Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
For fifty years a group of friends have been meeting regularly for reunions on Holy Island, celebrating the school trip where they met, and the friend that they lost to the rising causeway tide five years later. Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .
But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible.
Is Ann Cleeves an acquired taste? Installment ten of this series is my second (having read Book 9 The Darkest Evening), although I’ve read another Cleeves novel in a different series. I like Vera Stanhope—she’s not a profanity-spouting, booze-guzzling, bed-hopping DI. And I like the audiobooks, the narrator growing on me a bit as well as she projects the different voices, connotations, inflections of the text.
The storyline this time involves a group of old school friends who meet every five years at Holy Island—the site of a school trip. Unfortunately, it is also the site of a fatality at their first reunion. This reunion sees the death of another of the former students. Attempted to appear as a suicide, Vera suspects murder.
These are not fast-paced mysteries. The participants at the reunion are introduced and studied, listed as possible suspects or not. There remained a number of inquiries that Vera is loathed to delegate, but as she is getting older, begrudgingly allows her staff to tackle different aspects of the investigation, relinquishing the reins just a bit. And we get to know them as well, their POV, motives. I like both Joe and Holly. It’s a good team.
Vera has a sixth sense, honed from years with the department, as well as unhappy childhood experiences, that she often uses to jump to the next facet of exploration. It’s good that she does and is usually right.
Unfortunately, sometimes her timing is a bit off. In this case, tragically so. I mourned that loss so I wasn’t wholly thrilled with the ending this time. Still, now that I’ve found an almost contemporary protagonist, I’ll be looking for the next book in the series.
I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Listening Length: 11 hrs 28 mins
Narrator: Janine Birkett
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Rising Tide [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
The Author: Ann is the author of the books behind ITV’s VERA, now in it’s third series, and the BBC’s SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann’s DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann’s Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands…
Ann grew up in the country, first in Herefordshire, then in North Devon. Her father was a village school teacher. After dropping out of university she took a number of temporary jobs – child care officer, women’s refuge leader, bird observatory cook, auxiliary coastguard – before going back to college and training to be a probation officer.
While she was cooking in the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle, she met her husband Tim, a visiting ornithologist. She was attracted less by the ornithology than the bottle of malt whisky she saw in his rucksack when she showed him his room. Soon after they married, Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary. They were the only residents, there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person’s not heavily into birds – and Ann isn’t – there’s not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing. Her first series of crime novels features the elderly naturalist, George Palmer-Jones. A couple of these books are seriously dreadful.
In 1987 Tim, Ann and their two daughters moved to Northumberland and the north east provides the inspiration for many of her subsequent titles. The girls have both taken up with Geordie lads. In the autumn of 2006, Ann and Tim finally achieved their ambition of moving back to the North East.
For the National Year of Reading, Ann was made reader-in-residence for three library authorities. It came as a revelation that it was possible to get paid for talking to readers about books! She went on to set up reading groups in prisons as part of the Inside Books project, became Cheltenham Literature Festival’s first reader-in-residence and still enjoys working with libraries.
Ann Cleeves on stage at the Duncan Lawrie Dagger awards ceremony
Ann’s short film for Border TV, Catching Birds, won a Royal Television Society Award. She has twice been short listed for a CWA Dagger Award – once for her short story The Plater, and the following year for the Dagger in the Library award.
In 2006 Ann Cleeves was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award of the Crime Writers’ Association for Raven Black, the first volume of her Shetland Quartet. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger replaces the CWA’s Gold Dagger award, and the winner receives £20,000, making it the world’s largest award for crime fiction.
Ann’s success was announced at the 2006 Dagger Awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton, in London’s Aldwych, on Thursday 29 June 2006. She said: “I have never won anything before in my life, so it was a complete shock – but lovely of course.. The evening was relatively relaxing because I’d lost my voice and knew that even if the unexpected happened there was physically no way I could utter a word. So I wouldn’t have to give a speech. My editor was deputed to do it!”
The judging panel consisted of Geoff Bradley (non-voting Chair), Lyn Brown MP (a committee member on the London Libraries service), Frances Gray (an academic who writes about and teaches courses on modern crime fiction), Heather O’Donoghue (academic, linguist, crime fiction reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement, and keen reader of all crime fiction) and Barry Forshaw (reviewer and editor of Crime Time magazine).
Ann’s books have been translated into sixteen languages. She’s a bestseller in Scandinavia and Germany. Her novels sell widely and to critical acclaim in the United States. Raven Black was shortlisted for the Martin Beck award for best translated crime novel in Sweden in 200.
Bio and photo from Goodreads.
©2022 V Williams