This is a new author and series for me. Anne Cleeves writes about the adventures of her heroine, Vera Stanhope. Anne Cleeves has a talent for developing her characters. I must say, however, that the main character is not really a sympathetic one. By the time Vera captured the murderer I knew the characters in depth. They came alive on the pages of this mystery/story. There were two things that bothered me. One was the flow of the story. It seemed to jump into the middle of an action and I had no idea until several pages later what the action was about. The other thing was that there were never any clues that I was given that I may have solved the mystery myself. I had a few people in mind that could have been the murderer, but nothing definitive. As I look back I can see where several parts of the solution were scattered throughout the book, but never the one thing that could have made me so sure of the conclusion. Maybe that was the idea. Regardless, I will try the next book and see what happens with it: 'Telling Tales'.
I've read the first 4 books in Cleeves' Shetland series and book 1 in the Two Rivers series as well as book 1 in the Detective Ramsey series. Now, I've read book 1 in the Vera Stanhope series. I like Ann Cleeves' books and plan on reading more of them. Cleeves creates wonderfully rounded characters in richly rugged landscapes. Cleeves is knowledgeable on a variety of topics and can write about characters in a variety of careers.
Slateburn Quarries wants to develop a patch of land in Northumberland but wants to make sure that they follow the guidelines set forth by the National Wildlife Trust. They hire three different women to live and work for several weeks in a remote area to do environmental studies. First, a local farmer's wife hangs herself and one of the environmentalists is strangled. Later, another man is smothered also somehow related to the quarry development.
Inspector Vera Stanhope and Sergeant Jos Ashworth investigate to determine if the quarry business is behind the murder or someone else who holds a grudge. There are some good characters who help the police and some quirky characters who add some fun interest to the story. Of course, you never know how they're all tied together in a good story.
In true Cleeves fashion, you don't know who the murderer is until the last few pages. Then you slap your forehead and say "I knew it." I love Ann Cleeves' novels; I'll have to say that the Shetland series is still my favorite because I've got a crush on Jimmy Perez. I will read more of this series.
The Crow Trap is the first book in Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope series -- which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, VERA. Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie's Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal ...Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets. Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide -- a verdict Rachael refuses to accept. When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture -- the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope ...Also available in the Vera Stanhope series are Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices and The Glass Room. Ann Cleeves' Shetland series (BBC television drama SHETLAND) contains five titles, of which Dead Water is the most recent.
This was my first Vera Stanhope book and it did not disappoint. Ann Cleeves is a master of great writing, plot and character development. Her books keep the pages turning until the very end. She keeps you guessing and ties everything up neatly in the end. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I have also read her Shetland series and enjoyed them very much. I highly recommend her books if you are a mystery/suspense connoisseur.
I loved the Vera series of PBS and wondered how I'd feel about the book series. I have read a few of them now and am listing this one on my 'Best of my Reading' list but encourage folks to read all of them. This is just Bk 1 in the series. They remind me a bit of books by Elizabeth George and I always like hers also. I can never quite guess the endings to know 'who committed the murder.' Clear and well-written, good characters, complicated twists and turns, and of course Vera Stanhope herself who is such a great character. I read this one straight through in two days, and looked forward to every time I could pick it up and spend some time with it.