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Silent Voices

(Vera Stanhope #4)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,560 ratings  ·  418 reviews
10 hours, 13 minutes

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 h
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published April 7th 2015 by Macmillan Audio (first published March 1st 2010)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,560 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Rachel Hall
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is murder ever as much fun as when DI Vera Stanhope and her creator, Ann Cleeves, allow readers to ride side-saddle? Incomparable and uncompromising, devoid of airs and graces and forthright to the point of being blunt, Vera is overweight and unattractive by her own admission and radiates a "like it or lump it" robustness. Maybe that is part of her success as her whole embodiment catches people off guard for the very fact that she is contrary to what you expect a senior detective to be - basical ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves.

Inspector Vera Stanhope of the Northunbria Police has (believe it or not) joined a popular spa. She enters the steam room occupied by one other woman...the woman appears to be quite still. So still that Vera takes her pulse and finds none. There are markings around her throat that cause Vera and the now summoned police to believe she was the victim of strangulation.
The victim is Jenny Lister an experienced social worker. The only family member they find for notifica
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rob 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
What a treat!!!

I think you may have guessed by now that this is one of my favourite series EVER and this book was so brilliant.
I just loved it.
Multi-layered with great characters and loads of atmosphere.
This one doesn't have as many nature themes as others in the series but you still feel the north of England in every line.
And Vera...well, she is the best. A great murder mystery that kept me guessing to the end (and Vera only shares when she feels like it!).

I look forward to more in this series
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lucy Burdette
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Cleeves is such a master in the crime fiction world – I am working my way through everything she’s written. Her Vera Stanhope is a hulking, dogged Detective, not anybody’s idea of a romantic heroine. But she is the one you would want on the case if you faced a tragedy. In spite of her disastrous personal life, she can unravel complicated human interactions and understand the very worst thing a person can do—murder another person.

Jimmy Perez is my first love, but I plan to read all of these!
Lone Matz
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining, clever and witty. A fun and exciting read.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This is the third book I've read by this author. There are two things that are consistent with her books. They are well thought out, but they move slow. I can say that exact same thing for this one as well. I picked two characters as the culprit (I know that is cheating. I should just pick one.) And I was disappointed that I was right.

There was entirely too much 'interviewing' with this one. That is probably why it felt slow to me but I like her stories. They are solid, so 3 stars.
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Cleopatra  Pullen
Having returned to the Vera series with Silent Voices after far too long a break I welcomed this unattractive, blunt and uncompromising woman into my life not in any small part due to her brilliant detection skills.

The victim in this book is a social worker, found dead in a sauna by our very own Vera, yes an unlikely habitat for our steely detective, but even Vera realises she is mortal and had taken the advice to get some exercise and swimming appealed the most.
Vera is very much hoping that Jen
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I NEVER guessed the ending! I love mysteries and I'm pretty good at guessing "who done it" - at least as I get closer to the end. But not this one. The main character in this series, Vera, is a very complex, imperfect, quirky character who can be likable but also can be irritating. I've watched several episodes of the TV series based on the books on Public Broadcasting so I expected to enjoy this book and I did. While reading the book I thought how I'd hate to have Vera as my supervisor and work ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
Vera Stanhope series Book #4

From The Book:
When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once, it's a death from natural causes. But closer inspection reveals ligature marks around the victim's throat . . .Doing what she does best, Vera pulls her team together and sets them interviewing staff and those connected to the victim, while she and colleague Sergeant Joe Ashworth work to find a motive. Whi
Jaime K
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
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book primarily because I enjoyed the Shetland Quartet series so much by Ann Cleeves. I will admit that I checked it out of the library twice and renewed it twice more before I actually sat down to read it. But then, once I started reading, I devoured the book. Vera Stanhope has been ordered by her doctor to get more exercise and so she decides that swimming will be her medicine of choice. While at a local health club where she has a membership, Vera finds the body of social work ...more
Nancy Ellis
In the steam room of the health club, Vera discovers the body of a popular social worker. As the investigation continues, the woman was not quite as popular as everyone thought. How was she connected with the past murder of a child by his mother?

I love this series. The characters are wonderful, and the stories are always interesting. This one, however, I felt had an extremely convoluted plot, and at times I had to stop and place the characters in their proper backgrounds. I also found the endin
Tanja Berg
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery, audio
Another solid delivery in the inspector detective Vera Stanhope series. The second installment according to information on the Swedish site I bought from, but the fourth according to goodreads. Not that it matters. To my chagrin more Swedish audio books in the series are available.

Vera finds a woman dead in the sauna at a hotel. It turns out it's a social worker. I enjoyed the unravelling of the yarn and did not suspect who the murderer was until the big reveal. I will definitely return to the
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

Overweight Vera has received a lecture from her “child” doctor, as she calls her. She joins an out-of-town health club and swims most days. Trying to relax in the sauna after her swim, she envies the silent woman in the corner. She then discovers that the middle-aged woman is dead. Her name is Jenny Lister. She was a supervisory social worker and had an eighteen-year old daughter named Hannah. Ironically Hannah is engaged to the son of Veronica Eliot, the stuck-up woman that Vera will alt
I've followed this series from the start & enjoyed them all - & this was no exception. Cleeves' style is not of the gory, gritty variety but built up with a cleverly constructed storyline & credible characterisation.

A side note....
Book V TV
As much as I love the series I've never got to grips with the TV version "Vera". While I liked Brenda Blethyn's portrayal, it's not the vision of Vera that I'd built up in my mind over the years & the series failed to hold my interest - unlike
Rob Cook
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Vera series gets better and better with each edition. This book features an initial murder at a swimming pool and leisure centre (a different setting from other crime books I've read) and contains a wide selection of suspects to keep you guessing.
Most of the action was from the perspective of Vera or her sidekick Joe (I prefer this!) and I was surprised by the killer reveal.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm not sure I like Vera Stanhope. She's quite annoying, frankly. And yet. The mystery was complex and made for interesting reading. I also think the series is overpriced, for electronic books, esp. those that are neither new or seriously old; I suppose that is the result of it having been picked up for television. I'll try one more to see if Vera grows on me. She might.
Becky Loader
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my, gosh!

I love a good mystery, and I am addicted to these "Vera" stories. I especially like the interplay between her and her staff.

Read this!
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vera is such a great character!
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
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!

I continue to enjoy this series. This is number 4, and in it we are treated to more of an investigation into Vera and her sergeant, Joe Ashworth, filling out their characters and perspectives. Clearly Ashworth appreciates Vera's talents but is less than pleased at the demands she makes on him, seemingly without thought.

At the same time I got the sense that Ashworth's marriage was not made in heaven after all. H
Dee roe

Ann Cleeves is a master of setting; we can breathe the very air of Northumberland. And she fleshes out her characters so clearly that I could sit and drink a pint with Vera but this writer cannot, in any of her stories, bring all the threads together and make a cohesive ending!! It's like she runs out of steam or interest. She's so good that I keep on reading her books but it's disrespectful to her readers who hang on her every word and then get let down with a finale that is never ex
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
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
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This was the 4th book in the Vera Stanhope series and the first book written for the TV series. The characters were well-developed and we got more insight into Vera and Joe's thought process in solving the mystery. The plot was less convoluted and flowed to an ending that was full of surprises. As in all of Ann Cleeves books she holds her cards close to her vest and does not give much away until
the very end. I look forward to reading the next book in the series in August and would highly recomme
Linda  Branham Greenwell
The book begins when Vera discovers the body of a woman in the sauna. Vera had started swimming in the morning per her doctors instructions - now her team will know that she is going to the gym :)

Vera immediately goes into super curious mode to discover everything she can about the victim - and everyone connected with her. It seems the victim was a child social worker and Vera begins looking at her cases. Secrets become known. Great character development; great story
Stacey Lunsford
A woman is found strangled in a health club steam room. She is a social worker who was in charge of a notorious case in which a young woman drowned her son. Who would have reason to kill her and why did they do it in such a public place? The story was interesting but, in the end, relied on so many coincidences that it beggared belief.
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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)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
  • The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)
  • The Seagull (Vera Stanhope #8)
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