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  • Location: Northumberland, Kimmerston, Newcastle

The Darkest Evening

The Darkest Evening

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Vera finds an abandoned child in a car…

  • ISBN: B084G2Q7HR
  • Genre: Crime, Police Procedural

What you need to know before your trail

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.

Travel Guide

Visit Northumberland with Vera

The main setting in the novel is fictional – Kirkhill and the house where the party is taking place at the start. Vera has a connection to this house  in more ways than one. It does sound grand!

Northumberland in and around Kimmerston has plenty of villages and grand homes where it could be. Anywhere you drive around here, you can imagine spotting Vera’s green jeep. In the snow, you’ll need one yourself!

The large expanse of wild landscape is always nicely evoked in Ann Cleeves’ novels and this is no exception. There are a few visits to Newcastle’s cultural spots such as the Tyneside Cinema, Live Theatre and the Quayside but it’s the wild Northumberland landscape which shines here.

It’s wilder than normal as it’s winter, it’s very dark and remote and the snow is thick and heavy. Driving conditions are dangerous. No place to find a car with a child still inside….alone.

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Northumberland at Christmas. Vera is driving her battered Land Rover when she comes across a car that has been run off the road. A small child is still inside. Alone.
And so starts the ninth installment of the brilliant Vera series. Vera takes on the care of this child and takes her to the nearest house which is called Brockburn. Vera’s relatives live here…… This case is about to get messy and a little bit personal…

It’s my favourite Vera so far. I think it’s because we really get an insight into Vera’s life here and her relatives. The initial mystery is strong and it was great to see her in this case which is so close to home. I don’t need an excuse to appreciate Vera as she drives around the beautiful Northumberland countryside as it’s great spotting the places you know and then realising a fictional murder has been committed there.

This is a very strong installment to a great series and I envy those who are yet to discover the great Vera novels!

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Darkest Evening

Destination/location: Northumberland, Newcastle  Author/guide: Ann Cleeves Departure Time: 2000s

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