Cover detail of The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

Hello from a wet North Yorkshire. I hope you have had a good week. We've had a very busy week here, but looking forward to exploring a nearby city this weekend for a spot of shopping, dinning out and maybe a drink or two. Hattie is coming with us, but will be having the day with our lovely in-laws until we get back. She is ready for her spring trim and I think is looking forward to ditching her winter coat, although given the cool temperatures, we will definitely be keeping her walking coat on!

Read my Review of Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

I am missing that Grenadian sunshine though. I am a proper paid up member of the Autumn/Winter club but sometimes there is nothing quite like the sun on your bones. Which brings me to book 3 of my holiday reads and it was a cracker!

The Plot

Three very different women come together at an isolated cottage in the North Pennines to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal...

Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her love and boss. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And there is Grace, a strange uncommunicative young women, hiding plenty of her own secrets.

Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, but when she gets there she is shocked to dicover an apparent suicide. But then another death occurs, and a fourth woman enters the picture - the unconventional Detective Vera Stanhope, who must piece together the truth from these women's tangled lives....

My Thoughts

This is a wonderful introduction to the DI Vera Stanhope series. Cleverly plotted and split into 3 parts. The forst part covers the period of time when the 3 women stay at a remote house to conduct an Environmental Impact Survey. Rachael discovers her good friend, Bella, hanged and is unable to accept that she was murdered. Grace is secretive and Anne suspicious. We read the women's accounts leading up to the discovery of Bella and beyond where a murder is then committed. Could this have anything to do with the work being undertaken by the women?

This was moody and atmospheric which contrasted with the views of the Caribbean Sea I was experiencing. At times, you could feel the bleakness of the moors, the cold and the sting of rain upon your cheek.

Vera is introduced beautifully, a surprise visitor at the funeral of Bella and we quickly understand her firm, no-nonsesne ways. Her ability to tell a story or provide sympathy when least expected.

The crime is well done and keeps you guessing to the final pages. I love this about Ann Cleeve's writing and have yet to guess the murderer. Vera's love for her surroundings, and snapshots of her life shine through.

I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.