Books

Book review: Too Good to be True

This brief little novella was given to me as a World Book Night gift by the Glasgow Women’s Library. I know I’m not doing very well at not acquiring new books lately but I’m hardly going to turn down a book given as a gift, am I? Let’s not set unrealistic expectations for ourselves now. Incidentally, it’s also the first book in ages which I’ve started reading the day I got it. Partly because I’d forgotten to put a book in my bag that day.

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Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves

I’ve not read Ann Cleeves before but some people will be familiar with her work, in part thanks to the two TV series that her novels have inspired: Vera and Shetland. She’s a crime writer and tends to set her novels in Scotland, especially in the Highlands and Islands.

Too Good to be True features the detective from Shetland, Jimmy Perez. He responds to a request for a visit to his ex-wife who is distraught about the death of a woman, a newcomer to her village. However, she isn’t grieving for the women, she’s plagued by gossip in the village that her new husband committed murder and killed the women.

Perez agrees to help. At first he agrees with the local police that the death was suicide but as the story progresses he changes his mind and starts to track down the true culprit. I found it an enjoyable and quick read and the story was compelling. I didn’t guess who the murderer was and I’m not sure it could have been guessed, but perhaps that’s just because I don’t read a lot of crime – maybe someone more used to the genre would have picked up on the clues.

If you like the Shetland series I’m sure you’ll like this. I’ll be looking out for more Ann Cleeves books when I’m in the mood for crime stories.

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