October was a slow blogging month for me.


I haven’t blogged as frequently as I usually do so October has been a quiet month.  I’m sure November will be much busier.  I can’t believe how close we are getting to Christmas.  It has just sneaked up on me.

I have been doing a fair bit of reading recently so here are a few of the books I have read.

Hidden Depths

Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves.  Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have already posted about other books I have read by Ann.  You can find the posts at Crime in Shetland kept me guessing

Hidden Depths was not part of the Shetland quartet, of which I have written previously, this novel is set in Northumberland and Vera Stanhope is the detective.  Those of you who live in the UK will know of the series on television.   I thoroughly enjoyed the book so look forward to the television series as we haven’t had the series here in Australia. Here is a snippet of the series. 

From the cover:

A hot summer on the Northumberland coast, and Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers.

This stylized murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued. But then a second body – that of beautiful young teacher Lily Marsh – is discovered laid out in a rock pool, the water strewn with flowers. Now, Vera must work quickly to find this dramatist, this killer who is making art out of death.

Clues are slow to emerge from those who had known Luke and Lily, but Vera soon finds herself drawn towards the curious group of friends who discovered Lily’s body. What unites these four men and one woman? Are they really the close-knit, trustworthy unit they claim to be? As local residents are forced to share their private lives and those of their loved ones, sinister secrets are slowly unearthed.

And all the while the killer remains in their midst, waiting for an opportunity to prepare another beautiful, watery grave …

The second book is Raven Black, also by Ann Cleeves and this one is part of the Shetland Quartet which grew into a quintet!

Raven BlackI never seem to read books in the order of the series and this one is the first in the series.  I have read all the others.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference as this book is great as a stand alone. The book won The Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for the best crime fiction book of the year.

From the cover:

It is a cold January morning, and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter’s eye is drawn to a splash of colour on the frozen ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour, Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance.

The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man – loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when detective Jimmy Perez and his colleagues from the mainland insist on opening out the investigation, a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community.

For the first time in years, Catherine’s neighbours nervously lock their doors, whilst a killer lives on in their midst.

The final book for this post is The Sleeping and the Dead, you guessed it, also by Ann Cleeves.

The Sleeping and the Dead

The cover bite at the top is a bit misleading as this is not a Vera Stanhope novel. The detective in this book is Peter Porteous. This is a stand alone novel.

From the cover:

In this vivid psychological suspense novel, a diving instructor makes a gruesome discovery in Cranwell Lake – the body of a teenager who has clearly been in the water for many years.

Detective Peter Porteous is called to the scene. After trailing through the missing persons files, he deduces that the corpse is Michael Grey, an enigmatic and secretive young man who was reported missing by his foster parents in 1972.

As the police investigation gets under way in Cranwell, on the other side of the country prison officer Hannah Morton is about to get the shock of her life. For Michael was her boyfriend, and she was with him the night he disappeared.

The news report that a body has been found brings back dreaded and long buried memories from her past…

 I enjoyed this novel but didn’t feel myself warming to the character Peter Porteous, perhaps that is why there has only been the one book with this character as the detective.

If you need a new crime fiction author to follow, may I suggest Ann Cleeves, you won’t be disappointed.


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