The Darkest Evening

The Darkest Evening

Book - 2020
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"On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat. Vera takes the child and, driving on, she arrives at a place she knows well. Brockburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It's also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there's a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow. As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family's complicated past"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2020
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250204509
Call Number: M CLEEVES
Characteristics: 372 pages ; 25 cm


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Feb 28, 2021

This was the perfect book to read this past month with the frigid temperatures and snow-covered landscape because that was the setting of the book. This was the first Vera Stanhope book that I had read, although I knew about the British miniseries. It was excellent. I am a fan of mysteries and tend to favor the big country house world of Agatha Christie. But this book has wonderful characters and a mystery with a satisfying ending. Highly recommended!

Feb 09, 2021

As usual another brilliant book...I hope Ann Cleeves is starting another Vera book....enjoy this one it’s great....just like the others...📚

Jan 21, 2021

Read 2020

Dec 28, 2020

I have read several of Ann Cleeves books in The Shetland Series as well as the The Vera Stanhope Series. I also have watched both series on television and have enjoyed them. This book, The Darkest Evening, is my favorite. Two things stand out for me, one is that Vera has a personal involvement as the the Stanhope family is central to the story, this made Vera more alive to me. Secondly Vera, although still tough as nails, starts to soften her attitude toward her female officer, Holly. The story line is complex enough to be interesting but not so complex that it is hard to follow. You probably will not guess the murderer ( I never try) but it will make sense, not someone just added in at the end. If you enjoy an occasional mystery I highly recommend The Darkest Evening.

Dec 16, 2020

The story has a winter setting which added to my enjoyment of reading this novel during the dark cold winter days. The story is chock full of characters - all used as red herrings until Vera finally discovers the motives for the real murderer. Cleeves writes great "Vera" police procedurals. Although Vera and Joe are the main members of her team, Holly plays a major part in this novel, quite a foil to Vera. The novel could be read as a stand alone as the characters are all explanatory and readers don't need to be familiar with their back story. If you like the "Vera" stories on PBS TV, you'll enjoy this novel. In this novel, I pictured Brenda Blethyn, who plays Vera in the TV series, as Vera was driving her land rover, having difficulty walking uphill wearing her wellingtons, floppy hat and long winter coat, or while sitting in her rustic kitchen while chatting with Joe, and then ending her sentences while interviewing suspects with the word, "pet". This novel was a most enjoyable read.

Dec 07, 2020

The Vera Stanhope books are a comfort read for me. Rather than an action-packed, rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns, the stories take you by the hand and slowly build up steam. Ann Cleeves is a master storyteller who brings the settings to life and makes you feel like you are part of the community. I would absolutely love to go on a "Vera" tour, visiting the areas where the stories take place. The mysteries themselves always leave you guessing until Vera finally reveals "whodunnit" and when she lets you in on the details, there's usually a whole lot more to it than you think. I also really enjoy the fact the stories continue on for a few chapters, so you don't feel left out or abruptly tossed aside once the mystery is solved. You get to spend a little extra time with Vera and that's always a treat. This is a fantastic series and one of the few that I will re-read from time to time.

Dec 03, 2020

Seemed slower, a lot slower.

louey Nov 20, 2020

my first Vera book evem though I watch the series avidly.
Loved the book -especially like the way Holly is coming into her own.
Great read

Nov 10, 2020

I've been trying new authors (and being disappointed) so it was lovely to come back to a tried and true author and series. This series has improved with each book. Cleeves listens to her audience, and all the annoyances of the first two are gone. Vera is still old and fat and ugly--but Cleeves no longer beats us over the head with it in every chapter. Joe has become a great leading man and not just a foil. Holly is really coming into to her own both personally and professionally. The surrounding characters are well-developed and interesting beyond just elements of the crime.

Oct 28, 2020

The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves is the ninth entry in the Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope series but it reads well as a stand-alone. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this is my first Vera book, after having enjoyed the television series for many years. I now intend to read the rest of the series as well as other series by Ann Cleeves. The story begins with Vera Stanhope on her way home on a stormy winter’s night. On the road home, she spots a car on the side of the road. The driver’s door is wide open, indicating that the driver left quickly. She soon realizes that a baby has been left in the car, abandoned by whoever the driver was. She brings the baby to the closest home which turns out to be Brockburn, an estate owned by the Stanhopes, estranged relatives of Vera. This is the only shelter in this terrible storm for her and the baby and ring the bell she must. Soon the evening turns from bad to worse when a body is discovered on the property and it looks like a case of murder. Vera calls in her people and the investigation begins. This unusual police procedural has great characters and a plot like no other. The Darkest Evening is a most enjoyable read. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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