The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves – Our review

Front cover of the Rising Tide

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves – Our review

It was only a matter of time until ‘our Vera’, the much loved roving Northumberland police detective gets to solve the mystery of a crime or three on Holy Island – and we are chuffed to bits for it.

As you would expect, the plot starts with a murder. A group of characters (read: potential suspects) assemble on Holy Island as they have done regularly since they came here on retreat as teenagers fifty years ago. When one of their number is found dead, DCI Vera Stanhope and her team start their ever-diligent investigation. Author Ann Cleeves keeps us guessing until the very end with her trademark twists and red herrings.

Cleeves starts with a disclaimer that although the book is set on Holy Island, any specific details about the setting are the products of her imagination. Those familiar with the island will giggle at some of the details, for example, the Seahorse Pub, but that’s fair enough for a work of fiction. That said, some details were slightly awkward to read as a local, for example, how drivers seek refuge in what appear to be the refuge boxes on the Pilgrim’s Way (“Still shadowy, a wooden tower, with a ladder to reach it. One of the refuges for trapped drivers and walkers. The closest tower to the island.”). These may have been an option for drivers before the causeway was built, but the novel is set in the present, and these towers are now too far from the road to be reached by the passengers of an affected car.

Still, the above would not detract from the fact that the book is an enjoyable read and no doubt a delight for Vera fans.

Finally, as many fans will know, “Vera’s house” in the ITV series is filmed in the Snook on Holy Island, and Vera is sometimes seen driving on the causeway to work, but in the Vera books she doesn’t live here. At the end of this book, she makes her way home to “her cottage in the hills”.

You can order your copy on this link.

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