I grew up on British mysteries and was excited to read this first novel in a new series by Cleeves. I was a bit surprised to find Inspector Venn was a gay fellow, although the relationship to his husband was handled well. Venn was not a character who captured my interest. He did his investigative job but almost in a slowly methodical and uninteresting way. I pay attention when an author has the main character of the opposite sex. In this case, I think it made a difference in the development of Venn.
The plot was complex. There were lots of characters and I am not sure all of them were essential to the plot. I sometimes felt Cleeves was trying to convey comments on too many social issues, making the plot drag.
This is the first of Cleeves' novels I have read. I doubt I will seek out others by her.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
Ann Cleeves is the author of several award-winning novels. Two of her series have been made into TV dramas.
Minotaur Books, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.