White Nights: A Thriller

Shetland, Book 2
Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
Series: Shetland Island, Book 2
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,417 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this second audiobook of the Shetland Quartet to feature Inspector Jimmy Perez, the launch of an exhibition at The Herring House art gallery is disturbed by a stranger who bursts into tears, then claims not to remember who he is or where he comes from. The next day he's found dead, wearing a clown's mask. Set in mid-summer, the audiobook captures the unsettling nature of a landscape where the sun never quite sets and where people are not as they first seem.

©2008 Ann Cleeves (P)2008 Soundings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Picked up where last one left off...

This beautifully strange world of characters just this side of cliche, but far enough to this side to be believable and interesting and unpredictable. Could be any place really...once you open the doors and look inside the secret lives of the inhabitants.

11 people found this helpful

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Totally input-down-able! More please!

Any additional comments?

I was first introduced to Anne Cleeves' Shetland series via the BBC's televised series, which I loved. The books are much much better and beautifully read by Gordon Griffin, whose accent is spot-on but remains perfectly accessible to non-Scots. The mystery remained whole until the last fifteen minutes and I would have never guessed the identity of the culprit. But added to the suspense, there is the unfolding of Jimmy Perez, the main detective's, new romance with Fran, as well as the wonderful sense of place and an introduction to the Shetland Island's customs. I thoroughly recommend this audiobook.

18 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

I'm an enthusiastic fan of mysteries and police procedurals. This book is both those things and much more. This is one of the best series I have read.

The author does a superb job of describing Shetland and creating a cast of fascinating characters. Time is taken to describe a number of characters in some detail. If you are looking for an "action packed" story with a high body count, this isn't it.

There is a complex mystery that I wasn't able to figure out ahead of time. The pace may seem slow, but everything that happens moves the story along. Gordon Griffin is one of the best narrators I have encountered. I'm sure his narration added a great deal to my enjoyment of this book.

I plan to listen to all of the books in this series, and I expect it will be a bit of a let down when I finish the last one.

7 people found this helpful

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A Great Mystery but not a Thriller!

Which was a good thing for me - I can't take thrillers and almost didn't buy this one because of that designation. I got it anyway because I loved Raven Black and had been waiting for the sequel.

The mystery starts at the very beginning of the book. I was totally baffled. Many threads must be unraveled before the explanation can revealed. I found the solution very satisfying and enjoyed the book, just not as much as the first in the series, which is why I only gave this one four stars.

I loved the narrator in Raven Black. He does a fine job in this one but there was often a creepy quality in his voice which I didn't remember from the first book and which I didn't really like in this one. Also, I don't know if the narrator is old or young but often the characters sounded older than I thought they should.

The narration shifts in point of view from character to character and the author delves deeply into the thoughts of whoever the focus is on at the moment. This helped to develop the characters but at times became a bit tedious.

If I sound critical it is only because I loved the first book so much and had such high hopes for this one. Disappointed would be much too strong a word - it really was an excellent listen, and I plan to purchase the next book soon.

6 people found this helpful

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My new favorite series since Dept Q

I love this series, these characters, this setting. I have tried multiple series since listening to the Dept Q series. I also enjoy the VI Warshawski but i read those (not audiobooks, I’m weird like that). After having been disappointed so many times and being able to get into a series I am so deeply delighted to have fallen for these books. And I have alllllll 8 to enjoy. I’m sad to already know the 8th is the last but at least it’s a ways off. I highly recommend this. My only complaint is that this narrarator, while a very good actor/performer, makes every single character sound like they’re 85-90 years old?!? The emotional life of the books is there and clearly i am sucked in and enjoying it but i wish everyone didn’t sound so........old....i see there’s a new narrarator starting with Book 4 tho so hopefully he will be a bit more youthful when necessary. Otherwise—I’m so thrilled to have found these books!!!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A rare whiff for Cleeves & an ill-chosen narrator

I'm a big fan of Ann Cleeves and have read several of her Vera novels and a couple of the Shetland mysteries. I've not been disappointed until now, finding them all very good to excellent. With this one, though, the plot is just too contrived, and the solution is implausible when the murderer is finally revealed.

Another quite serious problem is that the otherwise competent narrator, Gordon Griffin, has a voice which is poorly matched to the Shetland characters. His strength seems to lie in impersonating older, whimsical types. Almost everyone in the novel sounds as though they have reached retirement age. Granted, some of the characters are in fact of that vintage, but even Perez often sounds grandfatherly in this reading . In my judgment, Griffin is also inadequate when depicting Scottish dialects. One of the pleasures of listening to a story placed in a different culture from one's own is having a sense of being drawn into that culture by virtue of the accents depicted by the reader. The female narrator of the Vera novels is very good in this regard, as is the reader who does the later editions of Ian Rankin's Rebus novels. Though competent in other ways, Mr. Griffin is simply not up to this particular task.

2 people found this helpful

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Ok

Not as good as the 1st book - the plot was weak & resolution pretty unbelievable. Also, gritting my teeth through the narration which simply doesn’t fit with the character or setting.

2 people found this helpful

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Not as good as the first book but good

Not as good as the first book in the series, but good. It’s set on a northern Shetland Island at a time when it doesn’t get fully dark at night and involves an elegant but hippie-ish artist whose art show is disrupted by a stranger who freaks out over amnesia and then turns up dead. Lots of possible suspects, and the deepening backgrounds of the recurring characters are fun to follow. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B+

The narration was, again, seamless.

2 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend

I enjoy Cleeves' Shetland novels as much for the rich picture of the islands' people, geography, and culture as for the mysteries.

2 people found this helpful

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Best yet

I've read five Shetland novels and this was the best. I read them out of order but felt this was the most satisfying. The close atmosphere between jimmy and the islanders pervaded the story. The mystery is a bit unfair as facts unknown to the reader emerge at the end of the narrative to solve the "crimes". But it is enjoyable never-the-less. Mike

2 people found this helpful

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  • other nanny
  • 08-02-15

l didn't guess the twist at the end

l loved the narrator. l liked getting to know the. characters and families. l was disappointed that l have had to start this series at book 2 because l cannot get book 1 in english.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Shelley
  • 05-16-15

Shetland

Makes me want to move there, fallen in love with Jimmy Perez. Always the twist to the tail which is a bit contrived but you accept it - because it is Shetland!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Seafr
  • 09-26-16

Slow

Would you try another book written by Ann Cleeves or narrated by Gordon Griffin?

Yes but not the Shetland stories this was my first and last. Not a fan of Gordon Griffin but I think if the story hadn't been so slow it might not have been so bad.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ann Cleeves again?

Yes I like her Vera books and have enjoyed listening to them

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Gordon Griffin?

Someone with a not so light a voice.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

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  • Mrs.
  • 01-27-16

Disappointing

What disappointed you about White Nights: A Thriller?

muddled, hard to get in to and too easy to loose interest in protagonists. A weak plot.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Not a lot - this was a very dreary story which just seemed too convoluted and quite quickly I was just wondering why I was bothering to listen.

Any additional comments?

Muddled, unbelievable plot. very disappointing.