From Ann Cleeves—New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows—comes The Seagull.
"I loved The Seagull — quite simply it reminds me why Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers! -Louise Penny
A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper – and Vera played a key part in his downfall.
Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that Marshall is dead, and that his body is buried close to St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay. However, when a search team investigates, officers find not one skeleton, but two.
This cold case case takes Vera back in time, and very close to home, as Brace and Marshall, along with a mysterious stranger known only as ‘the Prof’, were close friends of Hector, her father. Together, they were the 'Gang of Four’, regulars at a glamorous nightclub called The Seagull. Hector had been one of the last people to see Marshall alive. As the past begins to collide dangerously with the present, Vera confronts her prejudices and unwanted memories to dig out the truth . . .
The Seagull is a searing novel by Sunday Times bestselling author Ann Cleeves, about corruption deep in the heart of a community, and fragile, and fracturing, family relationships.
"Definitely one of the best crime novels of 2017."—Reviewing the Evidence
A prison outreach leads to a meeting between Vera Stanhope and John Brace, a now-incarcerated corrupt former police superintendent, in Diamond Dagger Award winner Cleeves's engrossing eighth mystery featuring the Northumbrian detective inspector (after 2016's The Moth Catcher). Brace, part of the criminal Gang of Four led by Vera's father, Hector, asks her to help his troubled daughter, Patty, and in return promises to disclose the burial site of another Gang of Four member who's been missing for two decades. When Vera's team investigates, they find a second skeleton that of a young woman who might be Patty's birth mother. Their search for her identity reaches back to the 1990s, when an elegant club called the Seagull dominated the waterfront in northern Whitley Bay, England, and the Gang of Four graduated from the illegal animal trade to human trafficking and murder. Details about Hector's crimes and dismissiveness toward his daughter provide insight into Vera's formative years. This nuanced, adroitly paced tale should satisfy both series fans and new readers.