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Summary

Life seems perfect in Valley Farm, a quiet community in Northumberland. Until a shocking discovery. The owners of a big country house have employed a young ecologist named Patrick to look after the place while they're away. But Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley.

DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene with her colleagues. When they look round the attic of the house - where Patrick has a flat - she finds a second body. All the two victims have in common is a fascination with moths.

As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realises that there may be deadly secrets trapped here....

©2015 Ann Cleeves (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    301
  • 4 Stars
    207
  • 3 Stars
    92
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    302
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    177
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    52
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    25
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    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    180
  • 3 Stars
    85
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Way too introspective

Original plot, nice twist at the end but very repetitive and (dare I say it), plodding. The characters seem to spend as much time contemplating their navels as trying to solve the crimes. I won't be reading another.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Brilliant as always....

I really enjoyed all.of the twists and turns in this one. There had to be a link, but it was well hidden until the end.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Great Book

A great story with plenty of twists and turns.

I found the narration at times a little inconsistent with certain characters but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Good story, structure and accents but . . .

Really enjoyed the story and pace kept lively for most of the time. Enjoyed the accents too. However, it was read in a tone too much like a children's story, almost patronising, which was a shame.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

Great story

Super story which I enjoyed immensely. However, some of the accents were a bit off putting but being a geordie I can tell some of them were not quite right! Didn't stop me listening though.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Slow story and dreadful narration!

I've enjoyed Ann Cleeves' Shetland stories very much so thought I'd give the Vera stories a try. This is my first attempt. I've made it to Chapter 6 but just can't take any more and it will have to be returned.

My main problem is with the narration. The narration parts, which I assume are in the reader's normal accent, are delivered in the fashion of reading to toddlers. When it comes to the characters' accents, the narrator seems to me to over-emphasise words to such an extent that the timing is slowed down and very odd. I have Northumbrian roots myself so have no problem with that accent - but to me this reading made it sound like the characters were simple or had speech defects.

Unfortunately, whilst the story line seems promising, the pace is slow and so it was too tedious to overcome the narration problem. I think this series may be better read than listened to.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

Sad

Great story, lovely twists but the reader is terrible, she is almost ok with the female characters but the male characters are truly awful Its like a child pretending to be a grown up and in the end I gave up and bought the the physical book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Not great

I'm a big fan of Vera, and Ann Cleeves usually provides us with a tightly woven story to showcase the eccentric cop with a big but well disguised heart. This, however is not one of her best efforts. Not helped by the narration, which is distractingly poor. I enjoyed it just enough to keep me listening but no more. It's not really a 3 star, more like a 2.5, but ratings aren't that sensitive.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JPH
  • Hertfordshire
  • 03-02-18

The art of misdirection!

A good crime mystery, but the story was a little slow paced. The three main couples seemed very alike and it was difficult to distinguish between them.

Ann Cleeves has the art of misdirection as the listener is lead along one path throughout and you're trying to figure out who is responsible for the murders, but then right at the end there's a very sharp turn and all of a sudden a new scenario is introduced and the murderer is revealed which I didn't see coming...

Once you get over/use to the sing song "listen with mother" narration Janine Birkett does some very good accents and voice characterisations and there are quite a variety of those... I'm however not fond of the voice she uses for Joe as it seems too much like a caricature.

Not one of the Best Vera stories but well worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Better than Brenda Blethyn!

Brilliant narration and the development of character of Vera much softer and more likeable than the TV version. Really interesting story- hard to stop listening. Highly recommend!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eveline Howells
  • 08-10-16

the Moth Catchers

Excellent writer Anne Cleaves. Vera Stanhope her main Character is very different . The reader does a fantastic job, with a very difficult accent from Northern England. This is now a TV series and it is very well done.
Can't wait to get into the next book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cynthia
  • 03-06-16

Narrator should be reading children stories.

This is a mystery story, not a light or funny novel. The narrator reads it like a fairy tale, no gravitas at all. It clashes with the scenes being depicted. One gets the impression one is listening in at childs' library afternoon. And yet the words are at odds with the cheerful performance.

In addition few of the main characters are at all likeable; steeped in self - pity and sneering envy. I DON'T recommend this series at all and certainly not read by this narrator..