The second in Ann Cleeves’ Detective Mathew Venn series finds Matthew investigating a case on the grounds of an artist’s colony and farm. The book opens with a party attended by a very drunk Detective Jen Rafferty, who meets the victim at the party, but didn’t talk to him for long because of her condition – something she comes to regret.
The dead man, Nigel Yeo, was a doctor who worked with people who had complaints about National Health. He is discovered with a huge shard of glass in his neck, glass created by his glassblower daughter, Eve. This incredibly fabulist method of death is carried forward. Ann Cleeves, the most careful and meticulous of writers, nevertheless includes this almost gothic flight of fancy as a murder method. It suits her updated golden age style of storytelling.