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M. R. Hall is a screenwriter and producer and former criminal barrister. Educated at Hereford Cathedral School and Worcester College, Oxford, he lives in the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire with his wife and two sons.
'Crime-Busting Cracker' Woman & Home 'Fasten your seatbelts for a quality thriller...Matthew Hall's first-rate books about unorthodox Bristol coroner Jenny Cooper. The Flight is Cooper's fourth outing and Hall's Gold Dagger-nominated books, quite simply, get better each time. Part of it is the former barrister and TV producer's ability to structure and deliver a thriller that has you keep turning the pages. I read The Flight, as its predecessors, at one sitting. But Hall is also a hit upon a genuinely fascinating aspect of the justice system...The most compelling element of Hall's books, however, is Cooper herself: difficult, damaged, self-destructive, struggling to recover from a divorce ... It is wonderful stuff, chillingly plausible, but properly best not read on a long haul flight' Independent on Sunday 'Ed McBain semi-inaugurated the forensics genre, but Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs parleyed his innovations into stratospheric sales. But the field has not become an exclusively female sorority -- or an American domain. A highly talented male writer has offered a challenge, albeit one who plays safe by using a woman protagonist. The Coroner (2009) by M R Hall was an instant hit. His heroine Jenny Cooper, a divorcee who has had a nervous breakdown, struggled with a new job as coroner for the Severn Vale ... It would appear that Hall has decided to broaden his canvas with this latest outing for his protagonist, still dependent on prescription drugs. She is coming to terms with the breakdown that we read about in The Coroner, but still fragile. Here, she is up against her most dangerously influential opponents ... It looks like Jenny Cooper -- and her creator -- are here for the long haul: good news for readers' Independent 'An edge-of-the-seat thriller ... this fourth novel in the excellent Jenny Cooper series should come with a health warning' Irish Independent 'When The Coroner, the first in the Jenny Cooper series, burst upon the crime fiction scene it made a considerable impact. It was clear that the author had created something new and exciting in the field. Not every male writer is able to create such richly faceted, convincing female characters as Jenny. She established herself in the army of female forensic specialists and she needed to, this really is an overcrowded field. We have followed this vulnerable heroine through three novels and enjoyed her triumphs in the teeth of daunting odds. To some degree, that's the scenario here but larger issues are also at stake. Hall is too canny a writer not to realise that the real focus of his books should remain on the personal. And it is the pressure put on Jenny by the dead girl's mother that makes her take risks against powerful forces. It's a cliche to say that the key to the mystery lies in the higher echelons of government. And even though Hall moves into that familiar territory, he rings the changes with real skill. This fourth book in the Jenny Cooper series is quite as involving as its predecessors' Daily Express 'As premises go, this one's a killer ... It's a terrific series, meticulously researched, sharply plotted and peopled with sympathetic characters, led by Cooper, who is always aware of the human consequences of failure' Financial Times 'I am completely hooked on this superb series featuring British coroner Jenny Cooper. This is the fourth book and quite simply the best' Globe and Mail, Canada 'The Flight is M R Hall's fourth story to feature clever coroner Jenny Cooper. His investigation of a plane crash in the Severn estuary is as complex and impressive as his debut The Coroner' Sunday Telegraph