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Summary

Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines to complete an environmental survey. 

Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman hiding plenty of her own secrets. 

Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide - a verdict Rachael refuses to accept. 

When another death occurs, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope enters the picture....

©1999 Ann Cleeves (P)2018 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    79
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    40
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    17
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    3
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Performance

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    5
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mrs
  • COWES, United Kingdom
  • 17-08-18

Excellent story as always from Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is always brilliant at weaving together a plot and I didn’t guess the murderer.
As often happens the overall rating is let down by the reader. Although the voice of Vera was okay, the voices of all the other female characters sounded like five year olds. Fortunately, Ann Cleeves’ descriptions and dialogues gave me a sense of their true characters.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

took a while to get into.

i was not to keen on the narration and it got off to a slow start. When Vera entered in part 2 it picked up pace. as ever a great ending.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Spoils

Good storyline spooky by dreadful reading. Voices are all wrong: women too twee and weak and men with unbelievable accents and unconvincing voices.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring. Dreadful Narration.

The lead in to the main landscape of the story was far too long, and incredible tedious. The Narrator would be more suited to a childrens' book. I stuck with it, but it was a credit wasted.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K Levan
  • Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire United Kingdom
  • 21-08-18

Irritating narrator

I can't help thinking that a better narrator might have made this story easier to follow or even believable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Awful

Usually a big fan of Ann Cleeves but this was irrirating piffle . Annoying voices and I kept losing my place and rewinding which I never do ! Waste of a credit .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A good reading

It was a good book. Took along time to get into as I had expected Vera to be in it from the start but she only turned up at least 1/2 way through. Interesting plot and didn't get who done it either.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another amazing Vera Stanhope book

I have worked backwards in this series so there are a few editing issues which stand out, the first being the description of Hector’s house on the moors which doesn’t tally with the other books. The narrator grated, she has a wishy washy girly voice for too many characters, although in my opinion using it for one would have been one too many. Vera and the police team are not brought it to the plot till late on and I feel that wasn’t a good move. Up till then you get the three time lines up to the murder from the perspective of the the three women who are doing the field work. There’s
too much repetition, the characters aren’t all that likeable and the only one that was mildly interesting was Grace as you delve back in to her childhood. It is only when Vera’s team come in to the plot that there’s anyone that you feel inclined to root for and who starts moving things forward positively. As such it felt like the book was split in two, one where I was getting annoyed, losing interested and considering returning and one where I was gripped and trying to solve the crime (I didn’t).
I would recommend this book, it’s not like the other Vera books in its layout but stick with it and you will not be disappointed

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Oh so boring

Got to chapter 10 before deciding enough is enough, so slow and oh so boring. I really enjoyed ‘Silent Voices’ and so persevered through tedious detail of the first characters life and work. Got to the second death when I expected Vera Stanhope to arrive on the scene and we flip back in time to yet another tedious troll through a second characters life.
Insomniacs might get some benefit from this, for me it’s goodnight Vienna

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Published 1999 as a book

As the first book in the Vera series, The Crow Trap, had me spellbound, concentrating on every word in the text, in the hope that I could find the perpetrator of the crime/s. It seems to me, that that this is a good, first book. The Moth Catcher, published in 2015, is my favourite in the Vera series. Perhaps Ann Cleeves handles the crime genre more successfully in later books but The Crow Trap was just as enjoyable to listen to. Janine Birkett gives good voices to the female characters, especially to Vera and Edie.