Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope Series #4)

Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope Series #4)

4.0 5
by Ann Cleeves

View All Available Formats & Editions

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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Northumbrian Det. Insp. Vera Stanhope makes her winning U.S. debut in this mildly chaotic police procedural, the fourth entry in a series that’s the basis for Vera, a British TV crime show now filming its third season. When Vera discovers the strangled body of social worker Jenny Lister in the steam room of Newcastle’s Willows Health Club, she assembles her irreverent but loyal crew, who start interviewing the staff. They eventually focus on Danny Shaw, the club’s sly temporary cleaner. Meanwhile, Vera discovers a strong link between several women in Jenny’s village, Barnard Bridge, who all have ties to Jenny and her work with foster families and adoptions. The entire team wisely uses an investigator’s greatest resource: village gossip. Yet it is Stanhope herself—a homely, overweight spinster with blotchy skin, a fondness for alcohol, and a toxic personality—who, using intuition and subtle intimidation, brings all the disorganization to an illogical but satisfying conclusion. (May)
From the Publisher

“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)

Kirkus Reviews
The U.S. introduction to that scruffy, tactless, unloved loner, middle-aged Inspector Vera Stanhope. Struggling to get in shape at the Willows Health Club, DI Vera Stanhope, of the Northumbria Police, heads from the swimming pool to the steam room, where she discovers a dead woman curled up in a corner, a victim of strangulation. Social worker Jenny Lister had at least three excellent reasons to get murdered. First, she evidently had a secret lover. Second, she may have seen the person pilfering the staff lockers. Third, she was once involved with the Elias Jones case, in which a young tot's mum drowned him in a bid to retain her man's love. The case also caused Connie Masters, the caseworker Jenny supervised, to be pilloried by the press and fired. Coincidentally, Connie is now living in Jenny's small village, where social arbiter Veronica Eliot seems determined to make her life hell. With her customary lack of grace, Vera is soon antagonizing witnesses and relying on her second-in-command, young Sgt. Joe Ashworth, to smooth matters over. Jenny's daughter Hannah and Veronica's son Simon, who agreed to defer their marriage at their mothers' insistence, may be above suspicion, but everyone else is fair game--particularly Danny Shaw, a student working as the Willows' janitor, until he too is strangled. Tedious interrogations reveal age-old parent–child brouhahas, one of which will eventually jeopardize Connie and her daughter and force Ashworth into the role of hero. It's easy to admire Vera's brainpower but hard to overlook her mean-spirited management style. Still, her adventures, of which this is the fourth, have been a hit on British television, and readers devoted to Cleeves' tales of Jimmy Perez (Blue Lightning, 2010, etc.) will want to give Vera a try.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Vera Stanhope Series , #4
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Silent Voices: A Vera Stanhope Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish all of Ann Cleeves's books were available on the Nook. I've ennjoyed the Vera series as much as her Shetland Island books. Cleeves is up there with James, Rendell, and Dexter.
DianaH-Maine More than 1 year ago
I read SILENT VOICES by Ann Cleeves because 1) it was the only Vera Stanhope title in e-reader format; 2) I was so impressed by her Jimmy Perez/Shetland series that I just had to have more of her writing and 3) I saw in a BBC catalog that there were several highly-rated Vera Stanhope tv productions. I was not disappointed in my choice. SILENT VOICES was a well-written mystery and a good introduction to Vera.  Ahhh, Vera. What to say - she is cranky, grumpy, rude, bossy, over-bearing and quite grubby in appearance. These negative traits are balanced with intelligence, intuition and organizational ability. I liked the plot and characters. I am waiting for more of Ms. Cleeves’ books to appear in e-reader format, so I can continue the series. I would also like to watch the BBC productions. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnonMI More than 1 year ago
I watched the PBS program with Blethyn and thought it was very interesting so I bought t he book.   Very disappointed, will not bother with the written series but will watch it if more come onto PBS.   Too convoluted to make the ending reasonable IMO.