Review: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead by Rebecca James


Title: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead

Author: Rebecca James

Published: Allen & Unwin October 2014

Status: Read from October 13 to 14, 2014 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

When Cooper Bartholomew’s broken body is found at the base of a cliff his death is declared a suicide but Libby, Cooper’s girlfriend, refuses to believe him capable of it. Desperate to understand what led him to the edge, Libby retraces Cooper’s last hours, eventually unraveling a tale of betrayal, jealousy, and shocking secrets.

The story unfolds from the alternating perspectives of Cooper, Libby, Sebastian and Claire, and shifts between ‘then’, detailing the events that led up to Cooper’s death, and ‘now’, exposing its aftermath.

Though well paced, the novel lacked much of the tension I had been expecting, this is more of a psychological drama than a thriller. I found the plot fairly predictable and while the circumstances surrounding Cooper’s death, when finally revealed, are emotionally powerful, they didn’t come as a surprise to me. However, I found the narrative very compelling, due in no small part to my investment in the characters.

All four protagonists felt genuine in ways to me that other characters in the New Adult genre have rarely done, I believed in their emotion, motivation and actions. The characters have distinct voices, which is important given the structure of the narrative, and are complex individuals. The relationship dynamics are also convincingly drawn.

An engaging read about friendship, first love, loss and lies, I really enjoyed Cooper Bartholomew is Dead. This is Rebecca James’ third novel following on from Beautiful Malice and Sweet Damage.

Available to purchase from

Allen & Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Bookworld I via Booko

Amazon AU  I Amazon US

and all good bookstores.

Also available {Click for my reviews}


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 20:46:08

    As you know I’ve just gotten Sweet Damage via NetGalley. I’d assumed it was a new release (but I get confused like that!). I’m looking forward to it!!!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Bec Graham
    Oct 19, 2014 @ 22:15:29

    I’ve been thinking about picking this one up. Predictable can be OK if the journey to the end is enjoyable. I think this is the second decent review I’ve read of this one. Maybe I’ll have to give it a go 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Greg
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 12:41:41

    This looks kinda good, I was curious about it after seeing it on your blog last week or so. The whole idea of what really happened has me intrigued… nice review.



  4. Trackback: Young Adults (Non-Speculative): Round Up Five (2014) | Australian Women Writers Challenge

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