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Ann Cleeves has thrilled readers everywhere with her critically acclaimed mystery series set in the Shetland Islands, which began with the award-winning Raven Black. Now, Cleeves is back with another compelling mystery series (set in Northumberland, England). This one features detective Vera Stanhope, the lead character played by Brenda Blethyn on the hit television series "Vera." Destined for the same kind of fame achieved by Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, the show is a favorite of millions of viewers in the U.K. and is available here on Netflix, PBS, and Amazon.
When Vera finds the body of a woman in the sauna of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once in her life, she's uncovered a simple death of natural causes. But when a closer inspection reveals bruises around the victim's throat, Vera's team start their investigation. Vera and her colleagues soon uncover details in the victim's past that may explain her untimely death. But Vera knows from experience that there's no such thing as a simple case, and this one gets more baffling by the minute.
With pitch-perfect writing, a finely tuned mystery, and a protagonist with a complex past of her own, Silent Voices is a stand out penned by one of Britain's most successful mystery writers.
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ANN CLEEVES has been the reader-in-residence for the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, and was twice shortlisted for the Dagger Award before winning the first Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for Raven Black, the first in the Jimmy Perez series which also includes White Nights, Red Bones, and Blue Lightning. The television show Vera is based on the Vera Stanhope series. Ann Cleeves lives in Yorkshire, England.From Booklist:
*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
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