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Publisher's Summary

Midsummer in Shetland: the time of year when the birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. An unknown Englishman turns up in tears at an art exhibition hosted by Bella Sinclair. He claims not to know why he is there or even his own identity, and the evening ends in farce and confusion.

The next day he is found dead, hanging from a rafter in a boathouse, a sinister mask on his face. When a local musician is also found murdered, Detective Jimmy Perez becomes convinced that the killer is local.

But are his personal relationships clouding his judgement? Or is it just this unsettling time of year, the time of the white nights?

©2008 Ann Cleeves; (P)2008 Soundings

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully constructed...a lively and surprising addition to the genre." (Times Literary Supplement)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Atmospheric novel

Ann Cleeves novels are gripping...this narrator didn't match how I hear it in my head.

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  • Tracey
  • craigmore, Australia
  • 09-30-15

white nights

What would have made White Nights better?

the narrator has a flat voice that tends to drone

What could Ann Cleeves have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

don,t know couldn,t get into the storyline as i got bored with the voice

How could the performance have been better?

he needs to get a bit of character action going everything comes out deadpan

What character would you cut from White Nights?

again i didn,t get that far into it

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  • xxx
  • 06-03-13

Not a good choice

Thought I'd give this a try even though I wasn't impressed the last Ann Cleeves book. I thought this one might be better, If anything this is worse. The story is quite slow even after the crime is discovered.
The main issue is the reader , it would be better if he just read it. I have listened to some readers who keep the accents of the characters so well, that you know immediately who is speaking. Not only are this guy's accents poor (B'ham, Shetland, Liverpool) but he allows them to slip so much that you are never quite sure who is who. I have lost interest with this book and can't bear to finish it. The reader drones on and on. Wish I had bought the actual printed book as this does not do the story justice.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barrie
  • 04-07-13

White Nights

This was the first Island-set book by Ann Cleeves that I had come across (I'd been through all the Vera novels) and I found it very different, but in a good way, rather reminiscent of the "Scandi" novels - rather dark. But as with Vera, the characters are all strong and the writing is so good that it sucks you in. A great read and excellently read by Gordon Griffin

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Maggie
  • 10-06-15

Cracking!

I enjoy Ann Cleeves's writing but struggled a bit with Jimmy Perez because I started the Shetland series out of order, and I'm trying to put that right. That said, it's not that easy when the first in the series isn't recorded. Why, I've no idea but it does seem a tad bizarre.

Either this one was easier going or I'm finally getting to grips with the Shetland books, as I enjoyed it more than the 2 I heard already. It flowed well, I could follow the logical progression without ever working out the denouement. It was only at the very end that I began to have a vague inkling, and still didn't get it all right.

As before, lovely evocative picture of Shetland and the way of life mixed with an old fashioned who-dunnit with good strong characters. Ms Cleeves really can write, and the narration was good. Only question is how such sparsely populated islands are beginning to look a bit like Midsomer?

Definitely recommended but don't make my mistake - listen in the right order if you can.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • David M
  • 05-31-17

Another good Shetland book

...although, maybe not the best. I've listened to all of them now.
The style doesn't vary much between the books. We get to feel that we are there in Shetland, which is why I like to listen to them. We get Jimmy Perez asking a lot of questions, the puzzle just goes on getting deeper, then with 1 hour 15 minutes to the end of the book, he announces that they should be close to wrapping this one up. No apparent reason other than there aren't many pages left!
Each of the books is set in a community isolated from the rest of Shetland, so there should be limited options for "who dun it". This is no exeption. In this case we're back on Shetland Mainland and at the end of a long Cul-De-Sac on the west coast, down from Lerwick. So no passing traffic.
Jimmy Perez is in the early stages of his relationship with Fran. Well worth reading/listening. I recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 04-19-17

Great book, odd narration

Awesome thriller set in a superbly drawn community. Compelling characters and a beautifully drawn hero in Perez. Plenty of excellent twists and turns to keep you wanting more.

Narration very easy to listen to and generally good, but there are some very odd Shetland accents, and the scouse detective (who's only revealed as from Liverpool 100 pages in) is given a North-East England accent for no apparent reason. Shoddy preparation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Isobel
  • 08-13-17

Cracking story, excellent listen

This was a really gripping story with superb characterisation, and if you have any familiarity with the islands and landscape it was wonderfully evocative. A very interesting twist at the end. I felt the narration let it down slightly however, particularly when compared with other Ann Cleeves novels I have listened to. This narrator regularly mis-pronounced words by placing the emphasis on the wrong syllable which was irritating and detracted from the flow, and was rather too "English" for my own liking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MKMcD
  • 05-15-17

Just ok

Just finished and slightly disappointed, found the narrator difficult to listen to, his Shetland accent sounded Welsh at times which was very distracting, nothing wrong I may add with the Welsh accent just not in this story. The story itself wasn't very believable, 15 years isn't such a long time, yet no one remembered anyone!! I love the Shetland series but this one not so much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Flint
  • 12-29-17

Excellent

I love the Jimmy Perez books and this book held my attention from start to finish. The plot was well developed and logical and it was well read pleasing to listen to but I would have preferred a different narrator with an accent better suited to this book.

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  • Su L
  • 11-14-17

Shetland Tangles

Really enjoyed this book but felt it took a long time to get to the plot. There was, for me, a little too much ‘inner description’ eg: Perez’s personal feelings of a situation with Fran, the description of the people, a little too much minutiae? But a good listen. Well narrated.

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  • Rosemary White
  • 04-17-17

The wrong choice of narrator can ruin a good book

I struggled with this book . Anne Cleeves is a great author and I've enjoyed all her books so far... except this one. It is set in the Shetland isles and should have had a Scottish voice. Gordon Griffin did not at any time differentiate the different characters other than pitching his voice a little higher for female characters. His dialogue tones are the same with a characteristic set of inflections which I remember from other books he had narrated and which I find unrealistic and very annoying. I listened to the whole book but lost interest early on. I heard the 3rd book in the series before this one as a Daily Deal purchase knowing I enjoy the author. I felt I should hear them in sequence and so I purchased this book and listened to it next. A big mistake. I am really glad a different voice has been chosen for the subsequent books and I look forward to hearing more of DI Perez voiced more appropriately. I am returning this book with a huge sense of relief, glad to be rid of it and wishing I had never listened to it.

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  • Sandra
  • 11-09-16

Slow but enjoyable

The pace of the narrator is very slow and makes it difficult to hold attention on what's going on without zoning out. The story is slow too and it took a long time to get into the story but in the end is entertaining enough. No good if your looking for fast paced action or if you listen when tired :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alana Jane
  • 08-27-17

Languid

Would you listen to White Nights again? Why?

Yes, to pick up on the intricaties of the story

What was one of the most memorable moments of White Nights?

Can't say without spoiling it for new readers

What does Gordon Griffin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Gordon Griffin's reading if slow, meticulous and well punctuated. The slow pace is frustrating to begin with, however it matches the pace of the islands and the inhabidents. Finding yourself waiting for the next statement, whereas if you were reading it you would have a tendeancie to glance over the descriptions and not get the sense of the people and how they live.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

White nights, slowly simmers

Any additional comments?

Persevere with the story and the narrator and you will get a good sense of the people and the environment they live in. Perez the main character can be a little frustrating, but demonstrates slow and steady does get results in the end