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Telling Tales (Vera Stanhope, 2)

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She had imagined nothing of the sort. Not tonight. When she had first met him she had dreamed of him out on the dark sea. Somehow now, the romance had gone out of it. I have to say that for a murder that happened ten years in the past, there were more zigs and zags than I could have imagined. Vera not only has to resolve the killing of Abigail Mantel but she also takes up the cause of discovering why the original investigation went so very wrong. Ann Cleeves is a skillful technician, keeping our interest alive and building slowly up to the denouement. Her easy use of language and clever story construction make her one of the best natural writers of detective fiction." — Sunday Express (UK)

Because a new witness had just come forward. It seems Jeanie Long couldn’t have murdered that lass.’ He paused. Emma watched him rub his forehead with his broad, stubby fingers. It was as if he was trying to rub away the exhaustion. She wondered why he cared so deeply about a ten-year-old murder case. She could tell that he did care, that he had lain awake worrying about it. But he hadn’t even been living in the village then. He dropped his hands from his face. No traces of clay were left on his skin. He must have washed his hands before leaving the forge. ‘Shame no one bothered to tell Jeanie, huh?’ he said. ‘Or she might still be alive.’The MacMillan audio edition of Telling Tales, read by Julia Franklin, was shortlisted for an 'Audie' Award for best Mystery. Jeanie Long committed suicide last week. You know, Jeanie Long. Her father used to be coxswain on the launch at the point. The woman who was convicted of strangling Abigail.’ 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." As time went by, I was totally frustrated by the fact that once a book was released in England, we here in the USA would have to sit around tapping our toes and watching reruns of the series while waiting for the book to be released in the United States. It was unfortunate, a terrible coincidence. Dan says a new witness has come forward. The case has been reopened. Jeanie might have been released.’

Ten years ago fifteen-year-old Abigail Mantel was murdered, her cold body discovered lying in a ditch. Her father’s girlfriend was found guilty of the crime. Now, evidence has emerged that proves her innocence and means that Abigail’s killer still roams free. That was what she told herself, but the words ran meaninglessly through her head. She was trying to fend off the panic which had been building since she had heard the men talking on the square, growing like a huge wave which rises from nothing out at sea. Not me, pet. I’m on the side of the angels.” She held out a hand the size of a shovel. “Vera Stanhope. Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope. Northumbria Police. I’ve been brought in to clear up this particular pile of crap.”

Telling Tales is the second book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series – which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera . If you're a fan of Frances Fyfield, Minette Walters, or Val McDermid, get to know Cleeves. — Globe and Mail (Canada)

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