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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well plotted murder mystery
First book I've read featuring Vera Stanhope and I haven't watched the TV series, so no preconceptions about her!

Ann Cleeves weaves a skilful plot around the murder of a teenage girl and the subsequent suicide of the person charged with her murder. I was immediately drawn in; the story pulls the reader in a number of different directions. Clearly there are...
Published 8 months ago by Bookie

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Telling tales
A very enjoyable read. Well written and a nice twist at the end . I will certainly look forward to reading other novels by Ann Cleeves.
Published 6 months ago by Colin Jones


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well plotted murder mystery, 20 Oct 2013
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Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
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First book I've read featuring Vera Stanhope and I haven't watched the TV series, so no preconceptions about her!

Ann Cleeves weaves a skilful plot around the murder of a teenage girl and the subsequent suicide of the person charged with her murder. I was immediately drawn in; the story pulls the reader in a number of different directions. Clearly there are people deeply affected by tragic events, but who's got what to hide and why? A diverse collection of characters gave real depth to the plot and kept me guessing right the way through. There's a strong sense of location with sufficient description to place events in a real time and place setting, thereby adding to the sense of this. Being a true life investigation. It's a really well crafted story with sufficient pace to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed the psychological probing. Flawed characters just on the 'normal' boundary make fascinating subjects. I found Vera intelligent, likeable and often amusing. She's colourful without being intrusive and her conflicts, both personal and professional made her very believable.

The pace of the thriller really picks up in the latter third of the book as the strands come together and a real sense of urgency builds in the closing pages. Loved it! Have another couple featuring Vera and looking forward to those. Reading this as a standalone worked well. Happy to recommend.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Put your feet up and enjoy, 22 Jan 2009
By 
Martin A. Chambers (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Telling Tales (Paperback)
Ann Cleeves is an excellent writer, "Telling Tales" fits the usual quality. A young girl has been murdered, and her supposed killer convicted and sent to prison. As the novel opens the killer who has always protested her innocence commits suicide. Then as a "cold case" Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope moves in, every character in the book comes under suspicion, is cleared and comes under suspicion again. It's a strange skill possessed by Cleeves, but the more she makes the character of the detective unlovable, the more you are drawn to her. Criticisms? Yes and it's a pet hate of mine with female writers and that is the use of first names for characters when such use jars. The lead character Emma Bennett's parents are referred to by their first names even when it's Emma thinking about them, it just doesn't feel right. If you like detective fiction you will enjoy this book, so buy it, curl your feet up, pour yourself a glass of scotch (and another for Vera Stanhope) and enjoy an evening in.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 19 Nov 2013
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A fan of the tv series this was the first Vera book I have read, the books are even better. Would highly recommend.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cleeves' unerring sense of human frailty, 21 Nov 2011
By 
Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope) (Paperback)
"Telling Tales" is a first rate police procedural featuring the intrepid North England Police Inspector Vera Stanhope. In this story, Stanhope is assigned to open an old murder case when new evidence exonerates the young woman convicted of the crime ten years before. The exoneration comes too late for the woman who has just killed herself after being denied probation. As Inspector Stanhope begins the reinvestigation of the original crime, it's clear that many in the small town where the murder was committed have a lot of personal secrets and wounds connected to the crime.

What is especially strong about this novel is author Cleeves' ability to present in persuasive detail the perspectives of the dozen or so main characters in the story. These are all rather complex actors with a host of mixed qualities--many of them firmly founded on the seven deadly sins. The protagonist, Vera Stanhope, of course has her own hangups and issues which are flawlessly conveyed throughout the story. With her own complicated emotional life, Stanhope becomes a kind of "seer" when dealing with the suspects and persons of interest connected to the procedural. To the reader's happy frustration, as the Inspector moves closer to resolving the crime through the dogged pursuit of interviews and evidence sorting, the ultimate resolution remains deftly concealed from the reader until the last few pages of the book.

This is an exceptionally good mystery story, told with intelligence and insight into the problems of family dysfunction and small town living. At the end there is the possibility of redemption and of renewal to balance the saga of human tragedy that underlies the book. iRecommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Vera Stanhope mystery that is a must read., 16 Mar 2014
By 
Mrs. L. L. Bradley "roxyrana" (Lancashire , UK) - See all my reviews
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Great story with very descriptive writing which lets you form a picture of the characters and locations.
As the tale progresses more and more is revealed of Vera's' character and determination to get the truth. Her sidekick, Joe, is a good foil for her no nonsense approach to people and situations.
A good engaging read. Recommend !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AS EVER, VERA OVERSHADOWS ALL, 16 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope) (Paperback)
Parole refused, Jeanie Long hangs herself in prison. Now it seems she did NOT kill teen Abigail Mantel ten years ago. How could that original investigation have got it so wrong? Northumbrian Vera Stanhope is drafted into Elvet, East Yorkshire, to add a new perspective to the case. Inevitably many feathers will be ruffled. Meanwhile Jeanie's father is on the warpath....

Deep is the delving into minds of key characters involved, secrets uncovered, including a highly suspicious change of name. As always, rough and ready Vera uses unconventional tactics to wrongfoot those with something to hide. She is the main reason to read, everything perking up when she is on the scene (which some may feel is not often enough).

Because she so dominates, most other characters seem rather shallow in comparison. In fact, I found myself not particularly caring which of them might be the murderer (although the eventual unveiling came as a surprise).

One for those who enjoy a slow paced, detailed atmospheric setting and characters explored in depth. Some may consider this less a murder mystery than a study of minds - what makes people act the way they do.

Many will look forward to more about Vera, she disconcertingly dressed more for comfort than style (occasionally even mistaken for a bag lady). Always plain speaking, she regards Yorkies "a soft lot" and longs to be back on home ground, where she is very much part of the scenery.

Truly here is a force to be reckoned with - best avoided by those with a guilty conscience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 26 Jan 2014
By 
Stellington (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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I treated myself to a book from an author I had read little of previously and was pleasantly surprised, so much so I have ordered another in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 23 Jan 2014
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The 1st Anne Cleeves book I have read. It was a very good. I enjoyed the Vera series on TV and was not disappointed. Looking forward to reading the more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Telling tales, 15 Jan 2014
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Really enjoyed this book and it kept me guessing as to who dunit can't wait to read more from this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner, 15 Jan 2014
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I have enjoyed many books by Ann Cleeves but this one stands out. I couldn't put it down and I am afraid I neglected many things until I finished it. I didn't guess the end at all! Another great Vera book.
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Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope)
Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope) by Ann Cleeves (Paperback - 20 Aug 2010)
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