Review: Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Happy Halloween! Though it doesn’t happen at Halloween it’s a good time of year to read a mystery . . .

through-the-evil-daysThrough the Evil Days
by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Series: Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne series, Book 8
Genre: Mystery
Published by Minotaur Books, 2013
E-book, Purchased
368 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: On a frigid January night, Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne and Reverend Clare Fergusson are called to the scene of a raging fire, that quickly becomes a double homicide and kidnapping. Which is the very last thing Russ needs…Currently he’s struggling with the prospect of impending fatherhood. And his new wife is not at all happy with his proposal for their long-delayed honeymoon: a week in an unelectrified ice-fishing cabin. The vestry of St. Alban’s Church has called for the bishop to investigate Clare’s “unpriestly” pregnancy. She has one week to find out if she will be scolded, censured, or suspended from her duties. Officer Hadley Knox is having a miserable January as well. Her on-again-off-again lover, Kevin Flynn, has seven days to weigh an offer from the Syracuse Police Department that might take him half a state away.

As the days and hours tick by, Russ and Clare fight personal and professional battles they’ve never encountered. In the course of this one tumultuous week the lives of the Millers-Kill residents readers have come to love and cherish change forever. Readers have waited years for Through The Evil Days and Julia Spencer-Fleming delivers with the exquisite skill and craftsmanship that have made her such a success.

Dear God, please help me to be more understanding of my husband, who’s being a monumental jerk— She started again. Dear God, please help me to break through my husband’s stubbornness— No, she released the cross and pressed her hands against her abdomen. She knew what the right prayer was. “Dear God,” she said, “please help me.”


“Oh, God.” She pushed herself up to her knees and clambered to her feet. “I’m so sorry. I saw a light or something through the trees and I thought it was a gun.”

Russ put his arms around her and held her tight. “Don’t apologize. It’s okay. You’re okay, darlin’.”

“Goddammit. I just want to get the war out of my head once and for all.” Her voice was muffled by his parka.

“It takes a long time for those instincts to settle down. And they never really go entirely away. Look at me.”

His own combat service had left scars on Russ’s body and mind. “Yeah. You can’t walk through a green forest without watching for snipers, and I can’t be out in the open without thinking I’m going to be lit up.”


  • Lots has happened in this series since the first book. This is a series which you should read in order so please start at the beginning if you haven’t read any of this series. The books are very good.
  • Russ and Clare’s lives have changed the most in this series. They both face personal, professional and physical problems during the course of this book.
  • The setting of these books is wonderful…a small town in upstate New York in the Adirondacks.
  • The weather is also a character in this book. Bad weather always causes problems for a police department.
  • In this case, it’s winter and a monster storm occurs during the book. The Millers Kill Police Department is overloaded by vehicle accidents and a missing child. Russ and Clare are in the Adirondacks on their honeymoon checking out a vacation cabin they might buy. Not the best time of year for it!
  • Nonstop action.
  • I like the mysteries, but I also like the ongoing story of the different characters in these books. The characters are realistic and not perfect. Clare’s problems in the last book (One Was a Soldier) after she returned from Iraq are very realistic.
  • Throughout these books we find out about other characters in the books–especially members of the police department. Good and bad things happen as they do to people.


  • There’s a brief scene in the book which indicates something happens, but nothing is heard about it again. (I can’t be more specific without creating spoilers).

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve read all the books in this series and have enjoyed all of them.
  • This is a series I love. My only worry is that it takes the author a while to write the books–but when she finishes one it’s great!
  • I’ve read there may be another book out in Spring 2015. I hope so!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

2 thoughts on “Review: Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming”

  1. You’re digging up all my old favorites lately! I am several books behind on this series but I always loved them. Not quite sure why I quit reading her – maybe because of the delay in between books? Anyway, I’m glad to hear the series is still going strong and is still as good! I’ll have to look for this one and the ones I’ve missed. Thanks for sharing and for reminding me!


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