Friday, 22 May 2015

Offshore by Ann Cleeves

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit & Crimson Shore (

What we thought: I like to think I have a lot in common with crime writer, Ann Cleeves. Not only are we both crime writers, we both base our novels in rugged, remote wild coastlines. Ann preferring remote Scottish Isles or the North Sea coast, whilst I choose the beauty of North Wales and the island of Anglesey.

So when I heard Ann Cleeves had produced a short story collection titled ‘Offshore’ where every story was based on an island around the UK – obviously I had to have it!

I’m a huge fan of Ann’s writing and I’m addicted the television series of ‘Vera’ so I couldn’t wait to read her collection of shorts. Short story writing is an art all of its own, and there are some wonderful stories in this collection that show just how deep the author’s talents run.

In 'Stranded', set on Hilbre near Liverpool, a young man's first love vanishes. In 'Hector's Other Woman', on Holy Island, we meet a young Vera before she becomes DI Vera Stanhope, and discover how she decides to enter the police force. One of the stories, 'Postcard from Skokholm', is written by Lynne Chitty, winner of Pan Macmillan's Bello imprint's short story competition, who introduces Ann Cleeves' beloved characters George and Molly Palmer-Jones to new readers.

In every story, the author adeptly captures the sense of the location and brings it to life as part of an exciting crime story. I loved every single story and as it’s on promotion on Amazon for little more that a quid, it’s most definitely a quid well spent!

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Peter May.

Avoid if you don’t like: Remote islands and dark secrets.

Ideal accompaniments: Cheeseboard, fruit, and strong black coffee.

Genre: Crime Fiction.

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