Ann Cleeves` latest mystery casting DI Vera Stanhope is set in a cold and snowy pre-Christmas Newcastle. The followers of Vera Stanhope surely are familiar with all the investigating personnel and readily delve into the past of Margaret Krukowski, the old lady, who is stabbed to death in the metro. I cannot help the feeling, acclaimed crime writers of a certain age do nothing more lovingly than tell the stories of their youth in whodunnit disguise.
Ann Cleeves writes eloquently with a touch of old-fashioned language like “bairns”, or “pet” for anyone Vera interviews the first time.
Not surprisingly the solution for two murders is found in Margaret´s rather colourful past. Cleeves`murderer is defined by genetic shortcomings, a bit like Agatha Christie´s culprits, again an old-fashioned view of life and not very p.c. but convincing, nevertheless.