I came to this author via a TV promo for the show 'Vera' which is based on this series. From the little I saw I was intrigued by the obviously remote setting and the characterisation of the lead detective. Given that I much prefer to read before I see I read this and found myself fascinated by a number of things. Not only was was the setting powerfu, l the characters were well drawn and the narrative structure noved beyond the more tradtional chronological sequencing of the action. In many books of this genre often one or two of these aspects work well but it is a treat to find them all so well put together in the one book. Although this was classified as a police procedural novel, it was more than that. The main role of the police did not become evident until about two fifths of the way through by which time there was already a complex web of characters and action. 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.