Brenda Blethyn stars as DCI Vera Stanhope, a gifted detective whose rumpled appearance and sharp tongue give little indication of her acuity in crime solving. Acclaimed in Britain, series one of Vera has made fans in the USA as well. Series two is brought to DVD in this set from Acorn Media Group much to the delight of Vera fans everywhere.
Vera Stanhope is not Miss Jane Marple, she is neither quiet nor retiring, but she shares with the indomitable lady sleuth a brilliant deductive mind, able to piece together into a solution clues that are almost inconsequential. This is crime drama at its very best, taken from the award winning novels of Ann Cleeves, and brought to life by by Ms. Blethyn and a cast of outstanding performers.
The viciousness and complexities of modern murders make DCI Stanhope’s job a misery. Inhumanity and the seven deadly sins seem to be at the heart of many of the crimes. Vera is all business on the surface, but during discussions with her staff, we see the care and concern that exists beneath her crusty façade, and the driving forcer to find solutions to what has taken place.
Vera: Set 2 is on four discs, each disc containing an episode. These are “The Ghost Position, “which has Vera working on the solution to the attempted murder of an old colleague’s daughter and then the colleague’s apparent suicide. In her personal life Vera has faced a medical scare, and is dealing with the power of old memories. “Silent Voices” deals with a crime within the world of Social Workers. A prominent child welfare worker is found dead in a reservoir leading Vera to look for suspects among the woman’s case files. “Sandancers” victim is a soldier, a bomb squad expert whose relationships with his former military team makes Vera suspect a revenge killing. “A Certain Samaritan,” begins with a pair of shoes, one found in Newcastle and the other found on a dead body in Portsmouth.
Traces of drugs and odd combinations of money and another man’s credit card in the victim’s wallet lead Vera to a variety of suspects, none of whom seem the type to be a killer. Each of these crimes could have been taken from headlines all over the world and it is fascinating to watch DCI Vera pick up the pieces and arrange the puzzles.
The set comes with the warning that there are disturbing images of the crimes, probably no more so than what is seen on network television, but be forewarned that these are not cozy who done its, with the brutality safely off screen. These are complex and interesting cases and Vera is ready to tackle the worst of them.
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