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The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Cleeves
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The Crow Trap is the first book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series – which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, VERA.

Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal . . .

Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets.

Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael refuses to accept.

When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture – the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope . . .

Also available in the Vera Stanhope series are Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices and The Glass Room. Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series (BBC television drama SHETLAND) contains five titles, of which Dead Water is the most recent.



Product Description

Book Description

Betrayal can be deadly . . .

Book Description

The Crow Trap is the first book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series – which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, VERA. Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey. Three women who each know the meaning of betrayal . . . Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. And then there is Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, hiding plenty of her own secrets. Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael refuses to accept. When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture – the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope . . . Also available in the Vera Stanhope series are Telling Tales, Hidden Depths, Silent Voices and The Glass Room. Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series (BBC television drama SHETLAND) contains five titles, of which Dead Water is the most recent.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 500 KB
  • Print Length: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (4 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GKLXTW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (256 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ann Cleeves worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of 'Murder Squad', working with other northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black . Ann lives in North Tyneside. Her Vera Stanhope series is currently being turned into a major ITV production to be released in Autumn 2010.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By BobH
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
‘The Crow Trap’ (1999) by Ann Cleeves is the first novel I’ve read by that author and I was highly impressed. The first half reminded me of classic novels such as ‘The Moonstone’ (Wilkie Collins) and various 18th century epistolary novels (e.g.’Humphrey Clinker’ by Tobias Smollett) in which the reader discovers characters through each other’s eyes. In effect, this part of the work is kaleidoscopic.
It opens with the suicide of Bella Davison (but is that her name?) and the subsequent meeting of her work associates Rachael, Anne and Grace. I’d been drawn to the book by the TV series ‘Vera’ and instantly recognised my heroine in an uncredited appearance at a funeral on P.62 – ‘...a woman in her fifties, The first impression was of a bag lady, who’d wandered in from the street. She had a large leather satchel slung across her shoulder and a supermarket carrier bag in one hand. Her face was grey and blotched. She wore a knee-length skirt and a long cardigan weighed down at the front by the pockets. Her legs were bare. Yet she carried off the situation with such confidence and aplomb that they all believed that she had right to be there.’ She appears, tweaks the reader’s interest and disappears, like so much else in the book. She also, like Christie’s Poirot, has a deplorable tendency to eavesdrop; for Poirot this had been a point of criticism and I’m tempted to see it as a weakness in this book.
The lives and backgrounds of Rachael, Anne Preece and Grace Fulwell are described over the first 220 pages with Grace’s death mentioned on P. 81 but ‘murder’ isn’t specified till P. 231 - just after the arrival Inspector Vera Stanhope who thereafter dominates the book, even though for much of the time she’s ‘off-stage’.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Vera burst into the literary scenes back in 1999 and both she and her creator Ann Cleeves have put the North East of England firmly on the literary map.

Set mainly in the remote landscape of the North Pennines, three very different women come together to complete an environmental survey.

They are to stay at a local cottage and live together whilst their work is completed. But each of the woman comes with more baggage that than which contains their soil collecting samples and landscaping equipment.

Each has a link to the land in some way and a personal search for answers of some sort. The land is of interest to a local quarry business and the local farm is at the centre of the area being studied.

But what Rachel finds there on arrival shocks her to the core and reveals a deep seated mine of intrigue and ultimately murder.

Cue Vera and her acerbic wit and investigative style – this is a Northern detective with a harsh exterior but a softer centre – just don’t underestimate her that’s all we’re saying. This is her patch and she is after the truth…..

In the Crow Trap, we head over the North Pennines for the windswept and desolate moors, but not before visiting the stunning sights of Northumberland such as the Wooler, RAF Boulmer , Kimmerston and the stunning surroundings of this beautiful part of the world

For this is where three women have gathered in order to carry out an environmental study. But it turns out that the environment is not really what they are concerned with and that they each separately have reasons for being there and secrets that they are careful to keep hidden.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startlingly good! 20 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback
Ann Cleeves has a great sense of timing - she builds her narrative steadily, ratcheting up the tension so you hardly notice just how involved you've become with the characters and their dilemmas . Fantastic character portraits (particularly that of Anne) keep the large cast distinct. The story is clever, plausible and really very satisfying. Ultimately, the reason the characters, places and story are so vivid is because of her use of language: she uses words with precision and confidence. Pan Macmillan - reprint this book!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great 24 Jan. 2011
By hbw VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"God save me from forceful women", says DS Joe Ashworth at one point. This throwaway remark catches the essence of the book.

The story revolves around three women who are camped out in an isolated cottage whilst they carry out an environmental survey on the site of a proposed quarry. It opens with the suicide of a fourth woman, Bella. The official explanation is that Bella was unable to cope with the strain of caring for her sick husband. Her friend Rachel isn't convinced - Bella was a strong woman - and sets out to investigate.

Suicide isn't a police matter and so, although this is badged as "A Vera Stanhope Novel", the formidable Detective Inspector doesn't enter the story properly until half way through, after the first murder. Is this linked to the quarry development or the victim's past?

As "The Crow Trap" progresses, we learn how the past and present experiences of the women whose lives (and deaths) have somehow become interlinked with the cottage and the surrounding countryside. The excellently crafted and largely plausible plot reminded me at times of Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell), although Cleeves is less psychologically disturbing and I thought that the final piece in the jigsaw was a bit contrived.

Cleeves doesn't go in for long descriptive passages, but evokes a scene or a character through in a few well-chosen appeals to all the senses; the colour of a curtain or the texture of a face. She also makes extensive use of dialogue, reflecting DI Stanhope's philosophy that crimes are as likely to be solved by listening to gossip as by forensic analysis.

"The Crow Trap" isn't in the first division of detective literature but it's a good page turner that invites you to form your own theories and keeps you guessing until the very end. Vera Stanhope is a wonderful character and I'm looking forward to seeing how she develops in later novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good who done it
Good book but very slow to get into story
Published 4 days ago by Stu
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent book, despatched & delivered promptly
Published 8 days ago by Lynette Timmins
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as polished as later books in the series
Having watched (and enjoyed) the 'Vera' series on TV, I decided to give the books a try and started with Harbour Street - having enjoyed this I went back to the start of the Vera... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Lucky Luke
1.0 out of 5 stars What plot
I have read quite a few books so far this year and this is just about the worst . Several reviewers mention the plot , I don't think this book has a plot it just rambles from... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I decided to read a " Vera " book following my enjoyment of the TV series. This book is quite good and held me throughout. Read more
Published 10 days ago by James 7
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I enjoyed this book, but it was quite slow paced. I preferred the later books in the series. Worth a read though, with a good twist at the end.
Published 12 days ago by Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
I must start by saying I'm a little biased because I love all these books but I really enjoyed this one. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Swayzek
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read.
a good read.......well up to her high standard
Published 14 days ago by m.w.brewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a while for Vera to arrive
However it provides a very satisfying backdrop to a story that comes together literally in the last few pages. Kept me guessing.
Published 14 days ago by J. A. Colledge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 18 days ago by Mrs. M. Jackson
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