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Through the Evil Days

(The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #8)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,922 ratings  ·  657 reviews
The eighth book in the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series.

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
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  4,922 ratings  ·  657 reviews

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Start your review of Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8)
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. I loved this book! I give it a 5 out of 5 on the Goodreads rating scale. Other reviewers have discussed:
• The need to read the series in order. Yes! It is a series of 8 glorious books. Read them all and in order.
• The various plot lines. They are fairly intricate but also relatively easy to follow.

What I want to get across here is why you will want to read these books and what you will get from them.
1. The books are very well written. You will not f
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it

In this 8th book in the 'Reverend Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries', Russ and Clare look for a kidnapped child. The series does have an arc for the main characters, but the mystery can be read as a standalone.


In this mystery/thriller set in upstate New York, the first part of the book is a mystery: the cops are trying to find out who kidnapped a child, Mikayla, who recently had a liver transplant and will die without her medicine.

Once the suspects are identified
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries, churchy
On the one hand, I read this book quickly, with much affection for its characters. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe Julia Spencer-Fleming has become one of those writers who is so successful her editor stops editing her books. I love Clare Fergusson, she is the best, closest-to-real life fictional portrayal of a working priest I've encountered. So I suppose that's why I was disappointed to see Clare, pregnant and in the types of danger that no priest in upstate New York would ever be. ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. And I hated the ending. I felt the final character had more character than was exhibited at the end. But that shortcoming in no way lessened my love for the book. I can hardly wait for the NEXT Clare and Russ installment!

I had some physical challanges over the summer and reading was one of the things I could do. I received an Advance Readers' Edition of the book which really hit the spot and saved my sanity! Through the Evil Days was thoroughly satisfying. Of course I am sold
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Adventurous, funny, and oh, so human. Russ and Clare, this one's for you:

If thou but suffer God to guide thee,
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
Though storms roll in, though folks deride thee,
He'll bear thee through the evil days.
God lent thee wits; thy spouse's love;
Thy combat skills; instincts thereof.

Only be still and wait His leisure
With loaded gun and heart content
To take whate'er the Father's pleasure
And all-discerning love hath sent:
Censure; defunding; meth lords; Feds;
A kidnapped girl
L.A. Starks
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Back in March 2011, I finished One was a Soldier - the book preceding this one in the series about Clare Ferguson and Russ Van Alstyne. After reading the closing line, I threw the previous book across the room yelling - " can't leave us hanging like this!"

30 plus months later, we are finally able to pick up the story.  All of us who are fans of this wonderful cast of characters have been holding our collective breath to see what's going to happen.  I really hate to give too much away so
Lynn Reynolds
Oct 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Not my favorite in the generally excellent Clare Fergusson mysteries, but still an enjoyable read. The mystery in this entry focuses on a missing girl and a meth lab operation. You'd think that would lead to a roller coaster plot full of suspense. Eventually, it does take off and the action builds to a satisfying conclusion, but it takes Ms. Spencer-Fleming longer than usual to get there. The reason: a much greater focus on the personal lives of Clare & Russ and two supporting characters, Hadley ...more
Mary Frances
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow, it was hard to rate this book. I love this series, love the characters, love the way the author makes the characters real. Clare, an Episcopal priest and war veteran, is so interesting and complex. Russ seems very much like men I have known, in love with a strong woman, unthreatened by her strength but struggling a lot with the energy and change she brings to his life. The others characters too have distinct and complicated personalities and lives. All good. However, I had to give this book ...more

A young foster child is kidnapped and her foster parents are killed in a house fire. Reverend Claire Ferguson is newly married to Deputy Russ Van Alstyne, and in hot water with Episcople church hierarchy for being pregnant before she was married. The two take a delayed honeymoon and this is when it becomes apparent they are idiots. They go in January in upstate New York to a lake cabin with no phone and no cell service. Then a blizzard arrives. After all it’s January! In addition to the kidnappe
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm going to do what I've done with several of these books in the past, and start off with a few paragraphs that are safe for anyone, then switch to safe if you've read through book 7 in the series but not this (with maybe the odd spoiler line or two) and then launch into discussion with my 4 friends who've read this one already behind spoiler cut.

Most of what I have to say about the series overall has been said in bits and pieces, by me and/or by my fellow addicts, but this might be a good plac
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Why did I read a book revolving around a catastrophe of an ice storm when there's a snow forecast for the weekend? I guess I'll go stock up on--well, judging by this book, I guess I'll go stock up on first aid kits, emergency supplies of Oxy, heavy weaponry, wood-burning stoves, and all the hand-crank radios in the world. That should do it.

This is a tense, well-constructed, complex entry in the series. Spencer-Fleming creates a set of urgent, troubling circumstances for her cast of characters--t
Christine PNW
Why would you do that to Kevin & Hadley?
Nov 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This was fine, but there was too much going on and I'm not really a fan of the books that take place in a super-short timeframe.

(view spoiler)
Although I only discovered Julia Spencer-Fleming's amazing Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series this past summer, I immediately became a steadfast fan. The bonus I received for playing catch-up is that I only had to wait four months between my reading of One Was a Soldier, #7 in the series, and Through the Evil Days, #8. Also, I had the fan-dream-come-true opportunity to meet Julia at Bouchercon in September and take a drive through a bit of the Adirondacks, eating lunch at a rustic inn on La ...more
Melissa McShane
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
This latest installment in the series reads a lot more like a thriller than a mystery, with Clare and Russ trapped in a not-so-wondrous winter wonderland and the rest of the MKPD fighting the worst storm in years as well as trying to find the kidnappers of a little girl. The two plots eventually connect, fortunately, keeping the story from feeling like two books in one, and the solution to the mystery has enough twists to make it interesting. I thought the main kidnapper was a little too evil to ...more
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of this series ever since I discovered the first book, and eagerly await each new book as it is released. I was delighted to receive a free review copy of this book. "Through the Evil Days" (since main character Clare is an Episcopal priest, all the titles are drawn from Anglican hymns) picks up shortly after the last book left off, with Clare newly sober and newly pregnant, and her husband Russ reeling and a bit resentful about the unexpected pregnancy. Clare and Russ are planni ...more
Lynn Spencer
4.5 stars I honestly don’t remember who was the first to recommend Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ van Alstyne series to me. I know Rachel Potter and Jean Wan here at AAR have raved about these books, as have posters on our message boards and various other bloggers I read. And I have to say that I agree with them. These books are fabulous. Spencer-Fleming gives readers good mysteries, but more importantly, her characters are intelligently written and over the course of the 8(so ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
#8 in the Clare Fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne series. The book starts with posing 3 problems with a one week deadline. Clare has been charged with un-priestly behavior for her pre-marital pregnancy and the Bishop has given her a week to quietly resign from St. Alban's or face a trial by the church. Russ has found that in a week the town council will decide whether to place the question of eliminating the Miller's Kill Police Department and turn its functions over to the State Police. Kevin Flynn ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: military, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an awesome addition to this series!!! I didn't want it to be over, as Clare and Russ start their short honeymoon. But when you're 5 months preggers and a female Episcopalian priest who just married the local Sheriff, things tend to get sticky. Now Clare has a week to decide to resign quietly or face charges from her bishop of conduct unbecoming to a priest. Russ for his part has his own problems as the city council has decided that Miller's Kill may not need their own police force. Never mi ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Now I'm all caught up on the series, and I want to know what happens NEXT. Though this wasn't my favorite--too much of Clare and Russ's honeymoon from Hell felt a bit too conveniently messed up, on top of some threats of life-changing proportions in their lives (and I'm not just talking about impending parenthood, though the book does deal with that as well). It does say something for the propulsive nature of the narrative that I managed to overcome my loathing for kidnapped-child stories. Thoug ...more
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chief of police Russ and Rev Clare are called to a house fire that turns out to be murder and there is an 8 year old sick girl missing. They still leave on a week long ice fishing honeymoon even though both of them are wrestling with personal problems. Since Clare was pregnant when they got married the church wants her gone and the police dept is thinking of disbanding so Russ will be out of a job. he also isn’t happy about becoming a father. Hadley is also having problems with her ex-husband wa ...more
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
One Was A Soldier was sooo good and Spencer-Fleming left Russ and Clare, well, in QUITE the situation at the end, that I had to dig right into Through the Evil Days to continue the story. I wrote more on my blog:
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the 8th book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series finds Clare and Russ married, trying to get a grip on Clare’s pregnancy (which Russ didn’t want) and hoping to get to their long-delayed honeymoon. But first they must deal with their own personal problems. While Reverend Clare has been married two and a half months she is five and a half months pregnant. So the Bishop gives Clare one week to decide whether she will resign or be brought up on charges of sexual misconduct and conduct ...more
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an Advanced Readers Copy, so I could review it. I can't tell you how excited & happy this makes me!

Evil Days is a great ride. I stayed up too late reading, I ignored the new puppy, I called in favors so I could keep turning the pages. This is just plain, old-fashioned good writing that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The tension builds and builds, and when you finally reach the end there is one more surprise. I closed the book with grunt of surprise, and I’m still thinking about the
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The story of “Through the Evil Days” spins out over one week in the lives of our favorite Millers Kill residents, all of whom face daunting challenges and inner apprehension as they are thrown into situations fraught with emotional upheaval. While Russ and Clare struggle to come to grips with her unexpected pregnancy, Clare once again finds herself at odds with the bishop and Russ is caught up in an unexpected issue with the aldermen. The department’s investigation of an early-morning house fire ...more
David Bryant
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it
My spouse and I both just read this and agree -- It was like candy, or a box of cracker jacks -- enjoyable to consume, but then you are done.
We have both read all of the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne books, so we knew what we were getting into.
On the plus side: the book is engaging, a real page-turner if you are into this sort of suspense novel. Lots of action, lots of interesting characters, lots of nasty upstate New York weather to worry about on your heroes' behalf.
The plot is, of cours
C.P. Stringham
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What's the worst thing about this book? That I have to wait for JSF to release the next. I picked up my copy on 11/13/13 with every intention of drawing reading time out as long as possible to make it last. Seriously. Good intentions, lack of discipline. Fifty pages here, fifty pages there, and one-hundred pages before bed. Before I knew it, I was on her acknowledgements page at the back of the book. In five days, it was done.

I have come to think of Russ and Clare as cherished old friends I hav
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the strengths of Julia Spencer-Fleming's series is that she never writes the same book twice. That also means that some of the enjoyable scenes of previous books, like the banter with Harlene in the police department and with Clare and her church secretary are minimal, because the action is set away from the town of Millers Kill and is moved into the Adirondack wilds.
Vestry meetings bookend this story, since the Reverend Clare Fergusson is under a bishop's review for "conduct unbecomin
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The Narthex: Work-In-Progress Wednesdays 53 27 Sep 14, 2012 03:09AM  

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Wednesday, September 7

Work-In-Progress Wednesday at my Reader Space. We're up to the fifth part of the second chapter of my eighth book, which has some numerological meaning, I'm sure.

Other books in the series

The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries (9 books)
  • In the Bleak Midwinter (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #1)
  • A Fountain Filled with Blood (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #2)
  • Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3)
  • To Darkness and to Death (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #4)
  • All Mortal Flesh (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #5)
  • I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6)
  • One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7)
  • Hid from Our Eyes (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #9)

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