DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves's phenomenally popular series.
The darkest nights can hide the deadliest secrets . . .
Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly.
But with the snow driving down heavily, she becomes disorientated and loses her way, eventually stumbling on another car abandoned on the road. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat.
Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in.
Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera has a new case. Could she be the child's mother and, if she is, what happened to her?
Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels, and in 2017 was awarded the highest accolade in crime writing, the CWA Diamond Dagger. She is the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez who can now be found on television in ITV's Vera and BBC One's Shetland. The TV series and the books they are based on have become international sensations, capturing the minds of millions worldwide.
Ann worked as a probation officer, bird observatory cook, and auxiliary coastguard before she started writing. She is a member of 'Murder Squad', working with other British northern writers to promote crime fiction. Ann is also a passionate champion for libraries and was a National Libraries Day Ambassador in 2016. Ann lives in North Tyneside near where the Vera books are set.
A thoroughly engrossing thriller
Mail on Sunday
Cleeves's Northumberland novels are strong on atmosphere, combining old-fashioned detective work with a modern take on class
Brilliantly written, with more twists and turns you can shake one of Vera's hats at
A gripping read
Fans will enjoy matching wits with Cleeves's eccentric sleuth right up to the dangerous surprise in her denouement
Cleeves has a fine time constructing a clockwork murder plot
Superb . . . This page-turner is must reading for fans as well as newcomers
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This ninth instalment will keep you guessing until the end
Well-paced and plotted, with its evocative Northumberland village setting and excellent characterisation, this is a great winter read
A touch of the Agatha Christie house-party murder
Book of the Week, Country Life
Award-winning crime author Ann Cleeves makes a welcome return with the ninth book in her popular Vera series