Vera (2011– )
3 user

Death of a Family Man 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | Episode aired 18 May 2014
Vera delves into the tangled life of a businessman found floating in the water under the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.


David Richards


Ann Cleeves (characters), Martha Hillier

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Brenda Blethyn ... DCI Vera Stanhope
David Leon ... DS Joe Ashworth
Jon Morrison Jon Morrison ... DC Kenny Lockhart
Clare Calbraith ... Shep
Sonya Cassidy ... Celine Ashworth
Kingsley Ben-Adir ... Dr. Marcus Summer
Robert Glenister ... Owen Preece
Billy Howle ... Billy Shearwood
Maibritt Saerens ... Stella Shearwood
Colin Tierney ... Luke Shearwood
Olivia Armstrong Olivia Armstrong ... Jessie Ashworth
Tim Dantay Tim Dantay ... Mark Donovan
John Draycott ... Tailor
Clare Kerrigan Clare Kerrigan ... Gemma Makins
Martin Oldfield Martin Oldfield ... Billy's Solicitor


When the body of haulage contractor John Shearwood is dragged from a river, the bruises on his knuckles suggest that his death was not suicide. His estranged wife, Stella, and brother Luke thought that he was in Dublin on business, but customs investigator Owen Preece tells Vera that John was working on his behalf to expose a smuggling racket by John's manager Mark Donovan. Donovan however was not at the murder scene at the time of death though both Stella and Billy, John's teenage son, a recovering drug addict, were in the vicinity. John was leading a double life with a girlfriend, Gemma Makins, though she turns out to be the mother of a young boy whom a drunken Billy once accidentally ran over and killed. But then Billy makes a startling confession, which eventually leads Vera to solving the case. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 May 2014 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ITV Studios See more »
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Did You Know?


Traveling at the Speed of Light
Written by Daniel Armbruster and Sean Donnelly
Performed by Tim Dantay
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User Reviews

A new fan for Vera
16 October 2015 | by michelvegaSee all my reviews

I haven't seen many of these shows yet but this one is definitely the best for me, so far. Lots of new facts springing up along the way makes it enjoyable. English is much easier to understand for me in this episode. Being from Quebec with an excellent grasp of spoken and written English, I have had some trouble with the Geordie dialect. But who knows, maybe I'm getting better at it. This episode is well written, full of twists and turns, so much so that we really can't guess who done it until the end. Actors do an excellent job and I love to see Vera's team busying around doing competent work. In many cop shows, there are often lose ends left dangling. But not here. Everything is tied up pretty well at the end. Definitely becoming a fan of Vera.

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