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A Detective Matthew Venn Novel - #3
A Perfect 10
Minotaur Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-83677-9 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1-250-83678-6 (eBook)
September 2023

England - Present Day

Jem Rosco, a noted sailor and adventurer, appears one night during a storm in the seaside village of Greystone. Famous for being the youngest to sail alone around the world, Jem is now middle-aged, and still full of stories. He regales the locals in the Maiden's Prayer pub with his tales, and that he's renting a local cottage where he's going to meet "someone". After a couple of weeks of his nightly forays to the pub, Jem suddenly stops coming in, and therein lies the real story of Jem Rosco.

Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is called to Greystone to investigate the mysterious murder of a legend. Rosco's body was found naked in a small boat anchored in Scully Point by the local lifeboat after a distress call was made for a fishing vessel, which was never found. Matthew has his sergeant, Jen Rafferty, and Officer Ross May with him as they begin to uncover the mystery surrounding the appearance, and death of Jem Rosco. 

For Matthew, who grew up in a nearby town, Greystone brings back memories of his childhood. The son of parents who were members of the Barum Brethren, Matthew, who lost his faith as a young man, this village is bound to have its share of Brethren. After marrying Jonathan, and joining the police, Matthew has stayed clear of the not-so-fond memories of the cult. He's, therefore, not surprised to find the village doctor and others who adhere to its doctrines. But Matthew has a murder to solve, and there are quite a few possible suspects. Jem Rosco also grew up in the area, and he made a few enemies along the way.

With a growing list of people to query about the sailor, Matthew, Jen, and Ross fan out across the area, meeting back at the pub to share results. A storm has trapped them in the village, and this makes it easy for them to witness the goings-on of the inhabitants. Some thought of Rosco as a hero, others are less complimentary. Rosco's mysterious reason for staying in Greystone when he has a flat not that far up the coast, his naming the boat he sailed around the world after another man's wife, and how he got the money to sponsor that adventure, are all topics Matthew and his team are following. And the list of suspects expands. 

THE RAGING STORM is another fabulous Ann Cleeves tale. Book Three of the Inspector Matthew Venn series starts off quickly, and there is a point in the novel when readers will find it impossible to put the book down. The ending is a complete surprise, but not to Matthew. A terrific read!

Jani Brooks

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