‘Telling Tales’ is the 2nd novel in the Vera Stanhope series by Ann Cleeves.
Ten years ago, Emma discovered the body of her best friend Abigail. The girls were 15 years old at the time. Jeanie Long, the girlfriend of Abigail’s father, was soon arrested and spent 10 years in prison proclaiming her innocence before committing suicide. Now new information has come to light that proves Jeanie’s innocence. DI Vera Stanhope and DS Joe Ashworth are sent to the East Yorkshire village of Elvet to reinvestigate and find a killer who has been on the loose for 10 years.
All of the characters in the story seem to have something to hide. Emma is married with a young child but spends her time dreaming about Dan who has a pottery studio nearby. Emma’s husband James has completely hidden his past and his family, even from Emma. Emma’s father Robert is an overbearing man who suddenly found God before moving to Elvet. Emma’s mother Mary has no real life of her own. Jeanie’s father Michael always thought her guilty and disowned her. The lead of the original investigation has a hidden conflict of interest that explains her incompetence.
The local police are unhappy with Vera’s presence, but Vera gets on with the investigation in her usual way – sucking up the gossip and verifying rumours until she discovers the reasons for the murder and hence the identity of the murderer.
Like the first novel in the series ‘The Crow Trap’ this novel was excellent. Vera is such a likeable character. She dresses like a bag lady and calls people pet and somehow works her way into people’s lives to the point where they confide in her.
The murderer in this novel came as a complete surprise to me.
I’m looking forward to continuing the series with – ‘Hidden Depths’.
Book Published 2005