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The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeve has written more the 30 critically acclaimed crime novels, and her latest, The Darkest Evening, is a cracker!

DCI Verna Stanhope is driving home in a blizzard when she misses her turnoff. Not sure where she is, she stops when she sees a car on the side of the road that looks like it has slid off in the snow. Going to investigate, she finds the driver’s door is open, but the driver has gone. But more worrying, in the backseat is a little toddler, strapped into his car seat, in danger of freezing to death in the terrible weather.

Taking the child and wanting to find a phone as soon as possible to get help in finding the child’s parents, Vera drives on until she comes to a stately home – one that she immediately recognises as a house owned by some of her relatives. In this home, a party is in full swing, and Vera makes the phone call she needs to make to a start to find the toddler’s parents. But it’s not long before a young woman is found murdered and lying in the snow just outside the house. It’s the child’s mother, but just what happened here?

The Darkest Evening is a page-turning novel with a great mystery at its heart, as one by one, each person in the country manor house comes under suspicion. The home is in a small town with many secrets, gossip and rumour, that Vera and her team must sift through to find the truth.

Macmillan Publishers