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The Raging Storm

Ann Cleeves returns with the third atmospheric installment her Two Rivers series!

Jem Roscoe, adventurer and celebrity, blows into Greystone Devon, and the townspeople are thrilled to have him in their midst. When Jem is found dead, Inspector Matthew Venn must return to a place he knew in childhood but has since parted ways with and contend with the community's secrets and superstitions.

I'm a big fan of Ann Cleeves' fantastic writing and her atmospheric, intelligent, and intricately plotted crime novels. I take my time reading her books, as they require a certain amount of attention to pick up on all the clues and subtleties and are a bit of a slow burn. But it's always a slow burn that pays off because Cleeves' writing and character development are excellent. She pulls you in with crime fiction that is almost as character-driven as it is plot-driven. Told in Multiple POV format, we get a deeper look into all three primary detectives' lives, thoughts, and the investigation's different facets. All three are compelling as each is grappling with more than solving the case. Matthew, in particular, is becoming more interesting and complex across the series.

Cleeves writes her settings so vividly that they feel real and become characters in themselves. This storm-battered coastal town's weather, looming cliffs, and rugged landscape sometimes work to impede the investigation. Adding to the danger are the locals' beliefs in superstitions, their suspicions (particularly toward Matthew), their secrets, and thorny relationships. There is no shortage of suspects, though very few leads, which kept me guessing. Another excellent read from Cleeves in a series I hope will be a long one, but this works fine as a stand-alone too!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this ARC. I enjoyed it!

My steep was Kensington Breakfast Tea from Upton Tea Imports—a rich blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Keemun black teas.

PUBLISHER'S SYNOPSIS: Ann Cleeves—New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—returns with The Raging Storm, the extraordinary third installment in the Matthew Venn series.

Fierce winds, dark secrets, deadly intentions.

When Jem Rosco—sailor, adventurer, and legend—blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. But just as abruptly as he arrived, Rosco disappears again, and soon his lifeless body is discovered in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.

This is an uncomfortable case for Detective Inspector Matthew Venn. Greystone is a place he visited as a child, a community he parted ways with. Superstition and rumor mix with fact as another body is found, and Venn finds his judgment clouded.

As the winds howl, and Venn and his team investigate, he realizes that no one, including himself, is safe from Scully Cove's storm of dark secrets.

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