions being asked.
After the commercial and critical success of The Flight, MR Hall followed it up with The Chosen Dead, which was released in 2013, and then The Burning, which was released in 2014. Again, in both books, Cooper has to deal with cover ups, secrets and historical cases that remain unanswered.
JENNY COOPER AWARDS
The Jenny Cooper series of novels made the shortlist for the 20009 Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award for the first novel in the series “The Coroner”. The third novel in the series, The Flight also made the shortlist for the 2012 Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger Award.
BEST JENNY COOPER BOOKS
The Coroner: The first novel is no doubt one of the best that M.R Hall has even penned in the Jenny Cooper mystery series. A girl overdoses on heroin while a teenage boy hangs himself at a juvenile detention center. Soon after Coroner Harry Marshall that was in charge of the two cases dies mysteriously, with his death declared to be from natural causes. But Jenny Cooper is not buying the story. Marshall had been behaving strangely just before his death and she believes there is more to his death than meets the eye.
A life to Kill: This is one of the most incredible novels of the Jenny Copper series of novels. The town of Highcliff is waiting anxiously for the British soldiers to return home from Hemland. Meanwhile Private Pete Lyons a member of one of the last remaining platoons in the war torn Hemland Province is taken hostage necessitating a rescue mission. But something is not right, reports filtering back home assert that the platoon was in a highly fortified position making the kidnap of anyone impossible. As the team sent to rescue him incurs heavy losses in a mission to save him, the army seems to be hiding something from those the families and wives of the dead soldiers. Their hopes now lie with Jenny Cooper the incorruptible Coroner who will take on anything even the might of the military, in her quest to unearth the truth. But in a town full of rumors and secrets, Cooper may have bitten more than she can chew.
The Chosen Dead: Coroner Jenny Cooper investigates what could be a deadly conspiracy or an unlikely suicide. When Cooper is called in to investigate the case of a man that plunged down a motorway bridge, she never once suspects that a deadly strain of meningitis that her friends child had died from could be related to the case. But as she investigates the man’s last days she finds herself in a dark mystery that stretches back decades and across several continents. Her investigation takes her into the shadowy world where corrupt scientific endeavor is interspersed with unbridled human ambition. She is soon risking her life and those of her loved ones as she chases the truth.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many fans of the Jenny Cooper series of novels also loved the “Sarah Fortune” series of novels by Frances Fyfield. These are mystery thrillers featuring Sarah Fortune a lawyer by day and a provider of intimate company for lonely men at night. Jenny Cooper fans also love the “Cooper & Fry” series of novels by Stephen Booth. These mystery thrillers feature Detective Constables Ben Cooper and Detective Constable Diane Fry solve a series of strange murders that are eerily similar to ones in the past.