Sunday, 13 September 2020

[MPOV] The Darkest Evening (Vera Stanhope #9)

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.36/5
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Published: September 8th, 2020
Author: Ann Cleeves
Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense, crime fiction

On the first snowy night of winter, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope sets off for her home in the hills. Though the road is familiar, she misses a turning and soon becomes lost and disorientated. A car has skidded off the narrow road in front of her, its door left open, and she stops to help. There is no driver to be seen, so Vera assumes that the owner has gone to find help. But a cry calls her back: a toddler is strapped in the back seat.

Vera takes the child and, driving on, she arrives at a place she knows well. Brockburn is a large, grand house in the wilds of Northumberland, now a little shabby and run down. It’s also where her father, Hector, grew up. Inside, there’s a party in full swing: music, Christmas lights and laughter. Outside, unbeknownst to the revelers, a woman lies dead in the snow.
As the blizzard traps the group deep in the freezing Northumberland countryside, Brockburn begins to give up its secrets, and as Vera digs deeper into her investigation, she also begins to uncover her family’s complicated past. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for this e-ARC in return for my honest review.

I've always loved a good mystery crime fiction and The Darkest Evening definitely delivered it. Although it's part of a series, the story itself was a standalone with many references to the past so no confusion here. I liked that it is as detailed as it can be but at times it did feel a little tiring having to follow up with so many casts and plots. Other than that, it was an awesome read till the end.

I have been kept guessing 'who did it?' and gotten it all wrong! With so many casts involved, it sure caused many confusions for me. At first, I thought it could be Karan or Harriet or Juliet. Then Mark or Josh. But in the end, it was the not so obvious choice! Oh well, it was a good one too which kept me engaged from the start until the end.
I honestly felt it could have been shorter as there were many fillers to me with thoughts from various casts pondering about the case or about each other. I know that makes the case more solid but it did feel a little too much at times.

All in all, it was a crime fiction that I've enjoyed. I was surprised at how realistic it was, such a believable story and well described that I can imagined it easily. With a little art and poem, the mystery became more artistically challenged LOL!

And miles to go before I sleep ~ Robert Frost

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