In Ann Cleeves’ 10th Vera Stanhope mystery, The Rising Tide, the same group of friends have been meeting regularly for the last fifty years. They reunite at Holy Island off the coast in Northumberland —a place connected to the mainland by a causeway that is covered twice a day by the tide. They are there to celebrate the school trip where they all first met as teens and to remember the friend that they lost to those same deadly tidewaters at their first reunion.
In present day, on their first morning together, one from their group is found hanged. Rick Kelsall, a local celebrity and former journalist who was recently fired due to sexual assault complaints, is suspected to have committed suicide. When Northumberland Inspector Vera Stanhope is called in, she immediately suspects foul play and is more than a little delighted when she learns that the man has been murdered after all.
Vera’s team, family man Sergeant Joe Ashworth and Constable Holly Clarke join her as Vera leans there is more to the story than she thought. Soon, another member of the schoolmates has been killed and things get even more complex when Vera learns that the group has ties to her own Police Chief Commissioner Katherine Willmore. Vera, tenacious, intuitive and often underestimated, will get the killer, even if it’s one of her own.
Purists will want to start with book 1, The Crow Trap, but otherwise, don’t be afraid to jump right in with this latest entry in an award-winning police procedural series. With its atmospheric setting with its dangers of the rising tide, a complex plot filled with twists and turns and an absolute shocker of an ending that left me speechless, The Rising Tide is not to be missed.