31 December 2023

Review: THE RAGING STORM, Ann Cleeves

  •  this edition made available by my local library
  • #3 in the Two Rivers series
  • published 2023 Pan Macmillan
  • ISBN 978-1-5290-7770-4
  • 383 pages

Synopsis (publisher)

When Jem Rosco - sailor, adventurer and legend - blows in to the local pub, The Maiden's Prayer, in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone are delighted.

The whole place has a strange, unreal quality: the village that time forgot. Backed by a worked-out quarry, with a shingle beach and a north-facing quay, there's little to recommend it to tourists.

When Rosco disappears again, they think nothing of it; that's the sort of man he is. Until the lifeboat is launched to a hoax call-out and his body is found in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.

This is an uncomfortable case for Venn. Greystone is a stronghold of the Barum Brethren and he came here as a child. Faith and superstition mix as another body is found in Scully, and Matthew finds his judgement clouded.

The wind continues to howl, and he realizes that his own life is in danger. 

My Take

The setting is a rather unlovely village in coastal Devon but one which Matthew Venn is familiar with.  The story begins with the arrival of a sailing legend and adventurer cum TV personality who momentarily put the village on the map. But the villagers have mixed feelings about him. Then he disappears and turns up dead and the detectives arrive.

The background, and why anyone would want to murder Jem Rosco takes a lot of discovering. The weather is wild and the going is slow. The village is struggling to survive, but at the same time incomers are treated with suspicion.

Part of the narrative focuses on how anxious the detectives are to please their boss Matthew Venn, and at the same time on the things that niggle them about each other.

I seem to have missed reading THE HERON'S CRY, #2 in this series.

My rating: 4.8

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