Another great novel by Ann Cleeves with Vera. I keeps you guessing right to the end. If you are astute you might spot the anomaly near the beginning but after that Vera chases down a list of people who could be suspects all as a result of anomalies and secrets revealed. All are reasonable outcomes and they remain live to the end. You just have to keep reading.
Vera is called in to review an old case where a teenage girl is found murdered by her best friend. The father's ex mistress is found guilty but ten years later a witness comes forward to confirm her alibi. Too late as she commits suicide before being told. This means that the murderer is still at large.
Before Vera can proceed very far there is another murder. They seemed linked but she is not part of that investigation. Joe joins her and they work through the three families involved and the original police investigators who have s kilocalories once left the force.
Ann is very good at presenting people's thoughts and reactions. Vera is not a handsome woman and seems to appear when least expected. The interplay in interviews is always interesting and well reported through the thoughts of those involved on top of their conversations.
At first this book moved fairly slowly and the great list of possible suspects have to be introduced before we move into the discovery phase. I was never really sure that people could be written off. So even at the end we can't be sure until the reveal.
These are great books with very well drawn characterisation. Vera is not lovely and is described as a bag lady in one scene. But it works. And this story works.
I love all Ann Cleeve's books and this is no exception. The plots keep you thinking the characters are real and it's so great for us older ladies to have have a main character who is a woman who has risen to a rank with authority who is not beautiful or sexy or well dressed. I also like that Joe her offsider is still married and has children he cares about and has a good relationship with so unlike so many other police in books. The book also has a great feeling for location and weather which are all part of great story telling
Everyone of these books by Ann Cleeves has so much to keep the reader enthralled. This was my third novel incorporating Vera Stanhope and her team. What a character she is. The portrayal of Vera by Brenda Blethyn in the tv series provides such a clear picture of her personality. I am sure the author will agree. I shall continue to read Ms Cleeves excellent stories and would recommend them to all readers looking for mystery and suspense from beginning to end.
For lovers of detective novels, this fills all the gaps. Ms. Cleave tells a good story and has you guessing from beginning to end. She also excels in that attention to detail which make novels like hers seem all too real. Looking forward to reading another.