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I love her main characters and they all seem to have grown quite a bit since the last book I listened to. But - the solution to the first two murders does not fit the facts, and the reason for the third murder seems a bit far-fetched to me, but then most of the reasons given for murders do, so that may just be me. The atmosphere of the book was a lot more colorful than usual. I'm glad I read it, but the violation of the timeline disappointed me.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I loved this book! I have been a fan of Ann Cleeves’ writing for years, and always look forward to a new Vera Stanhope novel. There were many things about this book that made me especially like it, but perhaps the best part was that this involved more of Vera’s own history, with some of the main characters being people who were once known to Vera or her father in different ways.
In this story, she is called to a prison by a former superintendent, now behind bars for his own conviction, who wants to give her some information about a crime that took place many years ago in return for help with his daughter. She has her suspicions about his motives, but begins to look into it, and discovers murder that must be investigated. This book is very well balanced—with intrigue, but also a story that calls up even Vera’s empathy, as she looks into the circumstances of the daughter’s life.
Vera is a very compelling character. Cleeves has always made her seem fascinating, with the Vera who has her own personal life struggles, opposed to Vera as the strong woman who heads up a police team that solves murders. One can feel the tension between her personal sense of insecurity versus her professional instinct and judgment, and the combination is just word perfect as Cleeves draws a portrait of a very complicated, but competent woman.
I also want to say that I think Janine Birkett is a really good narrator. She has a fine range of voices (better for women than men) and I especially love the voice she uses for Vera herself. Others may disagree about this—but while I certainly recognize Vera Stanhope as created by Ann Cleeves in the tv series about her, I think you can’t really grasp the finer nuances of her personality—and certainly almost nothing about her backstory—unless you read or listen to these novels. Highly recommend!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful