Life seems perfect in the quiet community of Valley Farm. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house sitter, a young ecologist, to look after the place while they're away. But his dead body is found by the side of the lane - a lonely place to die.
When DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, she finds the body of a second man. What the two victims seem to have in common is a fascination with studying moths - and with catching these beautiful, intriguing creatures.
The others who live in Valley Farm have secrets, too: Lorraine's calm demeanor belies a more complex personality; Annie and Sam's daughter, Lizzie, is due to be released from prison; and Nigel watches silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be many deadly secrets trapped there.
©2015 Ann Cleeves (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
I love Ann Cleeves' books. They are always good, but this one is exceptional. I think she has outdone her usual great skill at depicting Vera Stanhope, a brilliant woman detective, but one who constantly deals with her own self anxiety, fueled by her size and self image.
In this book, Vera takes on a complex murder case, where she and her team have to tediously work to piece together the clues to murders that initially don't seem to have much in common. But gradually they start to make sense, and as a listener I loved feeling led from one guess about the killer to another. Cleeves has great skill in weaving the story through several threads without ever losing the pace.
I would just also like to say that the narrator is superb. I loved listening to her many different voices and accents--I felt it was worth the credit just to listen to her brilliant reading. Highly recommend!
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Yes, the twists and turns in the plot were very good. When I hunt through my library at a later date for a title to listen to again, I am sure I won't be able to recall the whole plot. So it will be worth another listen.
Vera Stanhope isn't Jack Reacher, so on the edge of your seat doesn't typically describe the plot for one of Ann Cleeves/ Vera Stanhope books. But I was concerned about one of the main characters for a while.
I listened to Charlie Hardwick's narration before Janine Birkett. Personally I liked Charlie Hardwick's narration better. I had difficulty at times distinguishing between characters during Janine Birkett's narration.
Vera Stanhope may be an acquired taste, or listen. I enjoy the series.
Vera Stanhope is a fascinating character, who is full of surprises. The story is well-wrought, the auxiliary characters are satisfying, and the narration is excellent. I love the accent of Northumbria- wonderful listening.
I am so grateful that I found this author and this series. I have read all the books available on Audible and have not been disappointed in any of them.
Vera Stanhope is a fascinating character. She's rough around the edges and flawed in some ways. But she is uniquely talented as a detective. She isn't always likable, but I always find her interesting.
The author creates a unique setting and develops the cast of characters (who are also suspects). This attention to detail is what keeps me interested and makes this book stand apart from others of its type.
If you prefer "action packed" fast moving stories, this may not be a good choice for you. The story moves slowly, but steadily and I never was bored or impatient with the pace. I wasn't able to guess who the killer was before it was revealed in the book.
Janine Birkett's narration was excellent. I was never confused about who was speaking or what was happening. Her voice was clear, and her tone pleasing to my ear. The is what makes a narrator perfect for me.
If you have enjoyed earlier books this is series I believe you will enjoy this one. If you haven't tried any of Ann Cleeves' other books, do try them. She is an excellent writer.
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