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Publisher's Summary

DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in Sunday Times best seller 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 that she becomes disorientated 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 recognises 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.

©2020 Ann Cleeves (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

What listeners say about The Darkest Evening

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  • jeannie-mar
  • 07-09-20

fantastic story

I had to listen to this straight through it was a great fast paced story that kept me entertained to the end

1 person found this helpful

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  • aphtrt77
  • 22-02-21

Slow and repetitive

Ok, but unfortunately it is full of filler and constant repetitions. The pace is really slow.

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  • Lucy Anne Barber
  • 04-09-20

stopped my day

I was hooked straight away. It was so good well read. I had to listen to the whole book in one go!
the reader had the voices of the characters so well matched.the atmosphere was so chilly. I felt the cold weather added to the drama.
Ann Cleeve is a brilliant author. This latest work is up with the rest.

14 people found this helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 18-09-20

I don't believe all the plaudits for the narrator!

I cannot bear to listen any more, this narrator sounds like an inexperienced drama queen trying for her first audition.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs N Forbes
  • 08-09-20

narrator unsuitable

good storyline.But ruined by the narrator reading as if it was a Noddy tale.Not at all well matched. narrator better suited to children's fairytales. The geordie tale deserves a slight geordie dialect.as the previous book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Caunt
  • 20-09-20

Poor Book / Narrator

Poor story, Not one of the best Anne Cleeve Vera books and it didnt help with the poor narration

3 people found this helpful

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  • Julia Williams
  • 06-09-20

Fab as always

I enjoy Vera on TV but these audio books are really great and give you more background. The narrator is excellent.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mel white
  • 06-09-20

a brilliant read

The plot kept me guessing until the end and the narrator was excellent. I listened to it over a weekend as it was unputdownable. Would like to know more about the progress of the main characters. Another storyline perhaps?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angelcritique
  • 06-09-20

Brilliant plot and characterisation

What can I say. This is a brilliantly written and narrated further adventure in the 'Vera' series. I love Ann Cleeves' heroine. These and the Shetland novels are the jewels in her crown. She should focus her time on these two series. It's wasted on any of the other series she has produced, in my opinion. 'The Darkest Evening' is a must for 'Vera' aficionados.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Irene S.
  • 20-04-21

The Darkest Evening

Gripping story to the end. Wonderfully told by Janine Birkett the accents and the inflections are just right. Throughly enjoyed it Live the Vera series

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  • Christine Macmillan
  • 12-04-21

Kept guessing!

Enjoyed the pace of the book. plentry time to develop the main characters.
A stretch of credibility at the end with ' who done it' but still a good read.

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  • Jane Tuber
  • 30-03-21

a great series

enjoyed it. interesting how all the families lives pulled together. love the tv series too

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  • Ruth
  • 05-10-20

Vintage Vera

Loved it. Great exploration of an aging Vera and male Middle age. Vera was as tenacious and pugnacious as ever!

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  • Helen
  • 02-10-20

The Best Narration

Storyline in the style we come to expect from Anne Cleeves. But it's the narrator Janine Birkett that brings this book to life. I can't praise her enough for her superb regional accents and making Vera sound like she's just walked off the set of the TV series which I love. well done!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sandra
  • 01-10-20

Vera

A good Vera. If you are a Vera fan you will not want to miss this book. Thoroughly enjoyed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Babs Moy
  • 22-09-20

A more mellow Vera?

Classic Vera. Wonderfully written with in a delightful rural setting. Good to sell Holly moving towards the centre of the action.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-09-20

An excellent book

I just loved this book, the narrator was perfect. The plot had me guessing till the end. Well read, great to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-09-20

Anne Cleeves 2020

Loved it. Vera is an adorable character. Well read
easy to visualize scenes.
Looking forward to hearing Anne's next Vera book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rhonda Chapman
  • 17-09-20

Loved it

Loved this book my first of the Vera books the narrator was great to listen to

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  • Noelle N.
  • 06-09-20

Excellent mystery

Narrator at times didn’t sound as I expected character to be although the Vera voice was good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 17-12-20

Surprise

Very good character projection. Solid story line. Good descriptive dialogue and definitely entertaining overall really

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  • fiona kew
  • 13-11-20

Another thrilling ride with Vera and her team.

Ann Cleaved never disappoints. couldn't stop listening. Thrilling with so many twists. can't wait for the next one.