I started getting into the Vera Stanhope novels after the great tv series (you can watch on Acorn via Amazon if you are in the U.S.). I felt a bit disappointed by some of the earlier books because they were a slog to get through. But with the latest installments, this Vera still seems someone similar to the tv series one and also separate at times. Unlike in the tv series, the book series still has Joe and Holly working for Vera. All I have to say is this, sometimes things do not end in a whimper but instead they end with a howl. What a fantastic and heart breaking installment.
“The Rising Tide” takes place about a year after the events in the last novel. Vera is about to go away with her next door neighbor to a book retreat. She’s thrilled though when a possible suspicious death on Holy Island could be a murder. With Vera, Joe, and Holly on Holy Island they realize that a group of friends who have been coming to the island for 50 years may know more than they are saying after their friend is found dead by hanging. Per usual, Cleeves gives us perspective not on just the group of friends, but also Vera, Joe, and Holly.
Joe it seems is getting fairly tired of Vera trying to pit Holly being on scene more than him. He shockingly chooses his wife a few times in the book which is a surprise.
Holly is worried she is going to be like Vera, alone and single and nothing to show for it but her job.
Vera though of course loves the hunt. She loves being nosy. And she is actually flummoxed during the investigation. When another person turns up dead, she still can’t see who the murderer is.
The writing was great, typical Cleeves. You go down one path and find out you are dead wrong. The flow was a bit up and down (but not enough for me to drop a star).
The setting of Holy Island just felt desolate. I don’t know if I would be comfortable running around a place that gets cut off due to the tides.
The ending was wonderfully done. I do wonder if there will be another book in the series, and if so, how does it pick up?