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Showing posts from March, 2022

Dead Water by Ann Cleeves -- a review

  Dead Water   Shetland Series Book 5 by Ann Cleeves Journalist Jerry Markham, a Shetlander with an uneven reputation has returned from London to investigate a story linked to the island’s energy industry. He ends up murdered after someone runs his Alpha off the road near the Sullom Voe oil terminal. His body is found by Jimmy Perez’ boss, Procurator Fiscal Rhona Laing, in a racing yoal in Aith Marina. Willow Reeves enters this story, and the series, as a tall and somewhat awkward yet intelligent and competent Detective Investigator who grew up in the West Hebrides. Reeling from the tragedy on his home island of Fair Isle, Jimmy Perez slowly finds his way back to becoming an integral part of the team. Perez’ life has become more complicated now that he cares for seven-year-old Cassie Hunter. Initially, Willow relies on Sandy Wilson but gradually, and gently, she woos Perez whose understanding of Shetlanders is critical to the investigation. Two families, the Markhams and the Watt

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves -- a review

  4. Blue Lightning    Shetland Series Book 4 by Ann Cleeves Jimmy Perez takes Fran Hunter to meet his family, James and Mary, on Fair Isle. Cassie stays with her father, Duncan Hunter, on the main island. At the same time as the family visit, a group of avid birdwatchers are at the Bird Observatory at the North Lighthouse. It isn’t long before a mostly unloved scientist is found murdered and left in an unusual pose befitting her specialty. As the storms rage, everyone is trapped on the island. And most of the guests are suspects. Another person becomes a victim. And there’s a race to stop the killer before it’s too late to save a third. The severe storms not only add to the general mood of the characters but increase the tension and the psychological burden of the investigation, which rests on Jimmy Perez who must conduct interviews and think through options with limited help from his team on the main island. I must avoid too much detail here because the stunning conclusion can

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves -- a review

  3. Red Bones    Shetland Series Book 3 by Ann Cleeves An old woman, Sandy Wilson’s grandmother Mima Wilson, stepped outside her house one night. She is shot and killed. It looks like a hunting accident. Two young women have been conducting an archeological dig on her land. The   discovery of old bones, combined with the memories of the islanders, help solve the mysterious murder but not before another killing increases grief and paranoia. This is book three in the Shetland Islands series. It’s set on the off island of Walsay, which is home to Sandy Wilson, assistant to DI Jimmy Perez whose romantic partner, Fran Hunter, and her daughter Cassie are in London for most of the story. Also, English DI Roy Taylor from the Inverness office is not with the Shetland team during this investigation. As usual with Ann Cleeves storytelling, the background story of the characters and the Island history enrich the mystery. We learn more about Sandy Wilson’s family and the story of the famou

White Nights by Ann Cleeves - a review

  White Nights    Shetland Series Book 2 by Ann Cleeves There’s been a party in Shetland during those white nights when the light of day fades into a long, twilight evening, known as the simmer dim. Fran Hunter joins flamboyant Shetland artist Bella Sinclair in an art show. A strange man garner’s everyone’s attention as he falls before one of Bella’s paintings. Later, someone finds him hanging in a shed where fishermen store their gear. Local DI Jimmy Perez starts to investigate the staged suicide as a murder. The team includes lead DI Englishman Roy Taylor from the Inverness office and local sergeant Sandy Wilson. The tension increases in the small village of Biddista when another one is murdered. As is her style, Ann Cleeves describes her characters partly through point-of-view narratives and partly by contrasts between the Shetlanders, the tourists, and mostly English incomers as well as their interaction with the stark Shetland landscape. The lead characters are enriched as we

Shetland Series by Ann Cleeves

               Scotland’s Northern Isles Geoffrey W. Sutton   The Shetland series is set in the Shetland Islands, which are at the far north of the United Kingdom. The stark landscape dotted with sheep, filled by the author with an intriguing variety of birdlife, and battered by storms seems like an ideal place for a series of murders especially when cold winters bring snow, dense fogs can obscure vision, and summers present with an eerie long evening light—the simmer dim. The lead detective is Jimmy Perez who was born on Fair Isle but works out of the police station in Lerwick on the main island. Jimmy had been married to Sarah who divorced him following a miscarriage. His team includes Sandy Wilson from the off island of Walsay and inspectors from elsewhere in Scotland. In the first story, Raven Black , we meet Fran Hunter who is divorced from Jimmy’s old school friend, Duncan Hunter. They have a daughter Cassie. The relationship between Jimmy and Fran progresses along w

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves- a review

  Raven Black   Shetland Series Book 1 by Ann Cleeves Shortly after the New Year, Fran Hunter of Ravenswick finds incomer 16-year old Yorkshire lass, Catherine Ross, in the snow. She and her father were coping with the loss of her mother in different ways.  Black Ravens circle above her dead body. Fear quickly spreads in the community and Magnus Tait, a man on the margin of society, becomes the focus of suspicion by his neighbours. To make matters worse, another girl, Catriona Bruce, had disappeared eight years ago and Tait was a suspect in Catriona’s disappearance as well. Detective Inspector Roy Taylor, a large and energetic Englishman working in Inverness, joins local Shetland Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and sergeant Sandy Wilson. As they solve Catherine’s murder, they also discover what happened to Catriona’s as well. In the background, a romance develops between Fran and Jimmy. I have a paperback version and recommend this to those who enjoy slow and thoughtful styles of B

The Rescue - A Film Review

  The Rescue is an Academy Award winning film by directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. Like many around the world, we watched the unfolding story of 12 Thai boys and their football coach trapped in a cave. The film recaptures the tension by illustrating the risks of cave diving and the back and forth arguments as people from several nations weigh the risks involved in selecting one method or another to find the boys. Experienced divers fail. Two middle-aged cave divers from England finally find the boys alive and promise they'll be back. But how do you safely bring 13 people underwater? Discover the role of experience as courage and confidence varies from person to person. See how people from different cultures come together to help. Consider the importance of the boys' religion in their wellbeing. Think about the role of general science and medical science in the successful outcome--technology, oxygen, medication, and more. The film was released 8 October