Monday 10 October 2022



Synopsis/blurb ...

Ann Cleeves returns with a delicious short story featuring DCI Vera Stanhope.

Set before The Rising Tide, Vera goes on a day trip to Holy Island, eager to escape the pressures of work. When there she is reminded of the day decades earlier when she, as a teenager, went with her father Hector on another day trip, and the mystery woman he met there . . .

Vera already knew then that Hector kept secrets, but this time the fledgling investigator was determined to find the truth, never realizing it would mean taking her first step onto a path to becoming a detective.

A short read to kickstart the month of October. I'm in a bit of a reading slump. I've had a few books on the go, but haven't really been able to get into them so far. A short story from a new-to-me author, one whose characters I've enjoyed seeing come to life on the TV, will hopefuly give me a bit of impetus.

Half the 24 page Kindle freebie is devoted to the story itself. The other half is a preview/first two chapters introduction to The Rising Tide. 

The story is set on Holy Island and could almost be classed as Vera's first case with a bit of snooping on her dad. She follows him when he meets a woman on the beach. I'm guessing Vera has a difficult relationship with Hector, her father. Prudence dictates, she doesn't ask him what he's been upto. Years later, she meets the woman again and gets the answers to some questions that have obviously stayed with her through time.  

I enjoyed the writing and the description of the island. I liked the little bit of ambiguity at the end of the tale. Vera's tenacity, intelligence and inquisitive nature and already well established as a teenager.

4 stars from 5

I'm minded to read at least one of the Vera Stanhope (and Jimmy Perez - Shetland) novels one day, though I'm not in a rush to pick one up immediately. Hopefully Ann Cleeves has given me back my reading mojo! Time will tell.      

Read - October, 2022

Published - 2022

Page count - 24

Source - purchased copy, albeit an Amazon FREEBIE

Format - Kindle


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this outing, Col. I think Vera Stanhope's a great character, and I really like the way Cleeves depicts physical settings. She tells a good take, too.

    1. Margot, I hope to confirm your thoughts, maybe early next year. I was a bit surprised to see how much she has written.