Archive for the ‘Ann Cleeves’ Category

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves, a review.

Thin Air written by Ann Cleeves

Thin Air is set in The Shetland Isles the story centres on a wedding and a legend of the ghost of a young girl lost to the sea in 1930. When one of the wedding guests, a bridesmaid is reported missing Jimmy Perez and Sandy Wilson are sent to help find her. The discovery of the missing woman’s body in a loch turns a hunt for a missing woman into a murder investigation. Willow Reeves joins Perez and Wilson to lead the investigation.

I read a lot of crime fiction as well as writing some. Thin Air is the first of Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series I have read; I found it a difficult read. The story seemed to take a good while to get into its stride. I had the impression the author started the book stopped then took up the story later fitting bits in as she went. It is an interesting story set in the far North of the British Isles, a part I would like to visit. Although the pictures of the weather, terrain and communities are well drawn there seems to be a tiredness in the telling of the story. The plot is interesting and convoluted, and the characters are believable but it took me a long while to read it.

I don’t know if all the Shetland stories are written in the same way a steady gathering of threads or if this one is less lively than some of the others, I will have to see. Ann Cleeves writes well but I preferred other Ann Cleeves books I have read.

Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves a review.

Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves

This was my first read of a novel featuring Vera; Ann Cleeves’ DCI Vera Stanhope, as seen on TV, as it says on the cover of this edition of the book. Vera is presented to us, warts and all. Brenda Blethyn is a supremely confident actress to be able to portray this woman so accurately.

The plot is dense, convoluted and engaging, drawing me in from the first moment. After her morning swim, Vera finds the body of a young woman in her local health club’s steam room.

The characters are well-drawn, the descriptions of places and people believable. However, what I found was most interesting, that despite being presented on television with a very believable version of Vera, I found a different Vera in the book. A woman who entered my imagination on her own terms. This for me was extraordinary, although the television Vera is good, I preferred the Vera of my imagination.

It was for me a quick read I wanted to know how the story ended and who the murderer was, I hadn’t worked it out.

A thoroughly good read. I am becoming a fan of Ann Cleeves.

A Bird In The Hand by Ann Cleeves, a review.

A Bird in the Hand by Ann Cleeves

Generally, I only watch a few hours of television a day if at all. Mostly it is crime dramas that attract my attention and they occupy most of my viewing time; my daily ration of dodging the adverts while trying to follow the plot.

I often watch Vera, a series featuring DCI Vera Stanhope as its main character, gradually becoming aware of the name of the Vera books author, Ann Cleeves. Ann is the creator of the programme’s characters. After a recent stint of writing at the local library, (I work better there) I sought out her books happening on her very first; A Bird in the Hand.

It is a very good read, excellent in fact, tightly plotted and populated with well-drawn, interesting characters. The thread that binds both the story and its characters together is bird watching, particularly the community known as “Twitchers”.

When the murdered body of a young twitcher is discovered in the Norfolk coastal marshes; George Palmer-Jones, a retired Home Office investigator is asked to help solve the crime. George is an elderly bird watcher respected by the bird watching community and knowledgeable about the people and their habits. Assisted by his wife Molly, George embarks on discovering the truth behind the brutal killing, we accompany the pair as they tour the country chasing sightings of rare birds while hunting the killer.

It is a brilliant first novel, as it was then. I now know there are many, many more books by Ann Cleeves, for me to read.

I have found a new sweet jar and I will dip into it whenever I can.

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