Wednesday 14 September 2022

BLOG TOUR: The Rising Tide (Vera Stanhope Book 10) - Ann Cleeves

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.

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 . . . 

What did I think?

The Rising Tide is the tenth book in the Vera Stanhope series but it's my first one and I LOVED IT!!!  I don't know how I've never read any of the Vera series before as I love books based in my native North East so I'm glad that I've finally got round to discovering it.  So, The Rising Tide can definitely be read as a standalone novel and it's got me hooked - I want more Vera!

The setting for this instalment is Holy Island (or Lindisfarne for people out of the area as it's pointed out in the book) and the remote Northumbrian island is described beautifully.  I've only been there twice but I could totally picture the causeway, castle and village from Ann Cleeves' vivid descriptions.

I've never watched Vera on TV but I'm aware of the character played by Brenda Blethyn so it was Brenda's Vera that I imagined.  However, even if I hadn't been aware of the show I would still have been able to imagine Vera as she virtually leaps out of the page with her scruffy clothes and battered old Land Rover.  All of the characters are portrayed vividly and I particularly liked the competition in Vera's team between Holly and Vera's clear favourite Joe.

The murder plot is stunning and completely unpredictable as everyone is a suspect.  I loved the reunion story about the group of school friends who visit Holy Island every five years, although their numbers are depleting.  Is there a killer in their midst?  Vera will find out, don't you worry about that.

I don't think I can even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed The Rising Tide.  It's certainly made me want to read all of the Vera books and to encourage a reader to discover an already well-established series is no mean feat.  There's not many books that make me gasp out loud these days, but Ann Cleeves managed to shock me into an audible gasp in The Rising Tide.  

Gripping, entertaining and atmospheric, The Rising Tide is sublimely plotted and flawlessly written.  Eh pet, it's great!  Divvent miss it like!

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

ANN CLEEVES is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetland and ITV's The Long Call respectively. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide. 2022 marks 30 years of publishing with Pan Macmillan.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann also spends her time advocating for reading to improve health and wellbeing and supporting access to books. In 2021 her Reading for Wellbeing project launched with local authorities across the North East. She lives in Northumberland where the Vera books are set. You can find Ann on Twitter and Facebook @AnnCleeves.

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