Reviews for Through the Evil Days

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
*Starred Review* Newly married (and pregnant) Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and Miller's Kill Police Chief Russ van Alstyne are grateful for the solitude of their ice-fishing honeymoon, as they both have a tangle of professional and personal complications to sort. But soon after they arrive, a snowstorm begins burying the region. As the honeymooners make preparations to depart, they encounter a pair of cagey meth heads and find themselves battling criminals and the elements. In the meantime, Miller's Kill is left without Russ to solve the murders of local foster parents and the disappearance of their foster child. Officers Hadley Knox and Kevin Flynn, awkward after an ill-advised fling, are forced to struggle together against terrified witnesses and blizzard conditions to reveal the kidnapping's connection to a local methamphetamine kingpin. This novel, the eighth starring Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alstyne, is among the best in the series, combining steady action with complex, sympathetic characters and an immersive setting. Clare and Russ are an unusual but fitting pair, and Spencer-Fleming perfectly captures the contrasting emotions of love and frustration that define marriage. Readers seeking tales of city crime reaching small towns will love the well-crafted setting and story but shouldn't expect a cozy; there's plenty of grit here. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 November #2
Now that they're married and pregnant--not in that order--Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and Millers Kill Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne (Once Was a Soldier, 2011, etc.) are in for the honeymoon from hell. Mikayla Johnson has gone missing. The outlook is bleak, since whoever took her evidently shot her foster parents, retired federal agents Ted and Helen MacAllen, and torched their house, making sure to do an especially thorough job. Since Mikayla, 8, had a liver transplant not long ago, she's on a complicated regimen of immunosuppressants, and if she doesn't keep up with them, she'll die. As the Millers Kill Police Department begins their ticking-clock search for the missing child who's been abandoned by her meth-head mother, Annie, and her abusive ex-con father, Hector DeJean (whose name is a broad wink to industry insiders), they pick up chilling hints that her disappearance may be linked to Annie's well-connected drug supplier Tim LaMar. Meanwhile, there's trouble aplenty on the homefront. Russ learns that the state police, backed by some budget-conscious local officials, are looking to disband the Millers Kill department and take over its duties. Officer Kevin Flynn, a mainstay of the force whose relationship with Officer Hadley Knox is foundering, is offered a tempting job with the Syracuse Police Department. Hadley's smarmy ex-husband, Dylan, pops up from California demanding money she doesn't have or their children. Clare's bishop, scandalized by her premature pregnancy, asks her to resign her pulpit at St. Alban's or face disciplinary charges. There's barely room for the once-in-a-lifetime ice storm that strikes just as Clare and Russ are hunkering down in an isolated cabin in Cooper's Corner to get some quiet time for themselves. Spencer-Fleming, whose record has shown that she's not afraid to pile on the plot complications, ladles out threats, betrayal, redemption and seriously bad weather until Clare loses track of how many times her honeymoon has been interrupted by bad guys who've held her husband at gunpoint. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 October #1

Demand will be high for the eighth entry in this multi-award winning series (after One Was a Soldier). Pregnant Clare is directly in harm's way in this chilling January tale.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #3

In Agatha-winner Spencer-Fleming's eighth Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery (after 2011's One Was a Soldier), the individual personal dramas of her leads overshadow the detective work. Clare, an Episcopal priest, and new husband Russ, the police chief of Millers Kill, N.Y., are looking forward to a week's honeymoon. Meanwhile, Clare's pregnancy, which began before their wedding, places her career in jeopardy, and Russ learns that his department may be completely eliminated. Clare's condition evokes conflicting feelings in Russ, whose first wife suffered numerous miscarriages. Russ also fears that Clare's substance abuse before learning she was pregnant will harm the baby. With all those issues to work through, the story's central crime--an act of arson aimed at covering up a double murder--almost recedes into the background. While the couple's complex relationship will engage readers, the very pregnant Clare's active involvement in getting the bad guys strains credulity. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)

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