A complex, compelling and chilling detective murder-mystery, The Darkest Evening evokes images of curling up next to a crackling fire in a grand house with a cup of tea and a few biscuits while you read.
A darkly, propulsive story, we follow Vera, who starts off home after work in a snowstorm and comes upon a car that’s been abandoned by the road. The driver’s door has been left open and inside is a baby. As she tries to find the child’s parent, she soon stumbles across a dead body.
Throughout the story, we learn about Vera’s childhood, and her relationship with her estranged relatives, as well as about dirt secrets the family has worked hard to cover.
There is a long list of possible suspects, yet it never feels unwieldy or overwhelming. Each character is very well described with each having their own unique character arc. Ann Cleeves has cleverly crafted a traditional detective story with admirable skill, managing to evoke a stunning atmosphere amidst the flawless plot.
The Darkest Evening is the second in the Vera series and can be read as a standalone or as part of a series. I highly recommend for British crime thriller fans.
Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for my honest review.