The Seagull Book Review

The Seagull Book Review

Title: The Seagull
Author: Ann Cleeves
Published: September 7, 2017, Macmillan
No. of Pages: 416
Cover Price: $18.00 Hardcover, $12.99 Kindle

The Seagull is the eighth installment in the Vera Stanhope series by award-winning author, Ann Cleeves. Set in England, Vera visits a local prison to give a speech, and meets with a former detective superintendant, John Brace, who is an inmate serving time for corruption and his role in the death of a gamekeeper. Vera was the one who ultimately got him sent to prison, and she is surprised when he wants her to take care of his daughter and granddaughter in exchange for information leading to solving a cold missing person case. When Vera holds up her end of the bargain and reaches out to Brace’s daughter, he gives information on where Robbie Marshall was buried over 20 years before. As she and her team uncover Marshall’s skeleton, they are surprised to find a second skeleton in the same spot. They must identify the second skeleton and find who murdered both.

One thing that is refreshing about Cleeve’s character, Vera Stanhope, is that she is not thin and gorgeous like most of the main characters starring in modern thriller series. Actually, Vera is frumpy, overweight, and not at all attractive. She is, however, very clever, and able to read between the lines. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and her father wasn’t the most upstanding citizen around. In fact, he was a member of a notorious gang, the “Gang of Four” who hung out at The Seagull, a posh nightclub, which burned down years before. Since her father, Hector, was one of the last persons to see Marshall alive, it occurs to her that he may have been the murderer.

Suspense builds from the beginning of the book, and doesn’t stop until the dénouement when readers find out what actually happened so long ago.

The Seagull is well-written, and the characters are well-developed. The setting is quite charming, and readers will be able to see the surroundings and setting in their mind’s eyes. Reading this excellent novel will tempt readers to go back and read the previous books from the Vera Stanhope series, and anticipate the subsequent novels that will be released.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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