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Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope)

Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Cleeves
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Silent Voices is a more traditional crime novel that blends a classic whodunit with a psychological element. Detective Vera Stanhope is a remarkable creation, and her relationship with her sidekick, Joe Ashworth, is at the heart of the story. It shows how the death of a child can have a long-reaching effect on all concerned - parents, siblings and social workers.' --Bookseller

'The novel is a sensible, straightforward, satisfying police procedural, supplying a fair variety of plausible suspects, motives and clues, in a recognisable middle England.'
--Literary Review

'All in all, this welcome addition to the Vera Stanhope series is a showcase for the strengths of the author in getting under the skin of apparently ordinary people, and conveying the intense passions that have simmered for years beneath an apparently normal surface.' --eurocrime

'DI Vera Stanhope and sidekick Joe Ashworth struggle to establish a connection between a woman strangled in her gym and the death of a child. Compelling.' --Woman and Home

'Cleeves is excellent not only on the main character, but on the mixture of exasperation and respect she evokes in others. Combined with intricate plotting, this makes for a compulsive read.' --The Independent

'Ann Cleeves is a skilful technician, keeping our interest alive and building slowly up to the denouement. Her easy use of language and clever story construction make her one of the best natural writers of detective fiction.' --Sunday Express

'Cleeves weaves an absorbingly cunning mystery and fans of Vera, the messy, overweight, man-less heroine of this crime series, will soon have a face to put to her, as the actress Brenda Blethyn take on her endearing charactering a forthcoming television series, Vera, based on the books.' --Daily Mail

'Silent Voices is the forth outing for Ann Cleeves's overweight, eczema-ridden middle-aged Vera Stanhope. Vera is brusque, with "a chip on her shoulder the size of Keilder Forest", but she excels because her ordinariness grants her access to everyday lives... The bluntness that bodes well for the ITV adaption...' --Financial Times

'Watch out for Ann Cleeves, author of Silent Voices. Snapped up by ITV, her creation, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope, is the new Frost, played by Brenda Blethyn' --Red magazine

'Ornery DI Vera Stanhope - soon to grace our small screens in the form of Brenda Blethyn as ITV's Vera - has her work cut out for her in Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves. Kicking off with a steamy opener as Stanhope discovers a dead body in a sauna... Stanhope enjoys being a bit of a bossy-boots but is a good sort really, relying heavily on her charming sidekick, Joe Ashworth: their ruminations over a fireside pint are requisite to their sleuthing success...' --Time Out

Product Description

When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once in her life, she's uncovered a simple death from natural causes. But a closer inspection reveals ligature marks around the victim’s throat – death is never that simple . . . Doing what she does best, Vera pulls her team together and sets them interviewing staff and those connected to the victim, while she and colleague, Sergeant Joe Ashworth, work to find a motive. While Joe struggles to reconcile his home life with the demands made on him by the job; Vera revels being back in charge of an investigation again. Death has never made her feel so alive . . . And when they discover that the victim had worked in social services, and had been involved in a shocking case involving a young child, then it appears obvious that the two are somehow connected. Though things are never as they seem . . .

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 621 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (8 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M8S40E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ann Cleeves worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of 'Murder Squad', working with other northern writers to promote crime fiction. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black . Ann lives in North Tyneside. Her Vera Stanhope series is currently being turned into a major ITV production to be released in Autumn 2010.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vera Stanhope - the best so far 1 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jenny Lister was perfect - a caring mother, a committed and principled social worker and, when DI Vera Stanhope opens the door to the steam room at a fashionable health club, perfectly dead. Vera doesn't believe in perfect people - and she's not that keen on social workers.

The investigation oscillates between the semi-private world of the health club and the Tyne Valley village of Barnard Bridge, where Jenny lived. Both communities are hives of gossip, rumour, snobbery and infighting, but is there anything that would justify murder? And is there any connection with the death of six year old Elias Jones, the boy Social Services was supposed to protect?

This is by far the best Vera Stanhope novel to date, with the same strengths and none of the weaknesses. Vera is now well established as the sharp-witted, sharp-tongued detective who is not above using Miss Marple's tactic of a cosy chat over a nice cup of tea ("if you're putting the kettle on, pet"), even if she would prefer whiskey.

Once again, Cleeves maintains a brisk pace, using a well crafted blend of narrative and dialogue. She has a strong sense of place and a feel for the way in which landscape shapes the lives of the inhabitants of England's most sparsely populated county. This is used to dramatic effect in a final race against time when even the forces of nature seem determined to thwart the police as they close in on the killer.

If you haven't read any of the other Vera Stanhope novels, you could do worse than start with "Silent Voices".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vera, a very unorthodox detective 24 Mar 2012
By Jane Baker VINE VOICE
Had I known that this was about missing children it would not have been my choice of reading - a subject I tend to steer clear of. Yet once I had begun reading I was gripped. Vera is a strange woman and a strange detective with many "issues" emanating from her poor relationship with Hector her father and her own guilt and Hector's resentment that she is alive and her mother dead in childbirth. Hector is alongside her most of the time. She is unable to free herself from him and his cruelty with birds especially is a constant recurrence with her. That said her concentration on crime-solving, whilst not totally attentive, brings results with the help of the long-suffering Joe Ashworth. This story opens when Vera, an unlikely member of a gym club, finds the body of Jenny Lister, a social worker. Vera has no time for social workers but becomes involved with another, Connie, and thus begins so many twists and inter-relationships resulting in an unexpected denouement. I just love the way she "pets" everyone. Only someone so non-pc could get away with it. She's lovely. So sad she's never had a man - or a woman. Love has eluded her.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Voices 28 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This has been my favourite 'Vera' so far. Wonderfully real characters as usual and no way of guessing whodunnit. The interweaving lives of a small community with the coincidences and chance-meetings are absolutely believable and tantalising. And Vera,a bit more sympathetic in this one I thought, and a bit more appreciative of her team, but not so much that we lose the curmudgeonly reluctance to actually praise them. The usual red herrings of wierdos are cheek-by-jowl with long-buried secrets and skeletons in cupboards, with Vera eventually teasing all the threads into rather a sad conclusion that leaves you thinking about the characters left behind.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner 25 April 2014
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Over the two books I've read featuring Vera Stanhope, I've become quite fond of the character. Middle aged, overweight, likes a drink, occasionally curmudgeonly, sartorially challenged and a discerning eye for a younger man, she's the antithesis of so many of her male counterparts in crime thriller series. Although she often seems slightly out of step, there's a comfortable feel about her. The apparently shambolic appearance and attitude hides a razor sharp mind and acute psychological insight which takes the reader through every twist and turn of the plot.

Vera discovers a social worker's body at the local health spa. She was involved with a case where a child was murdered. The finger of suspicion swings back and forth; Anne Cleeves is adept at both dropping clues and throwing in red herrings. A diverse range of characters could have opportunity and motive. Characterisation is excellent and I felt as if I were sitting in on the interviews and discussions as the story both develops and unfolds.

Part of the joy of these stories is the apparent simplicity. They seem to roll along what could be a dull investigative route. In fact, there's a lot going on, all character driven and there is insight and perception in the telling. People are the main players; their troubles, aspirations, motivations and shortcomings are carefully built up and dissected as the tale progresses. I'm looking forward to reading further books in this series. Very different to the Shetland books, equally enjoyable and, for me, will remain unsullied by TV adaptations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Ann Cleeves has a fine feel for the dynamics of families and often writes about the consequences of family breakdowns. "Silent Voices" fits into that category--maybe bringing definition to it. Estimable protagonist Vera Stanhope, Detective Inspector in a northern English county, often deals with her own family issues as she dives into a case involving the murder of a social worker who is connected to the much-publicized killing of a child under the supervision of her services office. As DI Stanhope's investigation of the woman's murder broadens, a moderately large cast of walking wounded characters is added to the mix, each with some motive for the crime. A second murder removes one of the suspects, but doesn't immediately resolve the first killing. Resolution eventually comes down to the mysteries and pitfalls of parenthood and their potential for invisible damage to hapless offspring.

This is a deftly written story with characters that outweigh the storyline in importance and interest. The intrepid Vera is onstage virtually every page, and while her own preoccupations with her less than stellar appearance are close to excessive here, her integrity and humanity compensate for the frequent self-absorption. This a good read with only the occasional red herring/false note to annoy fans of the genre. Cleeves is a terrific writer who is definitely up there with the best in the field.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another excellent novel
Published 14 hours ago by Nancy Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars fast paced
This kept me intrigued from the first page...many twists and turns and for once I did not guess 'whodunit'!!!....would definitely read another in the series
Published 3 days ago by lesley jarvis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, having seen the series on TV you ...
Very good book,having seen the series on TV you could imagine Vera as she was in the series
Published 3 days ago by betty hammonds Betty hammonds
5.0 out of 5 stars the plot keeps you guessing
I love the Northumbrian setting. The well drawn characters and all the plot twists.i was right near the end before I guessed who!
Published 4 days ago by Jenny Hamilton
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book very much
I enjoyed this book very much, the characters came to life. I had watched a couple of the Vera stories on television, and enjoyed them. Read more
Published 5 days ago by mrs K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love these stories. Can't wait to read to the end . Would recommend Ann Cleeves to everyone.
Published 6 days ago by Jean Follin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book. Enjoyable easy reading crime novel
Good book. Enjoyable easy reading crime novel. Had a few moments of I have to keep reading despite it being time to be putting down.
Published 8 days ago by Ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Viva Vera!
I really enjoyed the series on TV and this is no exception. You can imagine Brenda Blethyn as you read it and this had a good plot and kept you guessing.
Published 9 days ago by Mrs. Hilary Hilton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 9 days ago by gobbie
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly engrossing read.
First Sentence: Vera swam slowly.

It’s not every day a police inspector finds a dead body sharing a sauna with her in a hotel health club, especially when that body is... Read more
Published 9 days ago by L. J. Roberts
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