4 out of 5 stars
New disclaimer due to new Amazon rules: I was gifted a free electronic copy of this book by St. Martin’s Press, via Netgalley. I am not obligated, nor being forced, to post a review – I’m doing it of my own free will as I enjoy reviewing.
On advice from Amazon, and based on their emailed reply I can say – “My review is given voluntarily and the Author/publisher does not require a review in exchange for the book, or attempt to influence my review.”
As with all the Vera Stanhope books I have read, I really enjoyed ‘The Moth Catcher’ as it is that level of true crime that suits me well. Not too dark and gritty, not too light and fluffy – just a perfect balance of realism and intrigue.
And, as with all Ms Cleeves books – that I have read – I also loved that she does not throw a whole heap of red herrings at you. Actually, with ‘The Moth Catcher’ I found myself creating my own red herring theories as the author left so many tantalising ideas and suggestions without actually being blatantly obvious at trying to confuse you with misdirection. Yes, you create the misdirection yourself while you’re trying to show you’re a clever clogs and figure it out before the end. I love that – so rare in a any crime book these days!
Hmmm, rereading that last paragraph it sort of makes sense to me… hopefully it does to others too! 😀
But, basically, what I am trying to say as this book had me guessing right until the end and when the ending came it made sense and fitted perfectly into the storyline and had me going “of course!” rather than it being so obscure it looked tacked on just to tease and confuse. However, it wasn’t just a book that had you guessing, it was enthralling you with a story at the same time, entwining the need to guess with the desire to enjoy and learn about the characters and their lives.
So many true crime books these days try and confuse and misdirect and curl the reader into knots that they look their skill in also telling a realistic tale. And they spend so much time doing this, there isn’t much of the storyline left to entertain and thrill. None of that nonsense with a book by Ms Cleeves! The intrigue is there, the pace sets off to allow characters – new and old – to develop around the reader and we are then swept off to the end where it isn’t so much wrapped up neatly and delivered to us, but pointed out and explained.
Would I recommend this book to others?
Yes I would. Lovers of the true crime genre would enjoy this story. Fans of Ruth Rendell would enjoy this book too. And, something I feel is true, although ‘The Moth Catcher’ is part of a series, if it was the first Vera Stanhope story you picked up – I feel you could still enjoy it as a standalone tale. But it would then make you eager to go buy the rest… or is that just me? 😉
Would I buy this book for myself?
Yes I would. In paper format! *gasp* But that’s only because I have started the series in paper format and I am a stickler and would therefore want them all in that format. Though it is just as enjoyable as an ebook.
In summary: A good true crime read to settle yourself down with any chance you get – I highly recommend it.
Until next time,