The Raging Storm

Jem Rosco is Greystone, Devon’s biggest celebrity. Sailor and adventurer, he gained notoriety for his solo sailing trip around the world. When he arrives in town during a storm, the residents of the tiny village are thrilled to have him around, but things take a dark turn when his naked body is found in an anchored dinghy and his rental cottage is a bloody crime scene.

Detective Inspector Matthew Venn and his team, Jen Rafferty and Ross May, descend upon the town to investigate Rosco’s past and present to find a motive for murder. There’s more trouble brewing in Greystone, though, with another murder complicating the mystery. This is an uncomfortable case for Venn. Greystone is home to the Barum Brethren, a religious sect from which he was expelled after losing his faith and marrying his husband, Jonathan. He is now estranged from his family and church.

The Raging Storm is the third installment in the Matthew Venn mystery series. Cleeves has an uncanny ability to set the scene. You can almost hear the wind howl and feel the sea salt spray on your face. The characters are pretty fleshed out, but Venn could use a bit more pizzazz—he’s too elusive and emotionally distant.

The book isn’t too dark, but I wouldn’t classify it as a “cozy” mystery either. There’s plenty of intrigue and atmosphere to keep you hooked, even if the action takes a back seat. I must say, though, that Detective Venn’s belittlement of Christians rubbed me the wrong way. If that’s a sore spot for you, too, skip it.

The Raging Storm is a decent read, no doubt, but personally, I preferred the second book in the series, Heron’s Cry. 3.5 stars from me.

** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a comp of this book. The opinions are my own.

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Literature, Reading and tagged , , , , , , , , .