On my blog today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Ann Cleeves, The Rising Tide. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
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 . . .
I must admit, this is the first Vera novel I’ve read. I’ve watched and enjoyed the television series, but I’m always wary of starting a series several books in, without having read it from the beginning. But I needn’t have worried, The Rising Tide can easily be read as a standalone, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ann Cleeves has created an intriguing and well plotted case for Vera to get to grips with, and I wanted to find out what was going on, and who was responsible for the murder.
We meet a group of friends, who are traveling to Holy Island, off the Northeast coast of England, where they have met every few years to mark the anniversary of their first meeting when they were at school. Quite a few decades have passed now since they all first met. One of them, Rhys, is a minor celebrity, who’s career has stalled after a few scandals. And it’s Rhys, who’s body is found while they are on Holy Island for their anniversary. It’s also clear to see that there are a few people who have a grudge against him, and there are more than a few potential suspects. But Rhys isn’t the only dead body to soon be found.
It was fascinating to see how Vera gradually began to realise what was going on and who was behind the murders. I loved how Ann Cleeves portrayed her character and she was instantly likeable. I found it interesting how, having already watched the television series, to then seeing just how well Vera is portrayed on the screen, as I read one of the books for the first time.
I liked, in the beginning, how Ann Cleeves introduced us to each member of the group at the reunion on Holy Island, before Rhys’s murder takes place. Ann Cleeves doesn’t dive into the action right away but I still found the writing addictive nonetheless. It was interesting finding out more about who these people were, and you can begin to see their own opinions of each other.
Ann Cleeves draws on the setting of Holy Island so well. You get a sense of the danger, especially with the changing tide, which gives the setting a very atmospheric feeling. It is the perfect setting for a crime novel. One interesting fact I did learn from the book, is that Holy Island is one of the earliest sites where Christianity first appeared in Britain, it made me want to find out more about the setting.
I will definitely be catching up on the previous books I’ve missed in this series. Ann Cleeves is a brilliant writer. If you haven’t read this series yet, I would say that you’re definitely missing out. I really enjoyed it.
Publication date: 1st September 2022
Print length: 384 pages
The Rising Tide is available to buy:
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