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Publisher's Summary

It has been 10 years since Jeanie Long was charged with the murder of 15-year-old Abigail Mantel. Now residents of the East Yorkshire village of Elvet are disturbed to hear of new evidence proving Jeanie's innocence. Abigail's killer is still at large.

For one young woman, Emma Bennett, the revelation brings back haunting memories of her vibrant best friend - and of that fearful winter's day when she had discovered her body lying cold in a ditch.

As Inspector Vera Stanhope makes fresh enquiries on the peninsula and villagers are hauled back to a time they hoped to forget, tensions begin to mount. But are people afraid of the killer or of their own guilty pasts?

With each person's story revisited, the inspector begins to suspect that some deadly secrets are threatening to unfurl....

©2005 Ann Cleeves (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Demonstrating singular adeptness with mood and pacing, narrator Julia Franklin shines in this character-rich mystery set in northern England...Franklin's performance is direct and punchy, matching the speed and shrewdness of Vera's first-rate mind." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a fabulous book to listen to

I have read Ann Cleve's for years. And even watched some of the Vera series on television. As good as both of those were, listening to this one with the wonderful narration was an exceptional experience. If the same narrator reads the other books in the series, I'm going to be hooked for a while.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A mystery with depth!

Ann Cleeves is simply an astonishing writer. She creates characters who have complicated lives and motivations, well drawn in the short space she has for giving the reader (listener) a chance to enter into Vera’s world for a short while. Because that’s how it seems—as though we deeply enter into the Vera Stanhope space, with good insights into who she is as both a woman and a detective. But we also get to know the characters very well, so that by the end, her books always feel very satisfying in that way.

This story is a good mystery, a police procedural, but it also explores a moral question of the town’s collective guilt, as we learn from the beginning that a decade earlier the wrong person was convicted of a murder. And in her despair over not being heard as innocent, she has now committed suicide in prison. So this book has layers of exploration—for who the actual murderer is, and how people are handling the false imprisonment of a young woman.

This is a really good story, well read by Julia Franklin. Just dive in, it’s well worth the credit.If you have watched the Vera series on tv, you are in for a treat, because only in the books, can you get all the nuances of who Vera is, how she came to be the way she is, and have a chance to really know her better as a character in her own right.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Early Entry in the Series

The style of this book seems different to me than later entries. There is more character development and less time spent on the police procedural aspect. I enjoyed the book very much. However, if you are looking for a fast moving plot with lots of action you may be disappointed.

The mystery is a good one - I didn't figure it out before it was revealed in the story.

The cast of characters have interesting stories that are revealed throughout the book. But the star of the show is Vera Stanhope. She is unique and amazing - one of a kind.

If you enjoy Ann Cleeves writing I believe you will enjoy this book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Was the story as good as the reader?

As an American am I qualified to judge the quality of the portrayal of English regional accents? Probably not but that will not stop me. I was totally sold on the portrayals by this reader. She was so good ( for me) it is hard to judge the merits of the story. She made it 5 stars for me. Can’t wait to start next in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narrator and characters

The narrator tackles some pretty tricky accents in this book and does so well that it’s easy to imagine the different characters within the book. Vera Stanhope is someone you’d like to have a pint with. I look forward to other audible books by Ann Cleaves.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Vera doesn't disappoint

Cleeves does another masterful job of creating characters, plots and settings that ultimately are woven together into a clear narrative. I listened at every opportunity, finishing it in time comparable to listening to a new Louise Penny novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jill
  • East Wenatchee, WA, United States
  • 08-27-17

Best Vera ever!

Superb reader, intriguing plot. One of the best of Ann Cleeves's Vera mysteries on Audible yet!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Vera is something!!

Any additional comments?

I really like the Vera Stanhope series. Vera maybe an acquired taste type character but she is pretty amazing. The story lines are excellent. This is another excellent series that I will keep listening to and watching for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Vera is at it again

I love Vera stories but this one irritated me. It takes forever to get started in the first place and the characters are almost uniformly unsympathetic. But that was not as disturbing as the authors descriptions of Vera in this book. We all know that she is not an attractive woman but in this book Vera is made grotesque. At one point her eyes are described as 'reptilian '. This was too much for those of us that love her with all her foibles. I hope the author has not lost all sympathy with her best detective.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, terrible narrator

The narrator of the first book was amazing, this one not so much. Her male voices were like nails on a chalkboard to me. It was like she was holding her nose and her breath. The story was worth it of course, but half way through I checked who narrated the next few. I think I would have stopped the series if that had not been the case....