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The Moth Catcher, Vera Stanhope #7, by Ann Cleeves


Yes, I am still on my Ann Cleeves banquet, reading all the Shetland and Vera Stanhope novels in one sitting. Only, with The Moth Catcher I am, I’m very sad to say, nearing the end of my imaginative journey.

This novel also has a TV episode based on it but, fortunately, I couldn’t remember it very well and was able to lose myself in this tale of a small, privileged group of retired people living in a development near a manor house near the English village of Gilswick. Socialising weekly, knowing the ins and outs of their current lives (but not their pasts), the group refer to themselves as the ‘retired hedonists’. When not one but two dead bodies are found near their development, questions arise that require the skills and nosiness of Vera to answer.

As Vera and her team of Holly, Joe and Charlie search for clues as to the killer’s identity, Vera quickly realises that whoever it is that murdered the two men hasn’t finished with death yet. Time is of the essence.

Once more, this is a fabulously paced and plotted work that really focusses on characters and setting, bringing this tight, closed world and the people who inhabit it to life. Vera, as usual, is a breath of fresh air in her honesty, self-reflection and also awareness of her own and her team’s strengths and weaknesses.

Another wonderful addition to a great series. Only one to go L

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