Hannah Morton is a single mum who works as a prison librarian; she lives with her teenage daughter Rosie, who will be going to university next year. But thirty years ago, Hannah's boyfriend went missing and now he's turned up again, dead at the bottom of a lake with a chain around his ankles. Ann Cleeves, in this latest offering, gives us everything required of a good crime novel. The plotting is tense and intricate and the characterization, especially of Hannah and Rosie, is rivetting. Add to that a conscious avoidence of cliche and a narrative approach which makes this author a stylist of distinction, and you will begin to understand why I found it very difficult to put this book down. The Sleeping and the Dead is as good as British crime writing gets, and that includes all-comers, old and young on the contemporary scene. Buy it now. You won't be disappointed.