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review 2018-05-30 15:39
Dragged Too Much with Very Little Vera
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1) - Ann Cleeves

What a drag this book was! I have fallen in love with the tv series starring Brenda Blethyn and I was so excited to start a new mystery series. Now of course I am wondering if I should even bother with the second book in the series, "Telling Tales." As other reviews have noted, Vera doesn't even show up in this book til the 40 percent mark (Kindle version) and then we don't even get a Vera POV until I think it was around the 75 percent mark. Instead we focus on three women and go back and forth between two of the women (after one of them is murdered). I have to say the final reveal of who is behind the murders that popped up in this book and why were a bit hard to take. I didn't feel like any of the characters were very well developed besides the three women the book decides to focus the most on anyway. 

 

"The Crow Trap" follows three women: Rachel, Anne, and Grace. These three women are in Northumberland in order to do an environmental survey. There is a possibly quarry that may be built and there are sides for it and against it. When a local farmer's wife commits suicide, it seems to be the catalyst that causes everyone else to realize that maybe something else is going on here. When one of these three women is found murdered, DI Vera Stanhope appears on scene and decides to lay a trap to catch the murderer. 

 

Eh if I have to pick one woman that didn't drive me up the wall, it would be no one. Seriously. Rachel was aggravating, Anne and her personal life..yikes. And Grace's was the most interesting to me, but I honestly had a hard time with that character cause we pretty much skipped over why she was on the survey team until almost the end. I didn't get it myself based on what we found out about her and her real family since it didn't feel like something her father would really care about. It just came out of nowhere. 

 

Vera was a loudmouth who I had to question her intelligence at times. She didn't seem that bright until the book pivoted to her POV. And even then...just a bit uncouth. I don't know. She is not acting how the tv show Vera acts. There seems to be no subtlety at all.

 

There are other characters in this one, but I refuse to go back and look them up. I just didn't find them that intriguing. 

 

The writing was okay, this book was way too long. The flow as up and down. Going from Rachel, Anne, and Grace and showcasing the same timeline via different POVs made me want to pull my hair out. I started to become bored while reading this. Rachel deciding to investigate with Vera's blessing/derision wasn't much help either. You start to wonder what is going on and how is it all connected. 

 

The ending didn't make a lot of sense to me. I felt like it just came out of nowhere. I had to re-read that part a few times to even get the gist of what is happening. And you don't even get a good sense of closure. The book just abruptly ends.  

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text 2018-05-26 13:54
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1) - Ann Cleeves

Ehhh this dragged on for ages it felt like. I also didn’t really like the character of Vera and the ending was a bit far-fetched to me.

 

The fact that it took til the 40 percent mark for Vera to even show was hard to take. And even then we didn’t get her POV until around the 75 percent mark.

 

The three women: Rachel, Anne, and Grace would have been interesting in separate books. Having to read the same timeline with three different characters made the book drag. Grace’s story was set up a bit different, but even that dragged. One of these women end up dead and once it’s revealed in the first POV it made the two that came after her feel unnecessary. The author should have maybe hidden the identity of the dead woman til Vera showed up.

 

Full review to follow!

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review 2018-05-25 18:43
Review of Rockets' Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon
Rockets' Dead Glare (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

South Cove’s businesses are upset after volunteer fire chief Barry Gleason threatens to shut down anyone who doesn't fix any fire code violations he sites them for even some that he has made up. When Barry schedules a training burn in an old abandoned barn, he's the only one who doesn't come out alive. Jill Gardner the owner of Coffee, Books, and More smells murder in the ashes.

Even though this was a novella it didn't leave out anything that you get from the regular books of the series. We get a well written mystery full of twists and turns and a surprising conclusion. All the characters are well developed and well written it feels like you're just dropping by for a quick visit with some old friends. I like that Jill's boyfriend Greg who is the police chief doesn't get to mad at her for investigating like he does in some of the other books. I also liked that Greg let Jill explain her theory of who the murderer was and how they had committed the crime instead of ignoring her and her theory.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Kensington Books for my honest review of the book.

View all my reviews

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text 2018-05-25 15:34
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1) - Ann Cleeves

Just okay the resolution didn’t make much sense.

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text 2018-05-25 13:27
Reading progress update: I've read 81%.
The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1) - Ann Cleeves

This book feels endless. We get three POVs going over the same timeline and we don’t see Vera til the 41 percent mark. The book has now shifted to Vera’s POV.

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