from description: Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
The two caretaker/hosts Erin and Danny meet the members of a tech company who have gathered for a week of skiing and some important business decisions.
From the beginning, an awkwardness and differing opinions are evident among the guests. Then Eva, one of the group, goes missing on a closed slope and an avalanche isolates the group in the chalet. Well, you know from the title what happens next.
Told from two points of view, the book moves from the quarrels and divisions among the tech group to suspicion, distrust, and fear.
I didn't care for Turn of the Key, Ware's last book, but I enjoyed this one.
Read in May. Blog review scheduled for Aug. 21, 2020.
Suspense/Mystery. Sept. 8, 2020. Print length: 384 pages
Ann Cleeves always gets my attention and keeps it. Her skillful plotting and her vivid depictions of Vera in action are something I look forward to.
Blizzard-like conditions contrive to make Vera Stanhope miss the right turn-off on her way home. As she drives through the snow, she spots a car off the road. When she stops to check, she finds the driver side door open and a toddler in the back seat. With no sign of the driver, Vera takes the toddler her with to the closet house, which happens to be that of estranged relatives. The wealthier and more sophisticated Stanhopes have a dinner party in progress, and despite her reluctance, Vera has no choice but to interrupt it.
Sitting in the kitchen, checking with the police, Vera is shocked when the little boy's mother is found dead by a neighboring farmer who arrived on a tractor to pick up his daughters who were acting as waitresses for the Stanhope dinner.
The Darkest Evening kept me engrossed throughout, and I sped right through it, a little annoyed with my husband's interruptions in the afternoon. :)
Two slight changes from previous books made me like it even more. Of course, Vera is a bit unkempt and she is brusque with her colleagues, but she is a sharp and observant detective. It is particularly interesting to see the way Vera sees Joe and Holly--her team, and the way they view her.
The Darkest Evening is the 9th in the series, but can function as a stand-alone. Ann Cleeves has another winner in this one. I recently saw this quote about Vera and found it apt:
"... one of the most appealing fictional detectives to emerge since Andy Dalziel got into his stride..."
Martin Edwards, Spinetingler Magazine
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press
Police Procedural/Mystery. Sept. 8. 2020. Print length: 384 pages.