- Audio CD
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (21 February 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1427288380
- ISBN-13: 978-1427288387
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 295 g
- Customer Reviews: 1,270 customer ratings
The Crow Trap Audio CD – Audiobook, 21 February 2017
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"Trauma, obsession, and murder entwine in a suspense-packed crime story that puts Ms. Cleeves in the Rendell class." --Peterborough Evening Telegraph
"It's a dark, interesting novel with considerable emotional force behind it." --The Spectator
"Cleeves's softly, softly approach delivers a powerful punch." --The Observer
"I do love Vera!" --Val McDermid
"Nothing short of riveting." --Louise Penny
"Creates a dark enough mood to keep you straining to see what will come to light next." --People
"Gripping from start to finish." --Booklist
"In true Christie fashion, Cleeves once more pulls the wool over our eyes with cunning and conviction." --Colin Dexter
"Cleeves' taut, atmospheric thriller will keep readers guessing until the last page . . . Chilling." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Intricate and engrossing . . . offers readers the pleasures of the traditional locked room/isolated island mystery." --Washington Post Book World
"Ann Cleeves is a skillful technician, keeping our interest alive and building slowly up to the denouement. Her easy use of language and clever story construction make her one of the best natural writers of detective fiction." --Sunday Express (UK)
If you're a fan of Frances Fyfield, Minette Walters, or Val McDermid, get to know Cleeves. --Globe and Mail (Canada)
About the Author
ANN CLEEVES is the multi-million copy and New York Times bestselling author behind two hit television seriesthe BBCs Shetland, starring Douglas Henshall, and ITVs Vera, starring Academy Award Nominee Brenda Blethynboth of which are watched and loved in the US. The Long Call, the first in the Two Rivers series introducing Detective Matthew Venn, was an instant New York Times bestseller.
Shetland is available in the US on Netflix, Amazon Video, Britbox and PBS, and Vera is available on Hulu, Amazon Video, BritBox and PBS.
The first Shetland novel, Raven Black, won the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel, and Ann was awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger in 2017. She lives in the UK.
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Okay, so this book was different from what I expected. The characters were well drawn, but one had to keep one's wits straight to follow all the characters and their relationships. It wasn't really until Vera arrives in the narrative that things picked up the pace.
Now, Mrs Blethlyn is an attractive lady of senior years, unlike Vera in the book, who is drawn as an untidy, fat, slovenly woman who puts people off with her physical appearance, more so than her manner. In the TV series, Vera is outspoken but never ugly as shown in this book, the first in the series. She always wears an old hat, Mackintosh and "sensible" shoes but when she takes the outer gear off, she is not slovenly as in the book!
The plot was convoluted, the outcome quite believable and I gave this book five stars because the author's use of langue and turns of phrase were exceptional. I will be getting more Vera books soon.
At first I found this book a bit long winded as Ann works her way through the convoluted lives and property ownership connected with the events. It seems everyone is connected and has a history.
Then halfway through Vera gets involved and her jousting with the people involved is interesting. The wheat is shifted from the chaff as each life is examined and they are put aside as suspects. Ann drops a few big clues but acknowledging them is not the same as understanding their significance. Of course Vera keep the last clue to herself so there can be a big reveal. Still not every mystery is explained.
The ending is unexpected and the story is superb.
Vera, the lead detective is characterised by her eccentricities, her skills of manipulation, her ability to take on different roles to obtain the information she wants, a somewhat quirky sense of humour and an implicit faith, at least superficially of her own skills as an investigator. The whole book was like a breath of fresh air from the often city bound, slick policework, fast paced action that books that I have read lately.
It would be a spoiler to reveal more. Suffice to say the end result is most satisfying.
Top international reviews
It begins with the background stories of three main characters interwoven with a death by suicide and expands even further to the environmental studies these three are doing. I'm not sure the Vera we know and love would have reacted quite in the way she does in this book but there were certain elements of her character that drifted in and out of the dialogue. Fortunately these were sufficient to whet the appetite of the writer who based the TV series on her. I think I only counted one "pet" in the whole book but it made me smile when I read it.
As my three star rating states, this book is okay but if I hadn't been keen to see how Vera came over I may have given up. For anyone not overly keen on Vera Stanhope then this book is a good read with an okay plot and could be of interest to anyone keen on the environment and the rugged Northumberland landscape.
I have read all books in the four Ann Cleeves series as well as standalone before writing this review.
Some writers can produce a good story badly written. I think you can have a book with enjoyable story outdone by the actual words. I have in mind some John Irving and Harlan Coben. I enjoy Ann Cleeves for both written words and story.
Vera is not a super hero[ine] and seems at times not treated sympathetically by her author but the story is well constructed. Not sure a comparison with Jimmy Perez is appropriate but this book was a vast improvement on Alan Ramsey and Palmer-Jones series although those were more than reasonable stories in themselves compared to authors churning out books several times a year.
This was an excellent start to a series that only gets better.
Cannot say it was 'unputdownable', but it wasn't 'leave alone able' either. Kept going back to it every day, until the final explanation was explained by Vera, at the end.
Vera was not quite like the t.v. series, either. In this story she was portrayed almost like an eccentric person, and not like the 'no nonsense, efficient' detective of the t.v. series. Also not appearing until almost half way jnto the story, made it a slow starter, anyway.
I will try others, but just wanted to start with the first one.
I was expecting an engrossing murder mystery with Vera as the central character, but we don't meet her (properly) until a good way in (chapter 29?) and even then she doesn't come across as a central or even very likeable character. She comes across almost as the author's afterthought, someone for the characters to bounce their ideas off and make things official. Also, I'm afraid I didn't like the characters much either. I wanted, and was expecting, a 'murder mystery' 'who-dun-it' read, not a rather tedious lengthy exploration of the past lives of the characters - which after several chapters I skipped through.
I'll try another one, perhaps well into the series, because I like Vera, but I hope I'm not as disappointed as I am with this one.
Hats off to the TV series for turning a rather tedious read into something engrossing and interesting.
I did find it a little odd how I did not meet Vera until about 40% of the way through the book. However, I understand why Cleeves has done this and I feel it is a better way to introduce a protagonist. Given the fact that the novel is 552 pages long, one could become quite bored of a main character if they are introduced right at the start of the book. Instead, I read about Rachael, Anne and Grace in great detail. Reading the 8-10 chapters about each woman gave me real insight into the characters and I understood their feelings. I discovered more about their lives from a first-person rather than a third-person perspective and so these characters had more depth.
I love Vera because of the way Cleeves has written her: she is a big, tough northern lass who can be quite brusque and rude at times. However, such flaws is what made me really love her and some of comments made me chuckle.
Cleeves was quite clever in sketching the character of Neville Furness because, just like Vera, I was never entirely sure of my opinion of him; on the one hand, he seemed like a caring, shy individual while on the other hand, he was deceptive and secretive, which made me suspect him all the more. However, I was truly shocked by the identity of the killer as tensions and suspense grew towards the end of the book.
Although The Crow Trap is quite long, I nevertheless enjoyed its characters and the environment in which it is set. The protagonist is a woman who is hard to dislike and so I will be reading the next novel in this series. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy crime thrillers.
The story starts with three women, brought together by an environmental impact assessment, prompted by an application to build a quarry. Naturally, feelings run high on both sides of the fence. Rachel, Anne and Grace are tasked with carrying out the assessment and each tells their own story about the events leading up to the apparent suicide of Bella, who owned the cottage where the women are staying.
At first, it reads like a psychological suspense novel with secrets and misdemeanours being revealed by each of the women. Then there’s a murder and DI Vera Stanhope enters the story like a tsunami. Unconventional, eccentric, with a dry sense of humour, but always mesmerising, she’s a tour de force, taking over the story with her no nonsense approach to detection. From this point on, the story is largely hers as she sifts through the evidence to identify the killer.
The novel’s well-written, the Northumberland setting atmospheric, and the characters given a chance to breathe and develop through the course of the story, leading to a sizeable list of suspects, all with motives to kill. The environmental issues give the story a contemporary feel, even though the story isn’t your usual police procedural.
However, allowing the characters so much space and time meant Vera Stanhope’s entry into the story was delayed until almost halfway through. While the characters were interesting and well-written, my interest began to waver several times up to this point.
The solution and arrest of the killer was also over in the blink of an eye after the usual meandering and struggles to sift the clues from the red herrings.
But these are niggles in what was an enjoyable and entertaining read with a detective who will remain long in my memory in these days of traumatised cops, constantly battling their past and spending cuts.
If you like atmospheric writing and don’t mind a story that takes it time to develop, which makes it a long read, I would recommend this book.
Well, I was wrong. This is a excellent read if a tad slow to get going. Indeed, Vera doesn't make an appearance until page 200 (out of 550)!
I did have to persevere for a while but it was worth it. Indeed, try as I might, I couldn't guess 'whodunit'!
Alas, that won't help me enjoy the TV series any more, but I will now start reading the rest of the series.....
The way the story was told was unusual, in that the same events were described from the points of view of three different people up to the point at which the crime takes place. The detective (Vera) only appears very late in the narrative and, although she is the leading police investigator, the case is very much a personal one for her. I can imagine that fans of traditional whodunnits might find this approach irritating.
The final twist was convincing and unexpected.
If I have a negative it's Cleeves' tendency to stereotype people: gritty northerners and spoilt toffs. My own background is London working class but I have "toff" friends and they're nothing like Cleeves' stereotypes.
The ending comes slightly out of left field, although all of the clues are there.
An excellent written book great characters and the history at the beginning is an important part to any story but other books tend to have the reader jumping from the present to a chapter that may be a few years ago can sometimes confuse.
A throughly enjoyable book and here's to book 2.