#ThrowbackThursday ~ Dead Water: Shetland Book 5 by Ann Cleeves #Audiobook #CrimeFiction

Throwback Thursday this week is looking back at book five in one of my favourite series.

Despite my preference for starting a series from book one, I’m beginning with this one, which is actually book five. I’ve watched and enjoyed each season of the TV series, Shetland, and so I’m very familiar with the cast of characters. There are some differences between the two, mainly in Jimmy Perez’s looks and back story. Kenny Blyth, the narrator, is excellent and has a lovely Scottish lilt, which fits in well with the story and adds authenticity. Other accents are convincing too. The narrator of the four previous books has a middle to upper class English accent which I didn’t find engaging or appropriate for the setting. 

So, on to the story. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez is on extended leave after a personal tragedy. He’s finding it very hard to cope with much more than taking care of his step daughter, Cassie, and living from day-to-day. Jerry Markham, a Islander who left to find fame as a journalist in London, returns to Shetland with an agenda of his own and is found murdered, his body left in the Procurator Fiscal’s yoal. Rhona Laing rows with Aith women’s team but generally keeps herself aloof and isn’t particularly well liked. 

Sergeant Sandy Wilson isn’t comfortable being left in charge while his boss, Jimmy Perez, eases himself slowly back into work and is even less so when he takes a call from the Fiscal. As Procurator Fiscal, it’s Rhona Laing’s job to supervise the murder investigation but, feeling compromised as she found the body, she steps down. Sandy must liaise with Inverness to get a Serious Crime Squad over to the islands. 

Bressa Light, Shetland Isles

Again Perez seemed surprised, though not angry or annoyed. Sandy didn’t usually stand up to him. Sandy didn’t usually stand up to anyone. And these days anger seemed to be Jimmy’s default emotion.

‘I’m sorry.’ Perez shook his head. An attempt to think more clearly? Or an expression of a kind of despair? Then, after a moment, ‘It was good of you to come and let me know.’

Sandy hovered for a moment on the doorstep. The lighthouse at Raven’s Head had been lit and the beam swung across his head. He wondered if at the last moment Perez would change his mind and be tempted to drive with him up to Aith. He’d be curious, surely. Curiosity had always driven Jimmy forward to see cases through. And for a moment Perez did seem tempted.

Heading the investigation is Willow Reeves and despite himself, Jimmy is drawn into the case. It seems initially to have something to do with a story Jerry Markham discovered involving Shetlands natural resources and the decline of the oil industry but proves to be much more complex. The third person narrative works well, giving insight from several perspectives. Lots of false trails and plot twists keep things moving along and interesting. It kept me guessing and the ending was a complete surprise.

Lerwick town center

This is my first book by Ann Cleeves and I’ve downloaded the next Shetland book on the strength of it. The writing flows easily and the characters are well drawn and realistic, each with his or her own traits and flaws. The story is convincing and involved. Ann Cleeves has the ability to depict the characters and the local culture extremely well. For all his moodiness, which is understandable given the circumstances, Jimmy Perez is one of my favourite protagonists, intrinsically decent, always a truth seeker, and very likeable. The picturesque setting and atmospheric descriptions invoke a strong sense of place and bring the islands to life vividly.

About the Book

When the body of journalist Jerry Markham is found in a traditional Shetland boat, outside the house of the local public prosecutor, down at the Marina, young Detective Inspector Willow Reeves is drafted in to head up the investigation.

Since the death of his fiancée, Inspector Jimmy Perez has been out of the loop, but his interest in this new case is stirred and he decides to help the inquiry. Markham – originally a Shetlander but who had made a name for himself in London – had left the islands years before. In his wake, he left a scandal involving a young girl, Evie Watt, who is now engaged to a seaman. He had few friends in Shetland, so why was he back?

Willow and Jimmy are led to Sullum Voe, the heart of Shetland’s North Sea oil and gas industry. It soon emerges from their investigation that Markham was chasing a story in his final days. One that must have been significant enough to warrant his death . . .

#GuestPost from Alys West ~ Five Books To Transport You To Scotland #LockdownReads @alyswestyork #FridayReads

Today I’m delighted to welcome Alys West, author of Beltane (Urban Fantasy) and The Dirigible King’s Daughter (Steampunk) My reviews can be found here and here.

Alys’s latest novel, Storm Witch, is set in the beautiful islands of Orkney.  It’s contemporary fantasy with lots of magic, mystery, romance and stone circles. Storm Witch will be published on Friday 17th April and is available to purchase/pre-order on Amazon

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The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves ~ Murder/Mystery set in Devon @anncleeves #MatthewVenn

Author: Ann Cleeves

Published: September 2019 by Macmillan

Category: Police Procedural, Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Set in North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet before joining the sea, we’re introduced to Detective Inspector Matthew Venn who is on the periphery of the mourners at his father’s funeral. Matthew grew up in the area and has recently moved back to Barnstaple from Bristol, where he has been living and working.

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Top 20 Favourite #Books of 2018 #AmReading #FridayReads

The end of 2018 is approaching fast and it’s ‘favourite books of the year’ time again!  I enjoy looking back at books I’ve read and audios I’ve listened to, although choosing ones for the list never gets any easier. So in no particular order, here are some of my favourites.

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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.

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The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope #5) by @anncleeves #Crime in Northumberland @MacmillanAudio #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Ann Cleeves

Narrator: Charlie Hardwick

Released: May 2018 by Macmillan Audio

Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Audiobook, Review

The Glass Room is the fifth book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series – which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, VERA. DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbours keep her well-supplied in homebrew and conversation. But when one of them goes missing, her path leads her to more than a missing friend.

Returning home after work and looking forward to some down time, DI Vera Stanhope, not really the sociable type, is annoyed to find her neighbour, Jack, waiting for her.

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Red Bones (Shetland #3) by @anncleeves Crime/Mystery in the Shetland Isles #FridayReads


Author: Ann Cleeves

Published: (my edition) 2015 by Pan Books

Category: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Book Review

When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find – or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson – his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The story centres round an archaeological dig on Mima Wilson’s croft where a human skull has been found. Red Bones, book three in the Shetland series, finds Sandy Wilson, Mima’s grandson, visiting family on Whalsay, a short ferry ride from Lerwick where he lives and works as a detective constable in the Shetland police force.

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World of Books ~ Couldn’t resist adding more to my #reading pile #Books

After seeing this post on Cleopatra Loves Books, I had to check out World of Books. They offer a huge selection of preloved books, most of which are quite cheap, in a range of categories, and after a quick trawl (I’ll be going back for more, I’m sure!) I bagged these….

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Top Reads of 2016 #Books #AmReading #TuesdayBookBlog

It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK. 

28111823Dead Is Dead ~ Thriller

Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.

During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert.  Continue reading

Thin Air (Shetland 6) by @AnnCleeves ~ Murder in the #Shetland Isles #TuesdayBookBlog #AudioBookReview

  • 22966458Audiobook Review
  • Author: Ann Cleeves
  • Performed by Kenny Blyth
  • Released: May 2015 by Macmillan Audio
  • Category: Crime, Suspense, Thriller
  • five-stars

A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island, to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a Shetlander. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears – apparently into thin air.

As Caroline and Lowrie’s hamefarin’, the Shetland leg of their wedding celebrations, winds down, Caroline’s friends, Polly and Eleanor with their respective partners, return to their rented cottage. It’s midsummer, a time of prolonged dusk, known as the simmer dim. In the strange light earlier in the evening, Polly saw a young girl dressed in white on the shoreline. Continue reading