I have read several of Ann Cleeves books in The Shetland Series as well as the The Vera Stanhope Series. I also have watched both series on television and have enjoyed them. This book, The Darkest Evening, is my favorite. Two things stand out for me, one is that Vera has a personal involvement as the the Stanhope family is central to the story, this made Vera more alive to me. Secondly Vera, although still tough as nails, starts to soften her attitude toward her female officer, Holly. The story line is complex enough to be interesting but not so complex that it is hard to follow. You probably will not guess the murderer ( I never try) but it will make sense, not someone just added in at the end. If you enjoy an occasional mystery I highly recommend The Darkest Evening.