Ann Cleeves — The Darkest Evening

I’ve read a couple of Ann Cleeves’ books and enjoyed them, but this (#9 in the series) is my first DI Vera Stanhope novel. Cleeve always gives us a good feeling for the setting. This story centers around the estate of Vera’s family from which Vera’s father was disowned. The mystery plot is good and I was surprised when the killer was revealed.

This novel is a character-driven police procedural. I found the first murder victim, Lorna, to be the most interesting character in the story. The protagonist, DI Vera Stanhope, spent a bit too much time going over the same information in her head and getting nowhere. In my opinion, the author spends too much time covering many characters’ feelings of guilt, envy, or both. Joe, one of Vera’s team, seems to be the only one with his head on straight.

Overall a good read. It could have been shorter if it didn’t cover the same ground several times.