Wild Fire (Shetland Book 8) by Ann Cleeves #Scottish Crime Fiction @anncleeves #JimmyPerez #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Ann Cleeves

Published: September 2018 by Macmillan

Category: Scottish Crime Fiction, Murder, Suspense, Book Review

Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote.

Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, a new English family move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life. But when a young nanny’s body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire.

Helena, a well known knitwear designer, her husband Daniel, an architect, and their children, Ellie and Christopher, are recent incomers to Shetland. They’re leaving behind a hectic existence in London and are hoping for a better quality and more tranquil way of life, but find some of the local community less than friendly.

Christopher is autistic, a loner and ostracised by his peers. The previous owner of their new home in Deltaness, Dennis Gear, was found hanging in the barn by Daniel. He’d been on a downward spiral for a while but because of his suicide and the remodelling and extension to the house, their neighbours are jealous and resentful, somehow blaming them for Gear’s death. Helena has been receiving nasty little drawings depicting gallows and a hanged man and that, combined with the gossip, make her uneasy, wondering if they’ll ever be accepted.

When the body of Emma Shearer, a nanny working for Belle and Robert Moncrieff, the local doctor, is found hanging in the barn, just like Dennis Gear, Jimmy Perez calls Chief Inspector Willow Reeve, his superior on the mainland. Perez and Willow have a complicated personal relationship, neither quite sure where they stand. Willow delivers some shocking news when she arrives, and Jimmy’s reaction seems out of character. Relations between the two of them become even more strained and although Jimmy realises he’s behaved badly he can’t seem to get his act together.

Now they’d be working together again, and she wasn’t sure what she made of that. She’d pushed all thoughts of him to the back of her mind. It was too complicated and she was too independent. She’d not been feeling well recently, not as sharp as usual and with a lot less energy.

Not a lot is known about Emma Shearer apart from the fact she liked 60’s fashions. She’s been with the Moncrieff’s since she was seventeen and although no-one really knows her some are quick to offer criticism. Investigations into her past uncover a less than ideal childhood.

Murders aside, Wild Fire explores several social issues pertaining to living in small, sometimes insular, communities where there are few, if any, secrets. Gossip and rumours spread like wild fire, they can sometimes be spiteful and have terrible consequences. The Fleming family find themselves under suspicion although there is no forensic or other evidence, but that doesn’t stop people talking.

An intricate, well crafted and solid police procedural, beautifully written and characterised, full of atmosphere. The main characters have developed throughout the series and are completely believable and engaging, the secondary characters are also well drawn. Jimmy Perez is compelling, both on and of screen, brooding and compassionate but not without flaws. It’s good to see Sandy’s working and personal life is improving no end. Changes are on the horizon. Shetland itself, as always, is vividly and fondly described.

I’ve loved this series and DI Jimmy Perez, I’m really sorry that it’s come to an end.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Goodreads

About the Author

Ann Cleeves is the author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels, and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print. Both series are international bestsellers.

In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series. In 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook

18 thoughts on “Wild Fire (Shetland Book 8) by Ann Cleeves #Scottish Crime Fiction @anncleeves #JimmyPerez #TuesdayBookBlog

  1. Ooh, can’t wait for the TV version. But don’t know if I can wait that long to find out about Sandy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad the series stayed at a high standard all the way through. I’ve still only read the first book, but I will get to the rest one day! It’s always sad when a series comes to an end, but I do think authors are quite wise to do that rather than dragging it on even when it’s become a bit stale…

    Liked by 1 person

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