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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?

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

What listeners say about The Darkest Evening

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Vintage Vera

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

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Vera

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

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it

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

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent mystery

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

2 people found this helpful

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excellent audio book

good story, well read, over all it was very entertaining and enjoyed it very much.

1 person found this helpful

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Surprise

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

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  • jeannie-mar
  • 07-09-2020

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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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • aphtrt77
  • 22-02-2021

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
  • 04-09-2020

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
  • 18-09-2020

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
  • 08-09-2020

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
  • 20-09-2020

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
  • 06-09-2020

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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  • Angelcritique
  • 06-09-2020

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mel white
  • 06-09-2020

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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  • Janet
  • 02-05-2021

Dismal

Really badly written and apart from being able to do a Geordie accent, the reader wasn't much better. The characters were cardboard and totally unbelievable. The action ponderous. There were a couple of continuity mistakes. The author felt compelled to keep reviewing the plot/ progress so far, in the style of a police investigation. Which of course is what it described, but that isn't how novels work. I laughed out loud at some of the clumsy literary devices. Absolutely awful!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Prof.
  • 23-02-2021

An engaging story but shame about the narration

This is the first time I have listened/read a Cleeves novel, although for years I have been an avid fan of the TV series. There were all the hallmark characteristics of the storyline and the deep sense of place. However, the narration did great dis-service to any of the characters who, particularly if they had rural accents, they were depicted as slow, unintelligent stereotypes. How on earth had Joe ever risen in rank, nor indeed how on earth had Vera!! We expect Vera to be outspoken, but really, I never had her down to be so crass and with a death wish. This audio book is a huge disappointment, although I shall try another Cleeves book but with a better narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Piddlydog
  • 15-01-2021

Such a shame

Brilliant book and storyline , Anne cleeves is my favourite author. I was disappointed with the narrator and her attempt at accents.
I will go back to paper books in future no more Audible . This was my first attempt at audible and my last

1 person found this helpful

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