Count me as a Vera fan. From the time I turned the page of the first novel, I was hooked.
It’s the detective investigation I like, the procedural opening before me, the thrill of the intellectual chase and I’m also very fond of Vera herself. She’s a good woman. Cranky yes, prone to unreasonable outbursts, often harsh on her subordinates, obsessive about her work, physically lazy and she drinks too much. All the same, she’s a good woman. And a good detective too.
I like an author who gives me a sense of place and Cleeves paints Vera’s territory effortlessly without indulging in descriptive paragraphs of the landscape. I feel the wild beauty of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, remote and rugged under the weight of the big, open sky. The villages and hamlets spring to life, as do individual homes.
They turned a corner and the house was in front of them. Not a huge mansion with pillars and turrets. Old. Solid stone. A pele-tower at one end, long fallen into disuse. One of the fortified farmhouses that had been built along the border, to see off the Scottish reivers. In the last of the sunshine, the stone looked warm. ‘Nice,’ Vera said and felt a momentary stab of envy.
I felt a momentary stab of envy too.
It’s in this house that a double murder investigation begins. What could the two victims have in common? Why were they killed on the same day, but their bodies found in separate locations?
Vera and her team have to uncover the secrets of a small rural community full of secrets. There are a limited number of suspects (I suspected them all) and a surprise ending.
My Amazon link : The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope)