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review 2019-04-07 15:29
Flow was Up and Down and the Beginning Was Boring
Telling Tales - Ann Cleeves

Not too much to say about this one. It was fine. I was bored though for the first 1/3 until we get Vera interacting with characters. Any time Cleeves away from her I found myself bored. The ending was very good though and a surprise. I liked how it was wrapped up.


"Telling Tales" takes a very long time to get moving. We start off with a young housewife, Emma Bennett who sits around having fantasies about the local potter, Dan. Things change one day when her husband James comes home on the news that the woman (Jeanie Long) who went to jail for murdering her best friend (Abigail Mantel)10 years ago has committed suicide. And to make things even worse, it appears that Jeanie didn't do it. Enter Vera and Joe who have been asked to look into this case and figure out who the first investigation got things wrong. This leads to Vera turning over some rocks and bringing things that haven't been said or thought of in a very long time to light.


Emma is a drip. She lives in a fantasy world and has daydreams of having an affair, but stands by her husband even if she finds him less exciting. It seems at times that maybe Emma is suffering from post-partum. She also has a huge issue with her parents. We find out that Emma's father was a very successful architect, but one day suddenly quit his job, and moved his family to the village of Elvet where he focuses on being a probation officer as well as making religion more of a focus of their family life.


Emma's husband and brother are both harboring secrets, though Emma's brother Chris has an obsession with Abigail and can't seem to move on from her murder.

We also follow Jeanie's father who is a broken man after realizing that his daughter was innocent and he didn't see her or defend her. He and Vera end up making an unlikely friendship I thought with him doing what he could to help her out on the case, and Vera trying to not get too irritated with him.

We also follow up with the original investigator and another officer on the case and we find out how their lives changed too. 


I thought the writing and dialogue got much better when Vera was on the scene. We have people reacting to her and her questions. Cleeves also does a great job with Vera and how she systemically picks things apart. We get some reveals I wasn't expecting and thought they were greatly done.

The flow though was not good. The first part of the book drags beyond belief. It was hard to get into and then things picked up. I think jumping from person to person didn't help.

The setting of Elvet seems a lonely and desolate place. Emma's parent's home seems cold and empty which was a perfect metaphor for what was going on with a lot of people.

The ending was a surprise, and I did wonder about the fallout for certain characters. I wonder if Cleeves ever mentions characters again in future works. 

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text 2019-04-06 21:29
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Telling Tales - Ann Cleeves

Honestly the Vera books drag a lot. She tends to come in on the second act.


The writing is very good, but the flow in these books is awful. I kept muttering hurry up after I got to the 50 percent point. I don't know if it just going from Vera and back to other people is the issue or what. Any scene she is in sparkles so i was happy to read those. Anytime she's not in a scene I just found myself not caring much. 


It was nice though that the tv series changed up things. So even if you watched the Vera series, enough is changed about the who and why that made this fun to read. 


I just don't know if I will continue with trying to finish these or not.

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review 2015-09-03 01:43
*finishes Telling tales & fans self*
Telling Tales - Charlotte Stein

I was told to read this because it was "hot and dirty". Which is true. It had a lot more heart than I was expecting. But yeah, def hot and dirty. In all the best ways.

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review 2014-07-27 01:24
Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein Review
Telling Tales - Charlotte Stein

Back in college, Allie and her friends used to come up with the wildest stories. When a professor bequeaths his mansion to Allie and three other former students, it's the chance they've all been looking for to get back together. But there's more than friendship bubbling beneath the surface...


As secrets are revealed and relationships rekindled, the stories get dirtier and the stakes get higher. And now Allie's realizes that she isn't quite sure who she wants...fun-loving Wade or quiet, restrained Cameron. Neither has been honest about their feelings, and now they have the chance to act on all of the tales that ignite their most primal desires.






I am a huge Charlotte Stein fan but this one just didn't work for me. It just didn't make the emotional connection that her romances do for me.  It is still very fun and erotic.

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review 2014-05-05 00:44
Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein
Telling Tales - Charlotte Stein
  At first I was not sure where this book was going.  After getting into the story I realized it was four friends getting back together after being left a house by their late professor.  During their reunion they have to relearn who each other is but more importantly they have to learn what is true and what is a wish.  There are some hard lessons to learn.  What is even harder is when they must unlearn their misconceptions and discover the truth that was always there but they were afraid to admit it or accept it.  I like the interactions between the characters even the emotionally painful ones.  I also liked the ending.
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