Posted 20 hours ago

The Rising Tide: A dark, atmospheric mystery from bestseller Ann Cleeves, featuring Vera Stanhope, star of ITV's Vera

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I thought it was the weakest part of the story, so obvious, and so overly used in detective fiction…. Vera Stanhope is a person who likes very few people, she can be grumpy and tetchy if things don't go her way, but is an excellent detective. Vera is certain the past, the history between these friends, is relevant, although her team are less convinced, but she is their boss and what she says goes. And, as is usual in these books, the conclusion of the case brings its own poignancy and heartache to the investigative team. I tried to slow down my reading because who knows when or if there will be another Vera book but I couldn't control myself.

The island is atmospheric backdrop for the story with its ruins and religious history, landscape and wildlife and the shifting tides that make the causeway so dangerous to those who don’t pay attention to the them, and plays a very central and tragic part of the novel. Like many others I love Vera (brilliantly portrayed on television by Brenda Blethyn) and her larger-than-life personality shines through the pages and she is undoubtedly the centre and star of her own show. This kind of trite contrarianism in writing about sexual harassment and assault is so tiresome and lame and sad. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then – or now. Naturally, after an in-depth investigation, Vera and co 'get their man', but at a huge cost to their team.Vera is a star of a protagonist, overweight, with a shambolic appearance that has her giving off the vibes of a bag lady, and here she is mistaken as a cleaner, not that it bothers her in the slightest. But there's always the unwelcomed visitor of memory over a tragedy that occured there in their midst so long ago. Ann Cleeves's latest DI Vera Stanhope is a chilling and shocker of an addition to her wonderful Northumberland set series.

If you've nar read this Newcastle (the toon) / Northumberland based series, eeee, howay man, you should because it’s canny and champion. But when one of them is found hanged, after their first evening back together, the ghost of a death from 45 years earlier comes back to haunt them all. Ann Cleeve's Vera Stanhope books are the basis for the TV series 'Vera', in which the Detective Inspector is wonderfully played by Brenda Blethyn.I must be getting used to Janine Birkett’s voice because it didn’t bother me as much with this book. Vera and her team interview people connected with a death years earlier, and the same people (and others connected to them) are questioned in the present time when a murder is committed.

They reminisce and celebrate the school trip where they first met as teenagers at the Pilgrim’s House. It’s a well written novel with a plot that goes at a brisk pace and which is extremely well thought out, it thickens and deepens taking us on a twisty journey backwards and forwards across the causeway to Holy Island.In this standalone that includes characters Joe and Holly, murder suspects drop their defenses before Colombo-like detective Vera Stanhope, a character who understands natives and criminals better than most—and who seems to carry a deep empathy for them all. Now a second member of this small group, journalist Rick Keisail has hung himself in his room on the reunion weekend. So begins a case that seems at first to be slowly progressing as Vera and her team try to figure out if this is a crime that stems from the last or present. The writing was truly compelling and we became quickly immersed in the story again each time we picked up where we had left off.

The mystery was also a little sub-par this time around in my opinion, and the ending was heartbreaking.She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award - once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.

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