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Based on the award-winning novels by Ann Cleeves, Vera stars two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn (Pride & Prejudice, Secrets & Lies) as a cantankerous but brilliant detective who solves unthinkable crimes in northeast England. Set 4 includes four all new feature-length mysteries.. Brenda Blethyn (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) returns as Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, whose offbeat manner and frumpy appearance belie a knack for catching killers. Stanhope is ably assisted by Detective Sergeant Joe Ashworth (David Leon, RocknRolla), her colleague, confidante, and surrogate son. Ashworth tries to balance his family responsibilities with the demands of working for a boss who seems to have little else in her life but the job. .
EPISODE 1: On Harbour Street Stanhope investigates the stabbing death of a senior citizen aboard a crowded rush-hour trainand learns that the chief witness to the woman's killing is Ashworth's young daughter. The case takes the detectives to a tightknit community in the quiet coastal town where the victim lived and where, Stanhope suspects, the killer knew her well.
EPISODE 2: Protected When a young man is beaten to death along the seafront at a popular resort, Stanhope wonders why he was there rather than at his father's retirement party. Suspicion falls on a local arcade owner with a grudge against the father. However, the inspector believes the answers may lie with the deceased's own familythe domineering patriarch, stepmother, underachieving brother, and a sister who has not had contact with the others for years.
EPISODE 3: The Deer Hunters Two local poachers are shot at and their truck torchedwhile less than a mile away, a man recently returned to the area is killed with a single round from a hunting rifle. The gamekeeper from the nearby estate denies involvement in the incidents, and Stanhope and Ashworth keep all their options open as they enter a world dominated by rural tradition and life on the moors.
EPISODE 4: Death of a Family Man Was the dead body found in a local river a case of suicide or murder? The victim was a successful businessman who was supposed to be on a business trip to Dublin. The waters muddy further when Stanhope and Ashworth discover that other law-enforcement authorities are interested in the man and that there was more to his family life than met the eye.