Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Until a shocking discovery. The owners of a big country house have employed a young ecologist named Patrick to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley.
DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene with her colleagues. When they look round the attic of the house - where Patrick has a flat - she finds a second body. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths.
As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realises that there may be deadly secrets trapped here....
©2015 Ann Cleeves (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
This is a mystery story, not a light or funny novel. The narrator reads it like a fairy tale, no gravitas at all. It clashes with the scenes being depicted. One gets the impression one is listening in at childs' library afternoon. And yet the words are at odds with the cheerful performance.
In addition few of the main characters are at all likeable; steeped in self - pity and sneering envy. I DON'T recommend this series at all and certainly not read by this narrator..
"Brilliant as always...."
I really enjoyed all.of the twists and turns in this one. There had to be a link, but it was well hidden until the end.
A great story with plenty of twists and turns.
I found the narration at times a little inconsistent with certain characters but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.
"Good story, structure and accents but . . ."
Really enjoyed the story and pace kept lively for most of the time. Enjoyed the accents too. However, it was read in a tone too much like a children's story, almost patronising, which was a shame.
"Slow story and dreadful narration!"
I've enjoyed Ann Cleeves' Shetland stories very much so thought I'd give the Vera stories a try. This is my first attempt. I've made it to Chapter 6 but just can't take any more and it will have to be returned.
My main problem is with the narration. The narration parts, which I assume are in the reader's normal accent, are delivered in the fashion of reading to toddlers. When it comes to the characters' accents, the narrator seems to me to over-emphasise words to such an extent that the timing is slowed down and very odd. I have Northumbrian roots myself so have no problem with that accent - but to me this reading made it sound like the characters were simple or had speech defects.
Unfortunately, whilst the story line seems promising, the pace is slow and so it was too tedious to overcome the narration problem. I think this series may be better read than listened to.
"Way too introspective"
Original plot, nice twist at the end but very repetitive and (dare I say it), plodding. The characters seem to spend as much time contemplating their navels as trying to solve the crimes. I won't be reading another.
Super story which I enjoyed immensely. However, some of the accents were a bit off putting but being a geordie I can tell some of them were not quite right! Didn't stop me listening though.
Great story if a little long. Will get another one soon. Great author and narrator
"A struggle to get to the end"
I was quite disappointed with the pace of the story. It is very slow. 47 chapters and by chapter 25 I found myself willing the book to end. The first 3 chapters lay out the crime, the chapters in the middle essentially question the many boring characters that live in and around Valley Farm. The descriptive detail is immense so the book takes very long to make the slightest of points. Having plodded through to the end of the story, my recommendation would be to listen to the first 3 chapters and then the final 2. You will not have missed much.
The narration was OK as long as you can tolerate the Geordy accent.
Not a bad 'who done it? ' but a bit boring in places. Narrator did good character voices but narration was just awful. Sounded like she was reading for toddlers. Quite odd and off putting.
"A good book,"
The narrator was excellent, the story involves a lot of characters and it could have been confusing but she made it much easier to follow the story. It was an interesting story and it wasn't easy to work out why the murders had been committed. I enjoyed it but it's not my favourite book by this author.
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