Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleves


I was already familiar with Vera Stanhope from the British drama series, "Vera," but I had never read the books upon which the series was based.  I have to admit that the book added a lot of color and internal dialogue to the character that the screen cannot adequately replicate (although it comes very close!). 

In The Rising Tide, a group of friends has gathered for their every 5-year reunion that had been going on for decades. The gathering had always been shadowed by a tragedy that had occurred at the inaugural meeting as teenagers, but those events came into sharper focus when one of their members was found dead by apparent suicide. Vera does not take facts at face value and begins questioning the determination. Her suspicions prove true that there is more to the victim's death than was first believed and so begins the arduous task of not only unraveling the events of this year's get-together but also trying to make sense of the death that bonded them all together in an alarming way so many years prior. Someone within the group has been hanging onto a deadly secret and Vera intends to find out who.

The depth of character development in the books is amazing. The author is a master of creating mood and setting to create a mysterious, foreboding atmosphere. With details slowly unfolding, the reader goes on a wild ride, always wondering and guessing who may have committed the crime. Cleves lays out snippets of clues like a trail of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow, unaware of the dangers that await the characters along the way.

I really enjoyed learning more about Vera's life and what made her tick throughout the book. I highly recommend the audio version to be fully immersed in the British flavor. Narrator Janine Birkett did an exceptional job with perfect elocution and variation in voices with masterful rhythm and timbre. If you enjoy a cerebral mystery and an intricately woven backstory, then you will love The Rising Tide!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of The Rising Tide audiobook from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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