Book Reviews

Cold Earth (Shetland) by Ann Cleeves

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List Price: £7.99


Paperback: 400 Pages.

Published: 26 January 2017 by Pan

ISBN: 1447278224

EAN: 9781447278221

n the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea.

At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity.

Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

Enjoyable crime set on Scottish islands

I have enjoyed this series but would advise new readers to start from the beginning as the characters have developed and things have happened to them along the way which aren't exactly part of this plot but which help with background and total understanding when you read it. For example, the book starts with a funeral of a character who appeared in the very first book of the series and although you don't have to know that it adds enjoyment that you have followed his life through.

Jimmy Perez remains a detective in the islands and he investigates here the discovery of a body after a landslide. The woman concerned was not killed because of the earth movement but no one seems to know who she is. As is becoming usual in the novels Willow Reeves is flown in to head up the enquiry and she and Jimmy resume their tentative relationship.

The story is interesting enough but I felt it was too rushed at the end. We meander a long picking up information slowly and then suddenly we get a lot and I never felt that it was all properly examined and the implications absorbed - the pacing felt wrong to me. I also had issues with how little Jimmy seems to see his adopted daughter and how easily he can find babysitters and childcare.

I did enjoy the description of life on the islands and the slow unravelling of the story. I thought that the author used her three main characters well to tell the story, to move the viewpoint and to show their relationships. I enjoyed the story telling and the book as a whole. I shall certainly be looking for the next one in the series.

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