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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
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Critic Reviews

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

Most Helpful

By ACT1 on 12-11-11


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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Gillian on 04-18-17

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By c on 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.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By Joanna on 09-03-12


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!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Kirsten Forrester on 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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