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Ann Cleeves has written a few different detective series. I came late to her work and later still to the Vera Stanhope series (dramatised for ITV as Vera). There are six novels so far in this series. They are: The Crow Trap (1999) Telling Tales (2005) Hidden Depths (2007) Silent Voices (2011) The Glass Room (2012) Harbour Street (2014) I've listened to The Crow Trap, Hidden Depths and Silent Voices. Vera Stanhope is a fat, unattractive, middle-aged Detective Inspector in the Northumbrian Police and the books are set in and around Tyneside and Northumbria. The character of Vera is particularly well done, a classic flawed detective full of her own problems, difficulties with handling certain people, reliant on her Sergeant. You know, the usual. What I like about Ann Cleeves' books is the time and attention she gives to the "guest stars". She allows a lot of time for them and often the police are absent from the story for whole chapters. In The Crow Trap, Vera doesn't appear until nearly half-way into the story because so much time is spent scene-setting. It works really well. Highly recommended.
Has anyone else read any of the Shetland books? I've now read the first three, though I ended up reading them out of order. I loved the TV series, but I'm not too sure about the books. The characterisation is good, and I like the insights into life in Shetland, but I find the stories a wee bit far fetched. I suppose it's just difficult to dream up reasons for more than one murder in a place like Shetland! I rarely say this, but I think the TV series improved on the books.