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The Seagull

(Vera Stanhope #8)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  8,714 ratings  ·  706 reviews
A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper - and Vera played a key part in his downfall.

Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-deale
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 7th 2017 by Pan Macmillan (first published August 29th 2017)
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Cindy I try to read in order but just read them as they are available in the library. I don't think it really matters a whole lot. …moreI try to read in order but just read them as they are available in the library. I don't think it really matters a whole lot. (less)

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Diane S ☔
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read and loved this author's Shetland series for years. Only recently, with her book before this one, have I read her Vera series. Only took one book to hook me with this series, and these characters.

This mystery, has Vera investigating and old crime, but it soon has new implications. Ties to someone very close to Vera, this outing hits close to home. Just love Vera herself, described as large, a little ungainly and very determined. She thinks herself irreplaceable, and it convinced her t
Vera Stanhope was not in good spirits since her new boss Watkins gave her an assignment; a guest speaker at Warkworth Prison. Vera believed these current tasks were a way to get under her skin and she was unquestionably in his crosshairs. As Vera enters the prison and the small room to give her speech, she was surprised to see former Superintendent John Brace, now a prisoner who she helped to put away glaring at her. After Vera’s short presentation, Brace approached her and quietly said he had i ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ah, the world seems to take on a better glow when you're wrapped up in an Ann Cleeves novel. Particularly, since I'm working my way backwards through the Vera Stanhope series.

Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope finds herself in the mix of a cold case handed back to her by her new boss Watkins. They seem to be like two Samurai warriors locked in a standing stare. Who's to blink first? Well, this time it's Vera who is sent to speak at a local prison.

But a different set of eyes are locked in on her
Rachel (not currently receiving notifications) Hall
A wonderful eighth instalment of Ann Cleeves’ indomitable DI Vera Stanhope of Northumbria Police threatens to bring the shadowy memories of her early years well and truly home to roost as the investigation steers dangerously close to her own father and his nefarious dealings. Offering a glimpse into the world of Hector Stanhope, a disowned member of the landed gentry turned passionate egg collector of rare birds and taxidermist, The Seagull sheds light on a character that has always remained fir ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Atmospheric, meticulous, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Cleeves, The Seagull, DI Vera Stanhope finds herself immersed in a cold case involving corruption, trafficking, drugs, blackmail, abuse, adoption, and murder that may just end up hitting a little too close to home.

The writing style is smooth, descriptive and effortless. The characters, including the nosy, complex, lovable heroine, are well-developed, relentless, and creative. And the plot is a well-paced, cleverly plotted police
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been watching the series Vera on PBS for a while and enjoying Brenda Blethyn's performance as the title character, so I am pleased to have had the opportunity to read a book from the series (my first) through NetGalley. I notice some subtle changes between the two mediums but otherwise an excellent carryover of the essence and integrity of characters and stories. This latest of stories has not yet been televised in the U.S. but comes just after the most current televised outing. It involves ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
The latest case in the 'Vera' series (#8) has a very personal connection for her. It stirs up almost forgotten memories brings her back to her past as it involves her late father & his friends, known as the gang of 4.

It begins with an old friend of her father's (ex-CID Superintendent), John Brace, now enjoying the hospitality of Her Majesty's prison for his crimes, revealing to Vera that he knows where the body of a criminal is buried, a man who went missing over 20 years ago. Robbie Marshall h
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Ann Cleeves is best known as the brainchild behind popular British television series Vera and Shetland, both series are based on her bestselling books on detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez. Cleeves has obvious worldwide appeal and her latest novel, The Seagull, marks her eighth novel in the Vera Stanhope series. The Seagull is a startling crime novel, about the tenuous nature of family relationships and the extortion that is entrenched in the core of a
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Listened to the audiobook with Simon. We loved the character development and gradual unravelling of the story. We looked forward with relish to coming back to it each time. I especially enjoyed learning about Vera's relationship with each of her staff and her understanding of them. ...more
Leslie Ray
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I usually try to read books in order to get a feel for the main character, especially in detective/mystery series. However, with Ann Cleeves, you don't always have to and this was no exception. Her characters are well thought out and developed. Her mysteries are clever and I enjoyed starting the Vera Stanhope series, even out of order. She is strong willed with a gift for solving crimes. I found the backstory of her father, Hector, interesting as he had ties to the murderers in this particular b ...more
Visit the locations in the novel here The Seagull

Seagulls come out of this novel

Well this takes Vera to a whole new level. She’ s just as curmudgeonly, still annoying Joe but there is a new side to her here, a vulnerable one and this time the reader gets to know her that little bit more.

Brilliantly dark and twisty. Her best yet. Review to come nearer the time but have this on your TBR pile. Intricate plotting - this seagull attacks, steals the chips, eats them and then pounces on you for more. Vera is back and then some!

Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Aaah, another new author discovery! I had such high hopes; the cover and blurb reminded me of David Baldacci… and I was similarly underwhelmed when reading my first Cleeves book.

Having heard so much about this author and seen so many of her books whilst out on my reading discoveries, I was full of anticipation when this book fell into my hands. I have also seen the television series, Vera, advertised (although never watched it). Yet, unbeknownst to me at the time of picking this up, I’ve launche
Well of course I had to hit a blip in my series read. This was not good. It starts off really well and at the halfway point it gets slower, but still held my interest. But I think the ending and resolution was what knocked it down two stars for me. It didn't sit right with me that the guilty party(ies) in essence get away with things and that one character is just cool with the fact that (view spoiler) ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The cover of this book is ghastly it is set in Whitley Bay at St.Mary's Lighthouse so Why did not put that on the cover?
Lot people who read this book will not have seen St.Marys they not all like me.I have photo of My Grandparents sat on the rocks under the lighthouse from 1950s & as child I often played there.
This like Wanking the dead a cold case from.1990s Vera Has step back over twenty years to solve a case best forgot.
This double murder of 1990s not just murder but past memories of past of
First Sentence: The woman could see the full sweep of the bay despite the dark and the absence of street lights where she stood.

An old enemy of Insp. Vera Stanhope, John Bruce asks that she visit him in prison where she helped put him. He wants to cut a deal; information on the whereabouts of the body of Robbie Marshall, a long-missing hustler in exchange to Vera looking out for his daughter and grandchildren. There is a very personal element to this case for Vera as Bruce, Marshall, and a man
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit surprised by how much I loved this book which is a bit rude.
So I knew I liked Ann Cleeves writing because I have enjoyed 4 or 5 of her Jimmy Perez series but I wasn't expecting this to be so brilliant.
I have not read any other Vera Stanhope and this is number 8 in the series - it didn't matter that I read it out of order and maybe it was better because I missed out all of the character development?!

I loved Vera and her team and I was so immersed in the story. Multi-POV always works f
Tanuj Solanki
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: britain, 21-century, 2017
read an eARC provided by Netgalley.

The police work keeps you reading, but the final resolution is disappointing - not just in what the resolution is, but also in the way it is revealed, with the villain visiting our lady detective and they collectively re-narrating the actual story. I don't dig that in detective fiction / police procedurals anymore.

The fact that we have a middle-aged lady detective running the show is the charming bit, one that, I believe, has kept the series alive. This was, ac
David Highton
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great story as Vera and her team gradually unwind a mystery dating back to 1995, when two bodies are found in a culvert by the coast, based on a tip off from an ex-policeman now in prison. Cleeves is very clever at letting the reader discover new information a bit at a time as different members of the team interview witnesses from twenty years ago and discover where some are lying . A great set of characters come alive in pursuit of the truth, with a dramatic ending.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this story! I tried so many theories but they never quite fit! I was surprised by the revelations in the end because even though a thought was correct it didn't apply to the person I imagined!
The 8th installment of the Vera Stanhope series is personal for the inspector because an old case involves her father Hector and some friends of his!
Ann Cleeves does a good job at writing about the past events and in creating an nostalgic atmosphere around them!
Her team consistin
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
How very Vera. I consumed this book rather quickly because it had all the well-loved elements of the televised episodes I do enjoy. I probably read one of the earlier books before I started trying to keep track of my reads on this site, but I never made a thing out of reading the series when I had the watching with Brenda Blethyn's excellent portrayal of Vera. I will return it to the library forthwith to allow the next in Hold Line to enjoy this latest book.
The author hopes people may visit Whit
Eadie Burke
Book Description:
A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent, and now inmate, John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper and Vera played a key part in his downfall.

Now, Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her t
Sue Trowbridge
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the eighth book in Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series; my book group was reading it, which is why I didn’t start with the first Vera book (though this feels like the sort of series where the individual novels can stand alone). It is the basis for a popular TV adaptation featuring Brenda Blethyn, who has described Vera as “big, fat and ugly.” The inspector’s appearance is frequently commented upon, to the point where I felt it got a little excessive; one of her underlings notices her Velcro-st ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the 8th case for DI Vera Stanhope in which her fathers past and her past plays a role that is bound to have a bite. When she does a talk in the local prison she meets her former DI who got send away to prison, in which she played a part. He gives her a body in exchange for her looking into the affairs of his daughter, of another woman as his the wife.
The trouble starts when two skeletons are found where one was expected. It becomes a quest in to the past of Vera's father and his friends
Apr 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites (so far) of Ann Cleeve's Vera series. Of course, I think I may say that after I finish reading almost every one of them.

This book brings Vera face to face with her own past: her father Hector who was a member of the gang of four. She knows he engaged in criminal activities but now the question is: how far did he go? Was he capable of murder? And who is the mysterious fourth member of this gang, the Professor? Vera must search her own memories, long pushed aside as she tried t
Mandy Radley
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant, I doubted whether this latest book could be as good as the others and I needn't have worried, I think they get better. In this one Vera and her team investigate a 20 year old murder after bodies are found in a culvert following a tip off from a previous Superintendent who is now in prison. We also find out more of Vera's childhood as her father Hector was involved with the disgraced Superintendent. I didn't want this to end, when can we expect more from Ann Cleeves. Recomme ...more
Sep 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up. When I’m looking for an audiobook, I often turn to Anne Cleeves who never disappoints. I have listened to all of the Shelter Island series and most of these Vera Stanhope books and dread the day when I get to the end of the line. Vera is a delightful character and the mysteries have several twists and turns with a complex cast of characters. This book centering on her late father’s friends was a little dark and not my favorite in the series but still a worthwhile listen.
An interesting mystery. I must admit that when I have been reading this book and I read the word when she called someone a pet that I cannot help but hear Brenda Blethyn’s Voice.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) This was a great Vera novel, especially because it focuses on her own life and past so much. The mystery ended in a less jarring way than the previous books too, since it didn't rely on information out of the blue. Loved it! ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Cleeves is always worth reading. Her characters are compelling and show growth through the series. Vera is a pip, and Brenda Blethyn, who plays her in the TV series captures her well. She's not a "pretty girl," but she works that to her advantage. People underestimate her at their peril. That quality comes in handy in this mystery, which revolves around people from Vera's past, including her difficult father and his former pals.

The mystery is well worked, and I couldn't figure out whodunnit unti
Jan 02, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DI Vera Stanhope has been sent to a local prison to give a talk to prisoners in the elderly and disabled wing. It's worth a day on the road and an early return home with an ice cream. Former Detective Superintendent John Brace is an inmate in the unit. He has a favour to ask of Vera. Brace has a secret to share if she will check in on his daughter.

There are many twists and turns in the investigation that results from Vera's conversation with Brace. It will bring back memories of her father, Hect
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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 (10 books)
  • The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)
  • Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, #2)
  • Hidden Depths (Vera Stanhope, #3)
  • Silent Voices (Vera Stanhope, #4)
  • The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5)
  • Harbour Street (Vera Stanhope, #6)
  • The Moth Catcher (Vera Stanhope #7)
  • The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope, #9)
  • The Rising Tide (Vera Stanhope, #10)

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“Oh, I’m interested in everything, Joe. That’s why I’m a bloody brilliant detective.’ She gave him her widest smile. ‘That’s why I’m in charge and you’re sitting there, doing as you’re told.” 2 likes
“It was much more organized than he would have expected, for a lad with a temper who’d been on the fringes of criminal activity since he was a boy. It came to Joe that perhaps Keane had needed order, to be in control, and the anger came out of chaos and situations he couldn’t handle. Three young kids and a flaky wife might do that to you. For the first time, he felt some sympathy for the dead man.” 1 likes
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