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Publisher's Summary

Three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey. Three women who, in some way or another, know the meaning of betrayal....
For team leader Rachael Lambert, the project is the perfect opportunity to rebuild her confidence after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Botanist Anne Preece, on the other hand, sees it as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace Fulwell, a strange, uncommunicative young woman with plenty of her own secrets to hide....
When Rachael arrives at the cottage, however, she is horrified to discover the body of her friend Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide - a verdict Rachael finds impossible to accept.
Only when the next death occurs does a fourth woman enter the picture - the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives.
©1999 Ann Cleeves (P)2017 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Marina on 02-26-17

Worth the Wait

I love this series. I'm pretty skeptical of a female detective novels because I feel like they all fill the same formula. But Vera has always been different. I enjoyed this story in particular because it allowed the main players in the narrative to be fully developed. I liked that we didn't get to hear Vera's voice until the climax. We've heard Vera's background story at nauseum in the earlier books so allowing her character to be a side player rather than the central figure was a refreshing way to progress the story. The plot was slightly unbelievable, but over all it was well worth the credit and kept me guessing until the end.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Chalis on 04-01-17

The Beginning of Vera

I'm an enthusiastic fan of British mysteries. My local PBS television station airs many of these shows and I watch all of them. That's where I discovered Vera Stanhope. She's a complex character. It took me some time to understand and appreciate her. Now I wouldn't want to miss any of the books in this series.

This book was published in 1999, and I believe was the first of the Vera Stanhope stories. The characters are complex and well developed. The setting is unique. I didn't find the characters quite as compelling as characters in later books, and that's why I gave a 4 rating rather than a 5.

Anne Dover's narration is excellent.

If you enjoy Ann Cleeves writing don't hesitate to get this book.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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