Sunday, October 16, 2016
The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves
Valley Farm is a small quiet community in Northumberland. When the most influential people there, the major and his wife, go to Australia to visit their son, they hire a house-sitter, Patrick Randle. But, Randle is found dead in a lane, and DI Vera Stanhope is the first to respond to the call for police. She's joined at the crime scene by Joe Ashworth, and the two walk to the big house to check it out. It's there they find another body. Now, they have a tangled mess on their hands. Two murders, different methods, and two men with only a loose connection. Vera and her team will have to dig for answers to this one.
And, in digging, they'll realize that Valley Farm isn't quite as peaceful as it seems. The three couples who live close to the crime scene may seem straightforward, retirees who enjoy a quiet life. But, Vera has a weird feeling about them, as if they all have "A kind of desperation".
Vera Stanhope is a fascinating character herself. "There was something ghoulish about her passion for her work, for suspicious death and other people's tragedies." But, those of us who appreciate the step-by-step unfolding of police investigations may be of the same mind, with a passion for these stories. Vera's methodical plodding, her astute questioning of witnesses, and her unusual manipulation of her team, make her an intriguing character. Readers of Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope mysteries return to watch Vera in action, as much as to watch the unraveling of the case. The Moth Catcher is Vera at her best.
Ann Cleeves' website is www.anncleeves.com
The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves. Minotaur Books. 2016. ISBN 9781250105424 (hardcover), 400p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.