Review of Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction – Crime Thriller – Police Procedural

Cover – Too Good To Be True



📖 Ann Cleeves is an author who has been on my radar for a while now (several people have recommended her novels to me). This book appeared on the quickreads collection and thought it would be a great opportunity.

✍️ This book follows Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez to a small village in the Scottish Borders where his ex-wife has summoned him to help investigate a suspicious death of a local schoolteacher, Anna. The local gossips (which amounts to most of the town) suspect Sarah’s current husband of having an affair with Anna (and perhaps being involved in her death).

🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:

‘But you don’t really think he killed her?’ the first woman said. ‘Not Tom! He’s a doctor. A kind man. He looked after my mother when she had cancer and he couldn’t have been more caring.’
‘It’s just too much of a coincidence.’ It was Gail again. ‘Something weird was going on there. If the Kings didn’t kill her, they drove her to suicide.’
Jimmy Perez couldn’t stand any more of their unkindness. He drank his coffee in one go, paid the bill and went outside.

👓 This was an enjoyable book, and I particularly enjoyed the writing style. It was easy to read but maintained its believable elements. The characters were interesting, and the mystery was good (and not too easily guessable).

💔 Any Negatives? Well, this is part of a series. So, a lot of the character depth, particularly around Perez probably features elsewhere in the series. This is a standalone book and can be read as such, but I do wonder if it’s more enjoyable to those already familiar with the series.

💭 Overall View: Great pace, characters, and location. Good writing and the mystery certainly left me guessing.

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8 thoughts on “Review of Too Good to be True by Ann Cleeves

  1. Great review, I always think it’s a quandary when you read a stand alone novel. I always wonder what I’m missing as I’m not familiar with the past history of the characters

  2. Thanks for this review, KL. Jimmy Perez is the main character in the PBS series Shetland. Ann Cleeves also wrote the books that form the basis for the other PBS series Vera. She’s received the Order of the British Empire for her work. I’d like to read this book because I’m only familiar with the videos, which I highly recommend. I will say we turn on the close captioning for Shetland because the Scottish is sometimes hard to understand!

    1. Thank you for the great comment. I found her writing enjoyable and think I will go back to the other earlier books. Vera is filmed next door to my work (the police station scenes) although I have not yet watched the series. KL ❤

  3. I jumped into the middle of another Ann Cleeves series, Vera, with my bookclub (I think it was The Seagull, or something like that). I found it easy to get along with. I’ve added several more to my TBR, but they aren’t my priority for reading.
    Oh, I see Noelle has mentioned Vera too. I love that she close-captions Shetland. I had to turn on subtitles for lots of US programmes of the crime/CSI type!

    1. Thank you, yes I found her writing enjoyable. I watch most shows with subtitles on these days. Stephen Fry was part of a campaign to encourage people to use subtitles as it improves literacy (aimed at children) and we’ve kept them on ever since. KL ❤

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