DCI Vera Stanhope returns in The Darkest Evening, the ninth novel in No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller Ann Cleeves's phenomenally popular crime series. The darkest nights can hide the deadliest secrets . . . Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope's only thought is to get there quickly. But with the snow driving down heavily, she becomes disorientated and loses her way, eventually stumbling on another car abandoned on the road. With the driver's door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but 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 has a new case. Could she be the child's mother and, if she is, what happened to her?