The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves

I have been an avid fan of this series since the beginning, and The Rising Tide does not disappoint. Since the advent of the TV series, it is impossible to read the Vera books without thinking of the character as she is so excellently portrayed by Brenda Blethyn – they are now inextricably linked in my mind. A group that first came on a school trip over fifty years ago, and have been coming back every five years since then, has arrived for their regular reunion on Holy Island. There are only five of them now and this may be the last time. When one of them is discovered hanging in their room, Vera and her team are called in.

As the island is cut off from the mainland when the causeway is flooded, this isolation narrows down the list of possible suspects, but also makes it much more difficult to conduct an investigation. It is very different from Vera’s usual cases which take place in and around Newcastle. There is a lot of backstory to unravel, red herrings and false trails to rule out before Vera can uncover the truth. The unique claustrophobic atmosphere of Holy Island makes an excellent setting for this detective novel. The characters are well written and believable, but I had no clue who the guilty party was until the very end. This series just goes from strength to strength and I look forward to reading the next book. Thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.