Book Review – Hidden Depths by Ann Cleeves.


4 out of 5 stars.

I would like to thank a very lovely and generous friend who sent me this book as a gift. I am in no way being forced or feel obligated to make this review, I just want to because I can.

This is the first book in the Vera Stanhope novels by Ann Cleeves and shows her work in this book series was excellent from the word go.

Yes it has been made into a TV series but this book is far better than the actual episode it became as, quite frankly, the TV version was chopped changed and – in my opinion – ruined. So please don’t go judging my review of the book on your opinion of the show. There is no comparison – the book is better… as is most often the case. 😉

The story may seem to start slowly for some, but I enjoyed it as it really helped set the scene and introduce the reader to all the characters, to the location and so on. Really reminiscent of works by Ruth Rendell, Edith Pargeter – which is a compliment, as I absolutely love their crime stories too.

The characters are very real and so quite easy to relate to and get that much needed emotional connection that helps make crime stories all the more riveting. The setting is also well describe to help those of us foreign to that part of England really get  feel for what it’s actually like. All in all a it’s a great book. There were some good, subtle red herrings too, an essential part of all good ‘true crime’ books. I hate a crime book where it is all mapped out for you and you know who did it from the third page, despite the ocean of herrings then thrown at you… Thankfully, ‘Hidden Depths’ is not such a book.

Would I recommend this book to others?

 Yes I would. Lovers of this part of the crime genre spectrum will love ‘Hidden Depths’. And, as the first book in the series it is an excellent one for them to start with. Lovers of Christie, Pargeter, Rendell and the like would love this book.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would… if I hadn’t already been gifted a copy. I am slowly collecting the paper versions of the entire series as it is just my sort of ‘true crime’.

In summary: A good pace, relatable characters, great setting – excellent book. I highly recommend people go grab a copy today!

Until next time,



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