A LESSON IN DYING by Ann Cleeves
What a difference nine years makes! This is the interval between the publication of this book and Cleeves’ first Vera Stanhope novel. After reading this, the first Inspector Ramsay mystery, I’m glad to say that Cleeves certainly has improved as a writer.
The Northumberland town of Heppleburn is peopled with unlikeable characters, beginning with the odious headmaster, Harold Medburn, who is found hanged wearing his academic gown.
Ramsay is called in to investigate the case and with every new page we find him jumping to conclusions. The school caretaker and his daughter decide to investigate the murders and Ramsay encourages them to do so, something that no proper Inspector would ever do.
Cardboard characters with no reasonable motivation, along with a poorly crafted plot make this a very disappointing read.