“The Seagull is a searing new novel by Sunday Times bestselling author Ann Cleeves, about corruption deep in the heart of a community, and fragile, and fracturing, family relationships.”
From Ann Cleeves, winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger Award, comes The Seagull.
A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a key part in his downfall.
Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead, and that his body is buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.
This cold case case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were close friends of Hector, her father. Together, they were the ‘Gang of Four’, regulars at a glamorous nightclub called The Seagull. Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive. As the past begins to collide dangerously with the present, Vera confronts her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth . . .
This is the eighth book in the DI Vera Stanhope mysteries from Ann Cleeves. I have read several of the series and, for me, The Seagull is the most engrossing and the one I have most enjoyed reading. It flows well and brings back all the characters we have come to know alongside Vera.
Whilst this is a story in which Vera and her team are trying to resolve more than one murder it is not gory but a well told tale of detection. It brings with it the human side of life lived in the shady areas of prostitution, drugs and organised crime rather than the gritty side but nor does it allow you to bury your head in the ground of how difficult and dangerous these worlds can be. Rather this is a book that concentrates on resolving the crimes through solid police work and detection.
Vera is a wonderful character and is most certainly central to unravelling the mystery, especially as this one involved her father Hector, and solving the crimes but the rest of the team – Joe, Holly and Charlie – play their part. It brings us more of Vera’s history, touching so much on the past – her mother, neighbours old and new and Hector who, despite his criminal activities, Vera staunchly protects the memory of. Is she right to now that he may be linked to murder?
Well written and engaging I am happy to recommend this book.
This book, in the form of an e-galley, was made available via NetGalley from St Martins Press for an honest review. My thanks to them both.
PanMacMillan|Minotaur Books|St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250124869|416 Pages
Publish date: 05 Sept 2017 (US and UK)|Available Editions: Hardcover
Ann Cleeves biography
Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty 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 and Jimmy Perez who can now be found on television in ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide.
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 is also a passionate champion for libraries and was a National Libraries Day Ambassador in 2016. Ann lives in North Tyneside near where the Vera books are set.
Check out: Ann Cleeves
A place to share my love of books, old and new
Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...
Book reviews by someone who loves books ...
"Vivre le livre!"
Book Reviews & More
Life is too short to read books you don't love
The Welsh Crime Writing Collective
Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading
a classics club blog
"I love the smell of book ink in the morning." Umberto Eco
The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!
Musings about books and a blog journal
...a crime-fictional site
A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!
A book lover writes about this, that and the other
A Community of Classics Lovers
Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction
Murder Down To A Tea
Criminally good reads
Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Challenge
One Girl, Too Many Books
Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger
Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions
Read All About It
No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.
Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting
For book lovers everywhere
Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff
And for summer days
Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections
All things bookish.
Traveling together through books. Join us on our adventures through the books we read
Escaping reality one book at a time
Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books
Reader | Writer | Blogger
Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.
The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations
A book blog with a speculative focus
Reading under the light of a Carolina moon
Each night I TRAVEL THE WORLD, I LIVE IN THE MIND OF KILLERS AND WALK AT THE SIDE OF HEROES