The Woman on the Island by Ann Cleeves

Today I am sharing my thoughts on The Woman On The Island, a Vera Stanhope short story from Ann Cleeves. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 07 July 2022
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

About the Book

Ann Cleeves returns with a delicious short story featuring DCI Vera Stanhope.

Set before The Rising Tide, Vera goes on a day trip to Holy Island, eager to escape the pressures of work. When there she is reminded of the day decades earlier when she, as a teenager, went with her father Hector on another day trip, and the mystery woman he met there . . .

Vera already knew then that Hector kept secrets, but this time the fledgling investigator was determined to find the truth, never realizing it would mean taking her first step onto a path to becoming a detective . . .

My Thoughts

In a continuation of the series I now like to think of as ‘Jen Confesses‘ this is where I tell you all – shock of all shocks – I’ve never read a Vera book before!!! This was my first and, to be fair, a pretty opportune introduction as it is a kind of origin story for Vera, the tale that quizzical happenstance featuring her father that set her on the path towards being a Detective.

I liked the flow of this story as a young Vera accompanies her father to Holy Island for a mysterious meeting that he doesn’t want her to witness. Being the inquisitive soul that she is, Vera follows her father and sees the mysterious woman of the title meet him in a remote cottage. There is a real sense of the atmospheric and awe inspiring nature of the island that is mixed perfectly in amongst the intrigue of this clandestine meeting. I certainly didn’t expect what came to pass, but it gave me a feeling for Vera as a character, something I really must build upon by reading the full length novels.

Fans of the series will love this quick, insightful look into Vera’s past. Definitely worth a read.

About the Author

Ann Cleeves is the author of more than thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found on television in ITV’s Vera, BBC One’s Shetland and ITV’s The Long Call respectively. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide.

Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of ‘Murder Squad’, working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann also spends her time advocating for reading to improve health and wellbeing and supporting access to books. In 2021 her Reading for Wellbeing project launched with local authorities across the North East. She lives in North Tyneside where the Vera books are set.