I have to say up front that I’m a fan of Ann Cleeves’ “Vera” novels. They were recommended to me by a library patron last year and I’ve happily worked my way through all of them. The latest, “The Moth Catcher” finds DI Vera Stanhope sent to investigate a body found in the undergrowth at the side of the road in a remote Northumbrian valley. The body is identified as that of Patrick Randle, a young man employed to house-sit a large country house. When Vera and her DS, Joe Ashworth, go to take a look around the flat in the house where Patrick was living another body is found. The only thing the two men seem to have in common is an interest in moths. Add in the residents of the nearby Valley Farm development – including the parents of a woman about to be released from prison and we have an impressive cast of suspects.
Ann Cleeves always creates a wonderful sense of place with her novels. Vera’s Northumberland is beautiful and bleak. Vera herself is a larger than life character – intelligent, confident, lonely and inquisitive. The supporting characters are fully realised and even as the plot twists and turns, I never felt that the author was throwing in red herrings just for the sake of it.
These books are tightly plotted and very well written and a must-read for anyone who likes crime fiction.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.