I love the TV series, Vera, and Brenda Blethlyn is superb as the lead character. Therefore, I was surprised to realise that I had never read a book in the Ann Cleeves series!
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.