My Friday Post: The Seagull by Ann Cleeves

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Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Seagull by Ann Cleeves is one of my TBRs, that I should have read as soon as I got it – but didn’t. It’s the 8th book in her Vera series.



The woman could see the whole sweep of the bay despite the dark and the absence of street lights where she stood. Sometimes it felt as if her whole life had been spent on the half-light; in her dreams, she was moon-lit or she floated through the first gleam of dawn. Night was the time when she felt most awake.

I like the opening of this prologue and I’m wondering how it fits into the story that follows.

Chapter One

John watched the door from his wheelchair and wondered who’d be dragged in to speak to them today. An orderly carried through a mug of tea and left it on the floor beside him, though he must have realized it would be impossible for John to reach it from his chair.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:

Joe thought all that made sense. He imagined an elderly Robbie Marshall sitting in the sun on the balcony of a Spanish apartment, using a different name, his long nose even redder.

So, three extracts from The Seagull, and I’m wondering how they all fit together? Maybe the blurb will help …


When prison inmate and former police officer John Brace says he’s willing to give up information about a long-dead wheeler dealer in return for protection for his family, Vera knows that she has to look into his claims.

But opening up this cold case strikes much closer to home than Vera anticipates as her investigation takes her back in time to The Seagull, a once decadent and now derelict nightclub where her deceased father and his friends used to congregate.

As Vera’s past collides dangerously with the present, she will have to confront her unwanted memories and face the possibility that her father was involved in what happened. The truth is about to come out but is Vera ready for what it will reveal?

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

22 thoughts on “My Friday Post: The Seagull by Ann Cleeves

  1. I really do like Cleeves’ Vera character very much, Margaret. And the series is, I think, very well-developed. So this one’s definitely on my list. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I’ve found that her work is generally very consistently good, and that I’ve not been really disappointed in anything she’s done.

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  2. These have been on my radar since I loved the Shetland Island series. With this author I’m sure all the threads will come together in an interesting way. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I’ve still got the first Vera book on my TBR – it’s been on there for about a zillion years now! So it’ll be a while before I get to this one, but yes, I’d keep reading. Enjoy!

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crow Trap. Vera is a great character and even though I do like Brenda Blethyn’s portrayal of her in the TV series, I prefer her as she is in the books – a big woman in her fifties, with a bulbous nose, and man-sized feet. Brenda Blethyn is a bit too petite 🙂 And this description too: ‘Vera was wearing a dress of the sort of material turned into stretch settee covers and advertised in the Sunday papers.’ (from The Crow Trap)

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  4. I intend to start on the Ann Cleves books when I’ve caught up with Louise Penny’s Gamache series. The two authors are good friends I think and everything suggests I will enjoy Ann’s books as much as Louise’s 🙂


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