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Dragged Too Much with Very Little Vera

The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope #1) - Ann Cleeves

What a drag this book was! I have fallen in love with the tv series starring Brenda Blethyn and I was so excited to start a new mystery series. Now of course I am wondering if I should even bother with the second book in the series, "Telling Tales." As other reviews have noted, Vera doesn't even show up in this book til the 40 percent mark (Kindle version) and then we don't even get a Vera POV until I think it was around the 75 percent mark. Instead we focus on three women and go back and forth between two of the women (after one of them is murdered). I have to say the final reveal of who is behind the murders that popped up in this book and why were a bit hard to take. I didn't feel like any of the characters were very well developed besides the three women the book decides to focus the most on anyway. 


"The Crow Trap" follows three women: Rachel, Anne, and Grace. These three women are in Northumberland in order to do an environmental survey. There is a possibly quarry that may be built and there are sides for it and against it. When a local farmer's wife commits suicide, it seems to be the catalyst that causes everyone else to realize that maybe something else is going on here. When one of these three women is found murdered, DI Vera Stanhope appears on scene and decides to lay a trap to catch the murderer. 


Eh if I have to pick one woman that didn't drive me up the wall, it would be no one. Seriously. Rachel was aggravating, Anne and her personal life..yikes. And Grace's was the most interesting to me, but I honestly had a hard time with that character cause we pretty much skipped over why she was on the survey team until almost the end. I didn't get it myself based on what we found out about her and her real family since it didn't feel like something her father would really care about. It just came out of nowhere. 


Vera was a loudmouth who I had to question her intelligence at times. She didn't seem that bright until the book pivoted to her POV. And even then...just a bit uncouth. I don't know. She is not acting how the tv show Vera acts. There seems to be no subtlety at all.


There are other characters in this one, but I refuse to go back and look them up. I just didn't find them that intriguing. 


The writing was okay, this book was way too long. The flow as up and down. Going from Rachel, Anne, and Grace and showcasing the same timeline via different POVs made me want to pull my hair out. I started to become bored while reading this. Rachel deciding to investigate with Vera's blessing/derision wasn't much help either. You start to wonder what is going on and how is it all connected. 


The ending didn't make a lot of sense to me. I felt like it just came out of nowhere. I had to re-read that part a few times to even get the gist of what is happening. And you don't even get a good sense of closure. The book just abruptly ends.