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Seelentod (Vera Stanhope, #4)
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Seelentod (Vera Stanhope #4)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  841 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Alles beginnt mit einer ärztlich verordneten Abmagerungskur: Unter den schlanken Schönheiten im Wellness-Hotel fühlt sich Kommissarin Vera Stanhope ziemlich fehl am Platze. Erst als sie in der Sauna eine Tote entdeckt, kann sie ihre Fähigkeiten unter Beweis stellen.
Während ihr Kollege Joe Ashworth darum kämpft, Familienleben und Job unter einen Hut zu bekommen, genießt Ver
Paperback, 399 pages
Published 2011 by Rowohlt (first published March 1st 2010)
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Ann Cleeves is a masterful storyteller who deserves a wider audience here in the US. (With an upcoming British TV production of the Vera Stanhope series coming, hopefully that will be rectified soon.) An award-winning author, she's penned absorbing psychological thrillers, as well as two exceptional mystery series. In Vera Stanhope, she has created a wholly original character. Vera is an unattractive, overweight, uncouth middle-aged woman who is also one of the most intelligent, cunning and ruth ...more
Trev Twinem
Inspector Vera Stanhope is played to perfection in the TV series by the wonderful Brenda Blethyn and thus I was interested in reading this book when offered on the kindle daily deal. Vera is not like other detectives who tend to have affairs and problem home lives. By her own admission she is large and shambolic with bare legs and blotchy skin and never wears makeup. There is a comical, even touching scene when Vera interiews the main suspect in the murder of social worker Jenny Lister, and ther ...more
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 of a murder victim. Vera and her team work to find a killer in a village filled with people, and their secrets.

From the very first paragraph, one is caught up in the author’s voice; her dry humor and the character. By the end of the first chapter, on is also caught up in the story.

There is so much one could say about the characters
This was an enjoyable murder mystery. The primary characters were well developed, realistic and likable, and the setting gave the book a good atmosphere.

I am of two minds about Ann Cleeves' style. On one hand, I like the fact that she leaves you guessing until the end. On the other hand, the reveal is always so sudden and so late in the story that it is hard to really buy into the conclusion. I am always left wondering, did the inspector figure that out? I wish there was a little more
A solid British detective book. Vera is an interesting character. I'm still trying to decide whether I like her. She is a bit self-absorbed and her habit of referring to people as "pet" or "hinny" and the like got a bit annoying. Still, she is different, and I like different. I want to know more about her.

The book was well-written and plotted. I guessed the murderer correctly, but not because I picked up on clues, but because I chose an unlikely suspect. Not sure it all made sense to me. But I
Richard Thompson
We had watched a few episodes of the television series, VERA, based on Ann Cleeves' Vera Stanhope novels. We had read one Jimmy Perez novel (the Shetland mysteries) but this was the first one that we had read in the Vera series.

The plot in SILENT VOICES revolves around the murder of a mid-aged woman in the sauna at the health club at a posh hotel near a village in the Tyne Valley. The victim was a well-respected social worker who had been involved, several years in the past, in a case in which a
Maria McGrath
Picked this up from the NEW shelf at the library, and kept rechecking it for months without opening it. Finally opened it up yesterday and had such a nice time reading a mystery from start to finish. It's set in Northumberland and the DI is sort of an anti-Helen Mirren. The series also reminds me of the Inspector Lynley mysteriesCareless in Red, but the books are about 200 pages shorter--much more manageable. There's also a bit of Agatha RaisinM.C. Beaton and Hamish Macbeth, but I still like Mrs ...more
The first of this series that I have read. Vera is, indeed, quite a character. It's set near Hexham, a village in Northumbria that we once visited, so I relish the opportunity to enjoy this countryside, which includes the remains of Hadrian's wall. The plot is a tad convoluted, but the writing is fresh and lively.

Here's Vera, as seen by her long-suffering sergeant:

"Her voice was loud. She'd never really got the hang of mobiles, yelled into them. She sounded as if she'd just woken up after a good
T de F Vicuña

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 w
I was drawn to the main characters in this mystery: Vera Stanhope and her detectives. The story itself was a page turner simply because mysteries tend to be like this. However, I found the story line to be secondary to the development of the characters: Vera and her lead detective. I was disappointed in the ending. No, it was not the idea of "who done it?" rather the way the ending came about. It seems to me that the author wrote the ending because the mystery needed to come to an end. It left m ...more
DCI Vera Stanhope discovers a dead female in the sauna at a local spa. When the corpse is identified as a social worker, more questions arise and the mystery deepens. This one was a challenge for me to figure out, which made it really fun to read.

I ran across the "Vera" series on Netflix and was immediately hooked. After discovering that they were based on books, I stopped watching and started reading. I enjoy the obvious "Britishness" of these novels -- the slang, the setting, the tea, the wond
Good - very sad story though! Only got half way to guessing the denouement. Once again, enjoyed the background details - she is very good at setting the scene.
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
One of my cozy reads on a rainy night: the British police procedural. Nicely plotted, with twists and turns that offer many possible solutions, the right one only to be discovered by Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope. The rating is because I don't identify with the Vera character, and because the writing doesn't lift this book above the rest. It was fun, but didn't move me. One of a long line of novels in the celebrated series by Ann Cleeves. Cleeves is the author of one of my favorite series, t ...more
Apples and oranges. Ann Cleeves writes two mystery series but they can't be compared. Her Shetland Islands series, all of which I've read, is mist-laden, ethereal, deadly and set in a place that time has bypassed. Her Vera Stanhope series is classically British with a brilliant but quirky detective,her devoted squad and a complex mystery. Both are beautifully written and the BBC has turned them into extremely popular series. As far as personal preference goes, Vera doesn't seem to be my cup of t ...more
Judith Shadford
Picked this up while waiting for #3 of Cleeves Shetland quartet to arrive in the library, but was disappointed. It's an OK mystery, English, set in the Newcastle area. Since Brenda Blethyn has captured the character of Vera Stanhope visually, the kind of character building from scratch that occurs in one's mind, or my mind, didn't happen. Mostly though, I missed the magic of the Shetland series--the integration of wild sea and treeless islands--that is the lifeblood of Jimmy Perez's world. Sigh.
Wendy Howard
This is my review for Kaiwaka Library...

Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope is finally taking heed of her doctor's warnings, and making an effort to swim lengths at a local club for her health. Not that any of her colleagues know, of course - this is a very private thing that she squeezes in most days, saying that she has a meeting to attend, and going to a club in an hotel some distance away in an effort to remain anonymous.

This morning she finishes her swim and goes to the steam room to try and
Trish Arrowsmith
I received an ARC of this book from First Reads.
For being a mystery/thriller, the story itself was a very light read. There was quite a bit of action but it was never heavy or overpowering; it kept the story flowing. The setting had just the right amount of detail so the reader could clearly picture every scene as it was happening.
There were a lot of characters in the book. Some appeared for two or three pages and others were woven in throughout the entire story. I would like to have gotten to
Endlich mal wieder ein Buch mit liebenswürdigen Protagonisten! Nicht, dass sie durchweg sympathisch wären. Weil sie Schwächen haben. Vera Stanhope: Mittfünfzigerin, korpulent, schlampig gekleidet, dreckige Füße, mit Ekzemen übersäte Haut, trägt ihren Kram in einem Stoffbeutel mit sich herum, nennt Zeugen gern Herzchen. Äußerlich sicherlich keine allzu anziehende Persönlichkeit.

Vera soll etwas gegen ihre Körperfülle unternehmen und geht schwimmen. Im Dampfbad ist sie zuerst noch neidisch auf eine
I won this as an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. I'm not finished yet, and I expected some typos as it's an ARC (and the typos don't bother me) but I do have some other issues with the book.

It is very slow going. It has some great potential and I am interested in the story but the presentation is sorely lacking. I wouldn't watch the TV series just for that reason. Vera and Joe are not bad characters, and have minds that I enjoy delving into. The plot itself is dry.

Cleeves puts unnecessary dashes in
West Mus
Ann Cleeves werd geboren 1954 ze is een Britse misdaad-schrijver. Ze groeide op in Herefordshire en daarna in Noord-Devon. Nadat ze stopte op de universiteit had ze allerlei baantjes; kinderopvang, vrouwenopvang, kok in een vogelopvangcentrum, hulp bij de kustwacht. Daarna keerde ze terug naar de universiteit en studeerde ze af als reclasseringsambtenaar. Tijdens haar job bij de vogelopvang leerde ze haar man Tim kennen die ornitholoog is. Hij werd aangesteld als directeur van een klein getijden ...more
Tess Makovesky
I thoroughly enjoyed this whodunit with its underlying theme of disintegrating families, and its intricate plot and warm, all-too-human characters. The tongue-in-cheek nature of some of the writing is sheer joy - I started giggling at the description of an elderly man with a swimming cap like a condom on the very first page and hardly stopped. Stupidly I picked up one of the latest of the Vera Stanhope series first, but will definitely go back and catch up on the earlier books.
I received this book as an ARC and it was a pleasant, enjoyable read from start to finish. I had never heard of the Vera series (or seen the TV show -- although I have now added it to my Netflix queue) so I had no expectations one way or the other. For me, a good detective/crime novel is one that keeps me guessing all the way to the very end and Silent Voices did not disappoint! The story was well woven that I kept wavering back and forth on who I thought did it... and I am pleased to say that I ...more
Kate Donnelly
Disappointing! For 200+ pages Vera and Joe ran around hunting clues. Then in the last 50 chose someone who really had little connection to the plot. No hints of real involvement in the events going on.In those 50 pages every connection that could be made was made. The reasoning was weak. I really came to like the gruffness of Vera and the sensitivity of Joe,but little of this was added. It was quite a let down for me.
I like mystery books, and I enjoyed this mystery in the Vera Stanhope series. There were enough characters and evidence to allow for several suspects; and then there was a second murder. Lots of suspense, interesting characters, easily read & entertaining. I will probably get another book in this series, and try to watch the Public Television series "Vera."
Oh, I do like Vera. I think I could be friends with this socially awkward but deeply aware woman. Cleeves draws finely sketched characters from the inside out. Glimpses of Vera's tormented relationship with her father, Joe Ashworth's struggle to balance the demands of home life with Vera's high expectations, their tautly strung relationship that resembles that of a mother and son, and teeters between love and hate. The case centers around a social worker's error on an old case that seems to be a ...more
I became a fan of Ann Cleeves through her Shetland series but I am completely hooked, as well, on her Vera Stanhope books. Poor Vera can't catch a break in this particular story. She has been warned by her doctor that she needs to take better care of herself and so Vera quietly joins a health club. She has just begun swimming laps in the early pre-work hours when a dead body is found in the sauna. It doesn't take long before Vera realizes this is not a death by natural causes and so she calls it ...more
Another great Vera book! I'm addicted to this series now. Can't wait to read the first two. This was read for my mystery book group and I'm looking forward to the discussion next week.
I did not figure out the murderer until the last few chapters. Remembering Harbour Street helped.
Highly recommended!
This book had me hooked from the start, it was a really good story. Star of the book was Vera of course, who I am taking to as I progress through the series. She is so thoroughly human, it is very refreshing as opposed to many detectives who are caricatures. Excellent writing, as always... Ann Cleeves is one of the best in her league!
Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope works in a small unit in Northumberland. She's also overweight, dumpy, spinster-ish, and a brutally tough boss. And she cares mightily for crime victims. When she discovers a woman dead in the steam room of her local gym, she pulls out all the stops in the investigation because it turns out that the woman was strangled,, that she was a respected social worker (a species despised by Vera), the mother of a college-age girl, and the neighbor of several strange peop ...more
Paulette Ponte
I like the Shetland Island series by this author so decided to try the Vera Stanhope series. I can't exactly say whether or not I like Vera very much but I did enjoy the story and look forward to reading more books and learning more about this strange character.
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Ann is the author of the books behind ITV's VERA, now in it's third series, and the BBC's SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann's DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann's Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands...

More about Ann Cleeves...

Other Books in the Series

Vera Stanhope (6 books)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
  • Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, #2)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
Raven Black (Shetland, #1) White Nights (Shetland, #2) Red Bones (Shetland, #3) Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4) Dead Water (Shetland, #5)

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