Ann Cleeves – Silent Voices

tumblr_mf14esTI1l1r2m8kwThis was my first  reading of an Ann Cleeves DI Vera Stanhope novel and overall it was very enjoyable.

Implausibly, social worker Jenny Lister is found dead in the steam room of Vera’s health club by Vera herself whilst she is there for a swim. Is the death linked to the case of Jenny’s former colleague Connie  who was found guilty of misconduct in a case concerning a young child?  The storyline is quite gripping from the start.  My only criticism would be the ridiculous series of coincidences that lead to the murder, so much so that Cleeves herself feels the need to justify them,
“Vera closed her eyes and thought about chance and the coincidence of  ……  (no spoilers!) living in the same village,  but Northumberland was the least populated county in England and in small communities there were always connections”

Vera on one level is a different kind of detective, screwed up like Rebus or Morse but interestingly for a woman heroine, with absolutely no glamour or seemingly sex appeal.  I will be hunting out another  Vera novel soon.

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