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DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves' enduringly popular series.
Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly.
But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she 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 knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child's mother, and if so, what happened to her?
A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.
Praise for the Vera Stanhope series
‘Nobody does unsettling undercurrents better than Ann Cleeves’ Val McDermid
‘One of the best natural writers of detective fiction’ Sunday Express
‘An excellent, atmospheric mystery. Ann Cleeves is our Queen in the North’ Mick Herron
‘Cleeves weaves an absorbingly cunning mystery’ Daily Mail
‘A fine writer’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Great sense of place, well-rounded characters and a cracking plot’ Woman & Home
‘An excellent balance of puzzle, character and setting that makes for first-rate entertainment’ Martin Edwards
‘Cleeves is quietly carving out a reputation as the new Queen of Crime’ Sunday Mirror
‘If you’re a fan of ITV’s crime drama Vera, you’ll love the books that inspired the series’ S Magazine
‘All the elements of Agatha Christie at her best’ S. J. Bolton