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The Rising Tide

By Ann Cleeves

Vera Stanhope #10

An Intriguing Murder Mystery with a Multitude of Suspects



A group of five aging friends have been meeting every five years on Holy Island off the Northumberland coast for the past 50 years. They reminisce and celebrate the school trip where they first met as teenagers at the Pilgrim’s House.  Tragedy followed at a reunion five years after they first started meeting when Isobel Hall, one of their friends, drowned in the rising tide on the causeway that leads to the island. Now a second member of this small group, journalist Rick Keisail has hung himself in his room on the reunion weekend.

Vera Stanhope D.I. and her team are called in to investigate and verify if it was a suicide.  After a quick review of the scene and much to her delight, Vera is sure that it’s a murder and not a suicide. Vera soon learns that Rick had recently been fired after allegations of sexual misconduct, although he had been very upbeat with his plan for the future on the weekend.  Vera is prepared to find out what the friends are hiding and whether the events of the past and present are connected.


THE RISING TIDE is a murder mystery with enough suspect twists to have your head spinning. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, adding to the drama.

Character development was good, but the story truly begins when Vera enters the Pilgrim House. She is quite the character and drives the story. She is more reminiscent of an overweight bag lady and not afraid of speaking her mind. Her self-assurance is admirable, and her manner of investigation is interesting. The more you read, the more intriguing the story gets.

The Rising Tide is the tenth book in the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves.  It was the first book by Anne Cleeves I have read.  Reading it as a stand-alone did not inhibit my enjoyment.

My favorite part of the book is the location.  Interestingly, the accessibility of Holy Island is totally dependent on the tides. The causeway to the island is totally inaccessible two times per day whenever the tide is high. This timing plays a  big role in the story.

The performance by narrator Janine Birkett was fair.  She uses tone, mood, and accents to distinguish characters. Her voice is a good match for the book. I could easily visualize Vera and the other characters in the book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this audiobook. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Publisher    Minotaur / Macmillian Audio

Published   September 6, 2022

Narrated     Janine Birkett

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