By Ann Cleeves

A scorching summer season at the Northumberland coast, and Julie Armstrong arrives domestic from an evening out to discover her son murdered. Luke has been strangled, specified by a tub of water and lined with wild flora. This stylized homicide scene has Inspector Vera Stanhope and her staff intrigued. yet then a moment physique - that of gorgeous younger instructor Lily Marsh - is came upon specified by a rock pool, the water strewn with flora. Now Vera needs to paintings fast to discover this dramatist, this killer who's making artwork out of demise. Clues are sluggish to emerge from those that had recognized Luke and Lily, yet Vera quickly unearths herself drawn in the direction of the curious team of buddies who chanced on Lily's physique. What unites those 4 males and one lady? Are they truly the close-knit, reliable unit they declare to be? As neighborhood citizens are compelled to percentage their inner most lives and people in their family, sinister secrets and techniques are slowly unearthed. And all of the whereas the killer continues to be of their midst, watching for a chance to organize one other attractive, watery grave . . . ‘Hidden Depths is one other vintage, conventional crime novel in a modern surroundings through Ann Cleeves, winner of final year's Duncan Lawrie Dagger... the tale follows all the major characters in flip, however it is fats, lonely Vera, awkward together with her employees and unaware that they're scared of her, who makes the most important influence during this skilfully crafted mystery’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Ann Cleeves improves with each booklet. Her past novel, Raven Black, was once a deserved winner of the distinguished Duncan Lawrie Dagger for most sensible crime novel of 2006... Hidden Depths is a sophisticated, nuanced e-book and Cleeves attracts her characters with care and compassion. The panorama of rural Northumberland is vividly evoked and Inspector Stanhope - obese, fallible and pushed by way of own demons - is an excellent vital character' Tribune

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Family and friends talked. Police and CSIs have been merely human. an exceptional tale was once for sharing. She couldn’t rule out the chance that Lily’s demise were a copy-cat killing. anyone sought after her useless and had used the main points of Luke’s homicide to muddy the water. The word caught in her head. Muddy the water. She meant it used to be apt. ‘I couldn’t have killed the boy. i used to be taking a look at the notes on my e-book. I made a cell name on Wednesday evening. Ten-thirty. A element i wanted to envision with a pal. There’ll be a checklist, I presume, on my mobile invoice. It used to be a protracted name to a cellular. ’ Vera didn’t resolution instantly and Holly spoke for the 1st time. ‘That’s very handy, Dr Calvert. What a disgrace you didn’t point out it sooner than. We’ll have to seek advice from your good friend, in fact. differently the decision might have been made by way of a person in your home. ’ The reaction aggravated him. He struggled to maintain his composure. He smiled back at Holly. He most likely notion he was once reliable with younger women. ‘I take into account that I made an incredible mistake now not telling you approximately Lily. I’d anticipate you to ascertain. yet please think me, I’m no longer preserving the rest again from you. ’ ‘What will you inform your spouse in regards to the affair? ’ Holly back. She even gave him a smile. Cheeky, virtually complicit. What else do you wake up to? What else have you ever acquired away with? ‘The fact. She merits that. She is aware me good sufficient to gain I’d by no means kill. ’ ‘We came upon a card between her belongings,’ Vera stated. ‘Made of pressed plant life. Did you ship it to Lily? ’ He paused. ‘No,’ he acknowledged. ‘I don’t cross in for sentimental gestures, Inspector. ’ ‘You’re definite? ’ ‘Of path I’m convinced. It’s no longer anything I’d overlook. ’ So who did ship it? And why was once Lily’s card marked with kisses whereas Luke’s was once clean? ‘You have been very just about Lily? I suggest, you had a actual courting, yet you talked? You felt you knew her good? ’ The query made him uncomfortable for the 1st time. He struggled to discover applicable phrases. finally he replied very easily. ‘I used to be infatuated. i presumed I enjoyed her. For it slow, at the very least. No, it wasn’t almost about the intercourse. ’ ‘Did she inform you something which would provide a clue to her killer? used to be she bothered, scared, worried? ’ ‘She didn’t speak a lot approximately herself. ’ She’ll no longer have had the opportunity, Vera notion. ‘Just earlier than we separated, she acknowledged she’d met up with an previous pal. a person she’d recognized from the village the place she’d grown up. It appeared to be a major factor for her. She used to be a loner. She didn’t have many actual neighbors. ’ ‘Man or girl? ’ Ben Craven? ‘A girl. ’ He paused. ‘If you provide me a second I’ll consider her identify. Her first identify, no less than. She labored as a nurse on the RVI. Kath. ’ It took Vera a second to make the hyperlink. Kath Armstrong. spouse of Geoff. Stepmother to Luke. bankruptcy Thirty-Three Vera stuck up with Kath Armstrong on the medical institution. Her shift had simply all started and he or she was once in a gathering with the day employees. Vera waited through the nurses’ station and heard muttered voices coming from the sister’s place of work, an occasional stifled chuckle. vacationing was once over and the ward used to be peaceable.

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