A silent community. A murderer among them . . .
As the snow falls in Newcastle, Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie travel home on the busy Metro. When the train stops unexpectedly due to bad weather, Jessie notices that one woman doesn’t leave and when trying to wake her they find that the passenger has been fatally stabbed.
With no witnesses DI Vera Stanhope looks into the victim’s past and discovers she lived for years on Harbour Street, in a rundown Northumberland fishing town. As she questions the local residents Vera begins to suspect they know more than they are letting on, and the killer is hiding in their midst.
This is the third Vera Stanhope investigation I have read, although it is the 6th in the series. After Detective Joe Ashworth’s daughter discovers a body, he and Vera must follow up the story of Margaret, the attractive older woman who has been murdered, going to Mardle, the fishing town where she had lived for many years. They find that she stayed in the attic room of a b and b run by a once successful singing star, Kate Dewar. Kate allowed Margaret to stay, rent free, in return for help running the business. Kate’s life has recently improved as a result of a new relationship with a Music teacher at the school her teenage children attend.
Margaret spent time helping out at a women’s refuge outside the town and when a former resident of the home is also murdered, Vera looks deeper into Margaret’s past. Vera is making an effort to encourage Holly, her new detective while Joe feels personally involved since his daughter Jess found the body on the Metro. Looking at the suspects through the eyes of each detective in turn makes the story particularly complex. There are several suspects, each hiding secrets and there is a depressing, haunted feel about the town. I was surprised by the final chapter but enjoyed this book even more than previous volumes. Another great read from Ann Cleeves.
Harbour Street on Amazon UK
My review of The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves