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Publisher's Summary

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 stylised murder scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her team intrigued. But then a second body, that of beautiful young teacher Lily Marsh, is discovered in yet another watery, flower bestrewn grave, and Vera and her colleagues must work quickly to find this dramatist, this killer who is making art out of death.
©2007 Ann Cleeves; (P)2007 Soundings

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully constructed...a lively and surprising addition to the genre." (Times Literary Supplement)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Rivetting

Well narrated apart from the occasional lapse from Geordie but it was easy to get into this book and become lost in the plot and the characters. I was quite sad when it came to an end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really great authentic mystery

An engrossing story, well drawn realistic characters. The narrator deserves special praise. I grew up in the North East of England and the accent was spot on. I was instantly drawn back to the places and people. Can't wait to listen to the rest in the series.

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Fun But a Bit Predictable.

What did you like best about Hidden Depths? What did you like least?

Love the narrator, great accent but not so thick as to be unintelligible. *SPOILER ALERT* Least believable part was that Gary and Julie met and Clive just happened to know Gary and blame Julie's son for the death of his friend.

Would you be willing to try another book from Ann Cleeves? Why or why not?

Absolutely!

Which character – as performed by Anne Dover – was your favorite?

Vera.

Was Hidden Depths worth the listening time?

Yes. I listen when I run or walk and also at bed time.

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Hidden Depths

I loved this book. Anne Cleeves knows how to draw you in and keep you guessing from beginning to end. Her detective Inspector Vera Stanhopes character is complex and she is a very interesting,. Set in the far North of England her descriptions keep you well informed about the beauty and wildness of the back drop of the place. an excellent series. Now made into a tv series called Vera. The book is better as you come to understand the background of Vera's. way of thinking which help her to solve her mysteries. Class A detective writer.

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Great story

Really enjoyed this story I live all the Vera books coudnt stop listening would highly recommend

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New Favorite British Detective Series

Would you consider the audio edition of Hidden Depths to be better than the print version?

I loved Anne Dover's reading of this novel. She gave such life and understanding to the Vera Stanhope character that I felt it was Vera herself telling the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vera Stanhope was someone who I felt I would like to sit down and have a cup of tea with but I also knew that she would be holding something back as we talked. She was intriguing to get to know as the novel went on.

Have you listened to any of Anne Dover’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have liked to listen to it all in one sitting but I didn't have that much time so I listened to it for several days in a row. I looked forward to hearing more of the story every day that I could listen to it.

Any additional comments?

I am looking forward to hearing more of the Vera Stanhope series. I found out that these stories are a TV series in Britain. Unfortunately they are not available on Netflix or PBS.

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  • c
  • 05-24-14

So pleased I chose this one. Vera is Terrific!

What made the experience of listening to Hidden Depths the most enjoyable?

Wonderful characterisation throughout this novel. This is especially true of the main character, Inspector Vera Stanhope. I have absolutely no doubts that all readers/listeners will find themselves so intrigued by her and the unusual and very clever depiction of this gloriously ordinary yet brilliant woman.

Excellent thriller and so well written it is guaranteed to draw you in and keep you wanting more!

Totally fabulous narrator in Anne Dover as well. Pity she doesn't narrate ALL of these books. Don't let the doubly obvious play on names here put you off. You'll miss a really great book if you do.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh without doubt my favourite is Vera! I think that Ann Cleaves is a first-class author who has created so many great and believable characters here and that's what makes this audio book stand out from the pack. Just a feast of a listen!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the interviewing of suspects by Voracious Vera. Tactically SO clever and what a breath of fresh air she is. Again thanks for some wonderful narration to Ann Dover who made Vera come alive for me.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really a book for laughs or tears....just totally enjoyable and addictive.

Any additional comments?

Thanks to Anna of Aberdeen whose review made me choose this book- otherwise without her review (the only one available at the time) I might not have taken the chance. So I have also taken the time out to recommend this. Give this super little thriller a try and I'm certain you won't regret it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanna
  • 09-03-12

Perfect!

A gripping who-dunnit. Nicely woven, rich characters, plenty of suspects, atmospheric. Narrated very well indeed. Don't start it if you have another task you need to concentrate on!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • cazza
  • 07-07-14

WANTED TO PLAN A ROAD TRIP AFTER THE FIRST CHAPTER

What made the experience of listening to Hidden Depths the most enjoyable?

Getting to know the main characters such as Vera, Joe, Holly etc. and their lives and the impact this has on their jobs and vice versa

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hidden Depths?

The description of the relationship and tenderness the killer had with the victims which was eerie and compelling.

Have you listened to any of Anne Dover’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, although she made Vera come to life and moved seamlessly from one character to another and would be drawn to her as a reader. Since listened to another reader performing Vera and just didn't have the same impact.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - wanted to plan a road trip.

Any additional comments?

Great detective and great writing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Victoria Elizabeth
  • 07-05-15

Gentle drama

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this, not my usual genre but fancied a change and I will certainly try more. The main character, Vera, is fab so may well have a look at others in this series!
The narrator is good, especially compared to many others I have experienced in my journey through audible however I felt the need, for the first time, to notch the speed up to 1.25 as her style is quite slow. On 1.25 though it was great.
I thought the ending was fine, not sure why some others felt disappointed. I am also glad for the scooby doo style explanation of why that person and the story behind this, as when I thought it had finished I was a little lost and thought I'd have to backtrack to see what id missed - but it was all finished quite tidily for me.
In summary, not overwhelming but a decent story with a well rounded (no pun intended!) main character in Vera.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Debra Hughson
  • 06-27-15

Good Story and well performed

First book by Ann Cleeves that I have l read/ listened to. Good story and well performed, will buy more like this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • janet
  • 02-28-15

Brilliant

Love this series. Wish there were more. Well narrated and great storyline .
More please audible. Not all are available.
Well recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • woolyjumper
  • 02-01-15

pat R

brilliant kept me wanting to listening for hours . listening to all the VEra stories cant get enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica Black
  • 01-07-15

Beautifully read, a gripping story

I have read other Vera Stanhope novels as paperbacks. This was the first audio book I heard in the series. It is so well read by Ann Dover that my mental images of Vera remained intact and were enhanced. Ms Dover reads carefully, without intruding on the story. She gives a slight tone to the different voices, but not too much. She's a good reader - more please!
The story itself is quite involved. I found I needed to listen properly, because there are quite a few characters to remember. But it all is very interesting and plausible. The locations around Newcastle are well described and accurate. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Heidi
  • 10-07-14

Vera at her best

What did you like most about Hidden Depths?

The twists and turns

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vera a truly entertaining women

What about Anne Dover’s performance did you like?

yes she brings character and depth

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

sadness at times

Any additional comments?

you won't be disappointed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AvidReader
  • 08-29-17

Enjoyable story and reading

Loved this narrator. Another enjoyable story with detective Vera. My first Vera story that I've not watched on tv and I feel like I know her much better now.

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  • Kirsten Forrester
  • 09-01-17

Great story

It was as usual a great Ann Cleeves story. The narrator was good but seemed to mix her voices at times. For example Joe had a very high voice sometimes.

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