Title: Through the Evil Days
Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the Russ Van Alstyne/Rev. Clare Fergusson series.
Russ and Clare are finally celebrating their status as newlyweds by heading out on their honeymoon, but there’s more to deal with than they bargained for. Clare is pregnant, which Russ never planned for or wanted. Because she became pregnant before their marriage, Clare is facing problems at work, while Russ isn’t sure what the future holds for the Millers Kill police department. Add that to a brutal winter storm, and Russ, Clare, and the rest of Millers Kill will never be the same.
The eighth book in the Russ Van Alstyne/Rev. Clare Fergusson series takes the reader back to Millers Kill, the small town that these two kindred spirits live in. For those who haven’t read the series (and don’t mind the spoiler alert), Russ Van Alstyne is the chief of police and Clare Fergusson is an Episcopal minister. It’s a smart crime fiction series that deals with difficult issues, such as religion, alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD, veterans’ affairs, and more. This is a series I recommend to anyone and everyone, starting with In the Bleak Midwinter; the most recent book, Through the Evil Night, is no exception.
Through the Evil Night takes a close, hard look at the relationship between Russ and Clare. No one doubts they love each other; it’s taken them so long to come together, and they’ve been through so much together. But marriage doesn’t mean smooth sailing, and things are pretty rocky between the two of them. Clare’s pregnancy is just a symptom of the larger issues they’re both dealing with. Spencer-Fleming does an excellent job examining the serious communication problems within their relationship.
Though every book in this series is a game changer in one way or another, Through the Evil Days is even more so in many ways. The change in Russ and Clare’s personal status, with a baby on the way, is just one aspect in which this is true. They both love their jobs, yet are facing the prospect of not having them after their honeymoon is over. This leads to serious self-doubt and questioning on both their parts. It’s so interesting to see how the author keeps her characters and situations dynamic; things are always shifting, as they are in real life. It keeps the series fresh and interesting, ensuring readers will always come back for more.
But don’t be worried; Through the Evil Days isn’t strictly pensive. While it’s a thoughtful read, to be sure, there’s also plenty of action to be had. Knowing Russ and Clare, it’s easy to see that this won’t be any ordinary honeymoon. The main plotline is intriguing and suspenseful, and readers will plow through this book in one sitting. Spencer-Fleming has delivered another excellent novel that will leave her fans clamoring to find out what’s next for these characters.
Other books by Julia Spencer-Fleming: