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Silent Voices: A Vera Stanhope Mystery Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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*Starred Review* Vera Stanhope, the overweight, unfashionable, irascible, and brilliant detective inspector with the Northumbria police, has been going great guns in the UK for years—five novels have appeared, and an ITV dramatization, Vera, is in its third season. This mystery, the fourth in the series, introduces U.S. readers to a woman who feels a bit guilty that a good murder case always lifts her spirits. A stab at getting fit puts Vera right in a crime scene this time, at the very fitness center where Vera has been hopelessly doing laps on the advice of her doctor. Vera sits in the steam room after her laps, feeling very bulky and out of place, envying the woman with the long lean legs who seems so relaxed next to her—a little too relaxed. Vera discovers that the woman is dead. The unraveling of the mystery that ensues delivers a deft blending of contemporary forensic analysis and old-fashioned interviewing that branches out from the fitness center (this is a locked-room mystery, at least to begin with) to the murdered woman’s family and acquaintances. It’s Vera herself that makes the novel. The way Cleeves presents the point of view of a woman who is both vain and can’t-be-bothered yet always aware of her own shambling appearance and of what may lie beneath other people’s polished appearances is priceless. A nice mixture, in the British tradition, of social comedy and detective work. More Vera, please. --Connie Fletcher
“I do love Vera!” ―Val McDermid
“Excellent . . . Intricate plotting makes for a compulsive read.” ―The Independent (UK)
“Detective Vera Stanhope is a remarkable creation.” ―Bookseller (UK)
“One of the most appealing fictional detectives to emerge since Andy Dalziel got into his stride.” ―Martin Edwards, Spintingler Magazine (UK)
“Watch out for Ann Cleeves . . . Snapped up by ITV, her creation, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, is the new Frost, played by Brenda Blethyn.” ―Red magazine (UK)
“Cleeves has hit the big time . . . This is going to be a winner!” ―BBC Front Row (UK)
“An absorbingly cunning mystery.” ―Daily Mail (UK)
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Top customer reviews
Although, this was not Cleeves strongest plot, the fascinating characters make up for any weakness, in the plot. The story is fascinating , because of the people in it. They are complicated, weak, and flawed.
So, I sat down and read it in one sitting. Characters and story telling made it 4 stars.
I know that the Vera stories are rated a s being good, that's why I read it. I don' think I'll rad any more!