The Darkest Evening Book Review

The Darkest Evening Book Review

Title: The Darkest Evening: A Vera Stanhope Novel
Author: Anne Cleeves
Published: September 8, 2020, Minataur Books
No. of Pages: 384
Cover Price: $26.99 Hardcover, $14.99 Kindle

The Darkest Evening is the ninth installment in the bestselling Vera Stanhope series. Fans of Vera, who is a very unique protagonist, will welcome this novel, as it is not only well-written, but will keep readers on the edges of their seats. There is a major snowstorm, and Vera is driving home; she takes a wrong turn, only to discover a stalled vehicle with the door open and a baby strapped in a car seat. Vera takes the car seat with the baby and puts him in her car. As she drives along, she sees the Stanhope mansion – her father was related and disowned because he was a black sheep – and goes up the drive to call the police. Her cousin, Juliet answers the door, and while Vera is there, a neighbor discovers the body of a young woman who turns out to be the baby’s mother. Vera and her team must solve the murder, and Vera has to deal with relatives that aren’t particularly dear to her and look down on her.

For those not familiar with Vera, she is frumpy, overweight, and not beautiful like most protagonists in novels. She is, however, very clever and an excellent Detective Inspector; she leads a team that respects and likes her. Her team does an excellent job sleuthing, and they work together well.

Cleeves is an award-winning author for a reason; she can tell a story well, and keep readers interested through ups and downs. Her storytelling is done in such a way that suspense builds throughout. One of the charming things about this series is the Scottish influence – i.e., although set in England, much of the idioms are Scottish, such as calling the abandoned child a “bairn.” The setting is in a small English village, and the characters well-developed and are what one would expect.

The Darkest Evening is an excellent novel; and fans will want to read it as soon as it is released. Those who aren’t familiar with Vera can also read this novel, as things are explained well and new readers of the series will get to know Vera. It’s always nice to read something that isn’t same-old, same-old, and this series is quite unique.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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