16th March 2021.
Ann Cleeves is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, especially for the Vera Stanhope series. I love the gentle pace, the way she gets inside the minds of the characters, and the old style police detective who favours observation, information and deduction to solve crimes.
In this second outing for Vera, she’s asked to review a murder enquiry conducted by a neighbouring police force. Jeanie Long, the woman convicted of killing Abigail Mantel ten years ago committed suicide in prison, still protesting her innocence. A new witness has come forward to establish Jeanie’s innocence.
In the small village of Elvet, the revelations cause shock waves. The real killer is still at large. With plenty of suspects, secrets and motives, the atmosphere becomes almost claustrophobic as the tension builds towards breaking point. The former police officers, who conducted the original investigation, are no match for Vera Stanhope and her gentle but incisive approach.
Then another murder devastates the locals.
The settings, people and the investigation are beautifully and meticulously described and brought to life as Vera ferrets away, bringing her own unique brand of investigation and humour to the proceedings as she homes in on the killer.
The quality of the writing and characterisation are first rate, engaging the reader from the first paragraph to the last. With each book, you learn more about Vera and what makes her the formidable detective she is.
Ten years after Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of fifteen-year-old Abigail Mantel, disturbing new evidence proving her innocence emerges in the East Yorkshire village of Elvet. Abigail s killer is still at large.
For Emma Bennett, the revelation brings back haunting memories of her vibrant best friend and of the fearful winter s day when she had discovered her body lying cold in a ditch.
Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope makes fresh inquiries, and the villagers are hauled back to a time they would rather forget. Tensions begin to mount, but are people afraid of the killer, or of their own guilty pasts?