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Publisher's Summary

When a young archaeologist discovers a set of human remains, the locals are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery? Then an elderly woman is fatally shot, and Ann Cleeves' popular series detective Jimmy Perez is called in. As claustrophobic mists swirl around the island, Inspector Perez finds himself totally in the dark.

©2009 Ann Cleeves (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    282
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    195
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    60
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    8
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    3

Performance

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    141
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    30
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    5
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    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I Feel Like I have Been to the Shetland Island

Ann Cleeves is a master story-teller. I found her description of Jimmy Perez to be perfectly written -- “It always amazed Sandy how much Perez could pack into a small space of time. If you met him you’d think the inspector was kind of slow. It was his way of thinking before he spoke so you knew that when the words came out they were just the ones he’d intended. But Perez wasn’t slow at all. There was a sort of magic in his asking the right questions the first time, picking up the clues in a situation, knowing when it was time to move on.”

That is how the story proceeds. Slow, meandering and then it all links up with old and new stories and people on an archaeology dig site. The murders look like an accident and suicide, but come to a satisfying conclusion because the motive made sense. I was surprised by the twisty ending, but all the clues had been there for me to figure out myself. Listening to this audiobook was a step back to a slower pace and was a pure listening pleasure for me.

By the way, I have been watching the "Shetland" series based on Cleeves' books on PBS. It is a fantastic TV series. The atmosphere and scenery increase the enjoyment.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Satisfying

As I read the author's descriptions of the Shetlands I feel as though I am there. The fictional characters seem like real people living real lives. I look forward to every book of this series, and so far I have not been disappointed.

I would not describe this book as "fast paced". It goes into detail about the history of the characters, and the location. I don't do anything else when I listen to this series. It demands my full attention. I consider the hours of listening time well spent.

Narrator Gordon Griffin is excellent. His character voices are subtly different. HIs narration adds to the story. His performance adds to the story.

On the cover, this book is described as a "thriller". I'm not quite sure why that is. I don't usually read books categorized as thrillers. I imagine them to be fast paced, nerve wracking, and often too violent for my taste. This book is none of those things.

If you've enjoyed other books in the "Shetland" series, I believe you will enjoy this one. If you are looking for a story with lots of "action", you may be disappointed.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, but not Cleeves' best work

I love anything Ann Cleeves writes (especially including her other series, "Vera"). This book takes place in the Shetland Islands, and that is one of the nicest parts of the story. Jimmy Perez is the lead detective, but aided by His constable Sandy, who has been the one to find the dead body of his grandmother. I liked the weaving in and out of the family story. And to some degree, the mystery of what has occurred over the years in the family is as interesting as discovering who the current murderer is. This book has a lot of atmosphere. I love hearing the story of how the islanders live, in such a remote place. The narration is quite good. However, even though Ann Cleeves' style is generally to move slowly and methodically, and develop the ambience as much as the characters in her works, this one seemed just a tiny bit stretched out. I rarely want a Cleeves book to end, but was ready to finish this one. I recommend, but there is a difference between a long, developed story and a page turner. I don't expect page turners from Cleeves (indeed I like that about her work) but this moved a little too slowly I thought. Love her background and character development, but this was a bit too much drawn out. Still a very good book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

another atmospheric Shetland mystery

This was one of the best of the Shetland series, in which the characters of Jimmy and Sandy grow richer and more nuanced

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

After a long sleuth at long last a another mystery series worth listening to

Plausible enough, yet a calm and wonderful page turner as one wondered who. I quite like those , as this, that are a mild history lesson, along with geography. Well paced. Believable characters. And the reader became the characters, easy on the ear and mind. This is an author whose work I will look forward to hearing and when I have read her last, for I will read them all at least twice, I will with a sigh, feel a sense of loss

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

love this series and great characters

I love all the little details and hearing about the Shetland islands. the mystery help me to the end would lots of twisting turns

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lady D
  • Chicago, Illinois USA
  • 03-22-18

Red Boned...a story within a story.

Twists and turns...plots and subplots. If you think you have the answer, read on and you wonder what was I thinking !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Addictive

This is my third Shetland book and I cannot wait to start the next one. Not high adventure, more like Agatha Christie pacing. Not for everyone, but definitely for me!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Shetlanders - Customs, History

The Shetland Islands are a world away from life as most of Europe knows. Sargent Sandy goes to London for the first time, and the contrast to life in the Shetland Islands is evident.
Family ties are extremely tight, gossip abounds, skeletons, both literally and figuratively, show up in this book. Inspector Perez is challenged and must dig for clues. Lots of digging in this story. It's not a page turner, but an in-depth description of the people/families who have lived on the Islands for generations.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story Done Well

The stories are done well with one exception the overly critical and self effacing angst of the men . It can become exhausting.. It carries over into the performance done for each of them at times. I want to tell the women in the stories to run... well then there is the ever irritating and controlling mother Evan (at least that is what her name sounds like). One may wonder why I gave it a "4"... it was because all around the story was still well done.

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  • Rosamund
  • 05-17-16

Xxxx

I don't want to write a review. Please change this. It's night time and I want to sleep more while listening to something else.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Looraine
  • Looraine
  • 05-24-16

Great series

Love this series I have watched the TV series and enjoyed them especially the scenery but the books give a much better insight into the people and the way of life. Plus a great mystery I never guess the end

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Taryna Wawn
  • Taryna Wawn
  • 03-18-16

Great read

I enjoyed this book and it kept me guessing until the end. A good mystery.