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Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
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Hidden Depths

(Vera Stanhope #3)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  4,513 ratings  ·  329 reviews
A hot summer on the Northumberland coast, and Julie Armstrong arrives home from a night out to find her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with wild flowers. This stylized murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2007 by Pan Publishing
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Amanda Richards No. It's in West Yorkshire and this book is based in Newcastle and the Northumberland coast, 100+ miles further north.

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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  4,513 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think Vera, I owe you a big apology. For years I have ignored you in favor of your authors Shetlsnd series, which I like very much, but I think I may have come to like you better. You are so relateable, self described as big, clumsy, with little fashion sense, in other words flawed like most of your readers. You also eat and drink too much, and suffer from your less than orthodox upbringing. You have many saving graces though, your keen sense of right and wrong, your compassionate understandin ...more
Rachel Hall
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an unashamed admirer of the work of Ann Cleeves my enthusiasm for the indomitable DI Vera Stanhope grows with each encounter, despite having read much of the series out of order. Ann Cleeves is an expert in exposing the undercurrents within a small community, from getting the measure of everyone she encounters to ruffling the feathers of the people with most to hide. Overweight, scruffy and brash, Vera drinks too much, has a no-nonsense attitude to her job and due to her lack of a personal li ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Vera Stanhope series might not be as strong as the previous two entries, but our straight talking Geordie and the Northumberland setting continues to be the strengths of this series.

After Julie Armstrong arrives home to find her son Luke’s strangled body is found laid out in a bath of water and covered in wild flowers.
As Vera starts to investigate another seemingly unconnected murder of Lily Marsh adds confusion to the case, as her body is found in a rock pool alongside wil
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vera, cleeves
Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves.

VERA is a solitary figure. She lives alone and rarely has guests/visitors except for Joe Ashworth her back up on the police force. The pub(s) are also not her usual haunt since she prefers to drink in the privacy of her home. These traits are what set VERA apart from other Scottish detectives. I became aware of the differences while reading Hidden Depths, finding it a bit difficult to stay focused. The riotous social life or chaotic police station conflicts didn't ex
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is such a long wait for the Ann Cleeves books in the US. One has long ago watched and enjoyed the televised version, but still - reading the book is quite a different experience. Sometimes the physical description of Vera clashes as well as some alterations made for production purposes, so I wouldn't say I like this upside-down sequencing. I enjoy reading and then later viewing. "Elephantine dirty feet in sandals"? Brenda Blethyn does not come to mind when reading such descriptions in the boo ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite crime series - I love the combination of detective/mystery and nature themes.

Always these books are built around British nature and birds which I love!

Vera Stanhope is a wonderful character - flawed but intriguing , she has a way with people that is unlike others in the detective genre but she is aware of her limitations and will allow others to intervene where required which is also refreshing in the genre.

This follows the detective formula pretty closely but it is
Vera Stanhope was reached the point in her life where her regrets are catching up with her. She lives the life of the loner and has faced up to the reality that she will probably never have a family. Her childhood was lonely and difficult because her father was on obsessive birder who dragged her along on many of his hunts for rapters. The coping skills she developed during those days have been a boon in her career as a police officer and her introspective personality leads her into understandin ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
4.5 Stars
Nik Morton
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Despite the fact that Ann Cleeves has published twenty-five novels since 1986, this is the first of her books I’ve read, and that’s probably thanks to the excellent TV series Vera, starring the excellent Brenda Blethyn.

Set in the northeast of England, this book evokes my home area very well: Foxhunters, Whitley Bay, Seaton Sluice, North Shields, Morpeth and Newcastle.

Julie Armstrong arrives home after a night out to discover her young son strangled, laid out in a bath of water and covered with
I am working my way through the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves and what a pleasure it has been! Cleeves has created a strong, credible, relatable female protagonist in DI Vera Stanhope and her technical proficiency in creating an excellent balance of puzzle, character, and setting keeps our interest alive as she methodically builds her story. Moreover, the unlikely murders in this particular entry are plausible because they are grounded in recognizable small communities. The relationships i ...more
Nancy Ellis
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank heaven for Vera! Having just finished a book I detested, I was able to turn to Ann Cleeves for healing. Vera is wonderful. She is smart, amazingly intuitive, tough when she needs to be but always kind to those who are hurting. The characters are ordinary people (well, except for the fact that it is a murder mystery after all), and as they are being masterfully developed, you become totally involved with them and can't help wondering what is going on in their lives that you haven't been tol ...more
Nhi Nguyễn
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Definitely a really good mystery/thriller/crime novel! I got sucked in from the first page and the more I read, the more secret details and truth revealed involving the lives of the characters, the more I got swept up with the story.

The idea of designing flowery/artistry murders sounds really unique and interesting, and somehow I hoped the author had explored more of this angle rather than sometimes diving too deeply and lengthily into the characters' lives (which put me in a more eager, impati
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another great book by Ann Cleeves. Her books are hard to figure out who has done the murder until the very end. The characters are well-developed and the plots are very tricky to solve. Everyone ends up being on the suspect list and one by one they are eliminated until the murderer is fully exposed in the last chapter. This is the 3rd book in the Vera Stanhope series and my favorite so far. I look forward to reading the next in the series very soon.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent murder mystery in the Vera Stanhope series, this third installment didn't disappoint, love this series a lot, looking forward to reading the rest of the series
S.W. Hubbard
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first Vera Stanhope mystery, and I liked it pretty well although it didn't knock my socks off. There are two seemingly unrelated victims and five possible suspects, so we know one of them must've done it, but we don't know why. Enter the curmudgeonly Vera. This is the classic British police procedural where the detective solves the crime by going around talking to everyone and having cups of tea. There's not much action. I don't require car chases or explosions, but a bit of drama at ...more
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Ann Cleeves' Shetland Island series, and was intrigued with the setting and the original story lines. I have also been a long time of the Vera Stanhope books of which Hidden Depths is the 3rd book. The setting for both series embraces very different...but equally beautiful settings. Inspector Vera Stanhope is a very different protagonist This story is essentially a dark drama peopled with a cast of unhappy, spiritually wounded and struggling characters. Two murders have been c ...more
Tanja Berg
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, murder-mystery
Rating 4* out of 5. This was my first acquaintance with detective inspector Vera Stanhope - who, according to herself, is fat, ugly and drinks too much. Her department fears her lashing tongue. I find Vera very sympathetic.

Julie Armstrong comes home to find her son death in the bathtub, arranged with flowers. A week the body of a young woman is found in a crevice on the beach - murdered and also theatrically arranged with flowers. The young woman is found by a group of bird watchers, all of who
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I'd forgotten how satisfying a good mystery novel can be.

The dishevelled, knife-sharp Inspector Vera Stanhope is a great person to while away a day or two with. Her down-to-earth manner and clever mind are a delight to watch as she unravels the connection between two murders. The victims seem to have nothing in common but the manner of their murders and it's a beguiling hunt full of colourful, vivid characters and glorious red herrings.

My only disappointment is that not one other Ann Cleeves b
This is the 3rd book in the Vera Stanhope detective series. I really enjoy the characters of Vera and her sidekick Joe Ashworth. And although I did enjoy the continuing story of the detectives, I found the mystery itself to be fairly weak. That said, although this mystery lacks the intensity and brightness of the prior books, the characters are still engaging, and because of that, I recommend this book in the series.
This is book 3 in the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves. In this episode the killer engages in some rather artistic death scenes for his victims, leading Vera and her team on a chase to make the connections. There is an interesting connection back to Vera’s roots, with references to birds and bird watchers.

The book opens with a single mum returning home to find her son murdered and left displayed for her to find. There are plenty of suspects and clues to keep the reader the guessing about the
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite crime authors - I love how she builds both the geographical setting, the atmosphere, and her characters, and the Shetland-stories are among all time favorites.
I knew Vera from the TV-series, but this is the first book I read (and the only reason I started with number three is that it's the first one translated into Danish, wonder why they quit the first two books ?!?).
Brendy Blethyn is a wonderful actor, and she really IS Vera to me, also when I read the books
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Hidden Depths, a teenager is found strangled in the bathtub, peacefully laid out with flowers surrounding his body. Luke was one of the odd kids at school, with few friends and subject to a bit of ridicule. There was nothing substantial that would make him a target for a murder which leaves Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team stymied in their investigation. When a second body is found in the water with flowers adorning it, the two cases are undeniably linked but what's the connecti ...more
Penne Moschetti
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I really enjoy these books so much because I love the TV series. While it is important for us to use our own imaginations sometimes, as in this case, I could easily visualise the characters and setting.
Rob Cook
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favourite of the series so far, this featured more of Vera and co. investigating (than the previous two books) and less of the suspects. Whilst solid and intriguing, it lacked something that I can't quite pin down.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I continue to be intrigued by Ann Cleeves' characters, the surprising but logical solutions to the crimes, and the local color.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Truly a "whodunit". Enjoyed the audiobook very much.
Becky Loader
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am hooked on Vera!

I love the puzzle at the heart of the murder investigation. Very intricate and great resolution.
Jann Barber
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought all of the Vera Stanhope books and am reading them in order. This is the third book in the series.

When I started reading, I realized that I had seen the TV episode based on this book. I remembered some of it, but happily didn't remember the identity of the murderer.

Two deaths, staged in a similar fashion involving water and flowers, bring Vera to the Northumberland coast. A group of four friends who enjoy bird watching, and the wife of one of the friends, make up a nice little group of
Diane Dickson
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this one but not quite as much as the last I have to admit. The plot was well wrought and I didn't guess the culprit until the reveal. However, though the characters were well drawn none of them were really likeable and I do need someone to root for in the general cast.

I will read the next one but am having a break as I think too much Vera at once may dull the enjoyment.
Teri Stich
I so enjoy this series, Vera Stanhope is so down to earth, no pretension. Was so glad to see this finally published in the US. Sometimes it pays to come late to the party! LOL Love the twists and turns and then twist again. Ann Cleeves leads you on thinking you have it figured out but yet no you don't!.
Cozy Mystery read unite and Read this series.
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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...


Other books in the series

Vera Stanhope (8 books)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
  • Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, #2)
  • Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope, #4)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
  • The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)
  • The Seagull (Vera Stanhope #8)
“Vera watched him walk to his car, the champagne in one hand, the flowers in the other. Thought that if she'd been married to someone like Joe Ashworth, she'd be so bored she'd commit murder herself.” 1 likes
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