The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves
Lizzie Redhead listened. In the prison it was never quiet. Not even now in the middle of the night. The other women in her room stirred, snuffling like animals in their sleep. No cells here. Dormitories that reminded her of school. No privacy. No darkness, either. A gleam from the corridor outside shone through the crack under the door, and though this was a low-security establishment there were spotlights at the walls and the gate, and the curtains were thin. Footsteps in the corridor outside. A screw checking that lass on suicide-watch. Two in the morning.
The Moth Catcher is the 7th book in the DI Vera Stanhope series that's so ably written by Ann Cleeves. I'm closing in on the final (up to now) book, The Seagull. I again listened to this book on audio and Janine Birkett repeated her great narration. This book was interesting and had lots of characters to get to know. One thing I'll say is that Cleeves always includes information about birds in these books, describing the look of them or the way they sound. She actually met her husband, Tim, an ornithologist, at the Bird Observatory on Fair Isle where she was working as a cook. In addition to the birds, here we learn a bit about moths and how they are trapped, photographed and released again. And we learn about social workers and prisons, among other things.
Vera and her team are a bit confused trying to put all the pieces together and find out how two victims were connected, other than that they are both dead at a country house. And then another person is killed, a woman who works for a charity that helps offenders reintegrate into society. There are three retired couples that live near and all of them have secrets. What those secrets might be and whether they knew any of the victims - well, that's the problem. I did not guess who the killer was and really didn't have an inkling. I will say that doesn't often happen to me anymore. This author does a good job of presenting the clues, but also making them seem insignificant. The mark of a good crime writer. I'm ready for the next book!
Life seems perfect in the quiet community of Valley Farm. Then a shocking discovery shatters the silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist, to look after the place while they’re away. But his dead body is found by the side of the lane—a lonely place to die.
When DI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, she finds the body of a second man. What the two victims seem to have in common is a fascination with studying moths—and with catching these beautiful, intriguing creatures.
The others who live in Valley Farm have secrets too: Lorraine’s calm demeanor belies a more complex personality; Annie and Sam’s daughter, Lizzie, is due to be released from prison; and Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be many deadly secrets trapped there . . .