Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3) By Ann Cleeves

Characters Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)

If I wasn't so intrigued with the climate and culture of the Shetlands, I would have stopped reading this book after the first few chapters. She does do a good job describing the unique characteristics of this incredibly interesting locale, but beyond that, what a lousy thriller. The two main cops are riddled with self-doubt and self-deprecation, but not in a cool, Harry Hole kind of way, in the gosh, I hope I get the girl! and how can I get my dad to like me? way. Sure, part of the human experience, but not really what contributes to a page-turner. The writing is redundant, in that a character makes a statement, then the author tells us what the character said and meant. Boring. The crimes themselves aren't particularly interesting, but with a stronger writer they could have been used to bring out angst, longing, and fear. I kept thinking Cleeves was writing with 15-year-olds in mind. However, any self-respecting 15-year-old reader would also find the book less than compelling. Very disappointing, as I love the BBC Vera series based on her books (haven't seen their Shetland Islands series, also based on Cleeves' books). Another rare case when the movies are better than the books, perhaps. Crime, Mystery, Thriller Each book in this series has gotten progressively better, and Red Bones was a wonderful read. Cleeves uses the Shetland Island setting to maximum advantage, really bringing the story to life and the characters into vivid detail. And I'll be darned if I could figure out who the murderer was! Looking forward to the next in line. Crime, Mystery, Thriller I confess, I prefer the Vera Stanhope series also by Ann Cleeves. I found it hard to remain engaged with this complex story, but perhaps that is due to the breaks we had between listening, as this was a buddy read with Simon. Also, I don't really feel attached to the main characters in this series yet, however this could change as we move through further volumes. On the bright side, we enjoy the TV series very much. Crime, Mystery, Thriller 3.75 Stars — Cleeves writes elegantly & Detective Perez is an endearing character both for his skill and insight as a detective but more so his genuine nature, his willingness to have empathy as a person first, is refreshing. His attributes as a Father who’s there for his child when he can be and his constant struggle to balance that with his job are more real and human than many a detective ever displays in the loads of Literature out there focused on crime.

Shetland is a beautiful, Nordic-type setting and the novel plays into this well using the setting in such a romantic, binding and visceral way, Lyric itself feels like a character more than just the surroundings or setting.

The author has a unique prose in the genre and it is seldom not front and centre here, almost every page has such a vibrant and engaging appeal based on her warmth and character telling that’s detailed and refined. It creates a situation whereby the narrative, the crime and any twists feel almost secondary to the central character driven storytelling.

The death of a staunch and reclusive Matriarch is what sets off the story here, after an archeological dig discovers a skull that threatens to destroy the fabric of what has been built in Shetland over the past 3/4 of a century. What follows is a story spanning back to the history of the area and it is clear from the early chapters that the key families of the area will never be the same!

A wonderful, settled and fun read that feels relaxingly-thrilling without ever feeling dull or drawn out. The scenic landscape is undoubtedly the star here though and the large amount of characters that come in and out are waves together to create a lovely community to match the scenery in what ends up being a top read. Crime, Mystery, Thriller This was my fourth visit to the Shetland Isles thanks to the wonderful mystery series by Cleaves (one read out of order). Red Bones is set on the small isle of Whalsay located at the northern extremity of the UK. Less than 20 of the 100 islands of Shetland are inhabited. Detective Jimmy Perez must travel to different islands as murders occur. The author couldn't have all the victims in this series happen on only one small island or the resulting population would be as sparse as the wind battered trees.

The history of these Islands, dating back to the Vikings, makes them a great location for an archeological excavation. Many artifacts may still be discovered. The young archeologist in charge of the dig on Whalsay knows her career future may be determined by what she finds. When human remains are found, it is not immediately known if they are from this century or a much earlier time. Do any of the inhabitants of this close-knit community know something about this discovery? Are there secrets better left buried? After two murders occur near the site, Jimmy Perez begins his meticulous investigation.

The pace of all books I have read in this series is quite slow, much like the pace of life on the islands. This, in my opinion, allows for a strong sense of place and characters I really feel I know and care about. Perez is an admirable investigator, his personal flaws making him more realistic. His strength is in how well he knows human nature.

Is that your peenie bairn? Do you own a croft and does it have a broch? The dialect of these islands with its strong Norse and Old Scots influence adds to its charm. I may never actually travel to these beautiful but stark islands, but I enjoy visiting vicariously with each book in the series.

Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Red

An island shrouded in mist and a community with secrets buried in the past . . .

When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson - his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. Mima Wilson was a recluse. She had her land, her pride and her family. As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted generations.

Surrounded by people he doesn't know and in unfamiliar territory, Jimmy finds himself out of his depth. Then there's another death and, as the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Jimmy must dig up old secrets to stop a new killer from striking again . . . Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)

2017 UPDATE: The TV series based on the idea of the books is on Netflix in the US. Aired four years ago, and you can tell:

PEREZ: For more holiday lets? Christ Duncan you're turning into Shetland's answer to Donald Trump.

DUNCAN: *laughs*

That line spoken in Scotland today would lead to blows and severed friendships.

Rating: 4.125* of five

The Publisher Says: When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson - his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. Mima Wilson was a recluse. She had her land, her pride and her family. As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted generations.

Surrounded by people he doesn't know and in unfamiliar territory, Jimmy finds himself out of his depth. Then there's another death and, as the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Jimmy must dig up old secrets to stop a new killer from striking again . . .

My Review: This is the third in what the publishers call The Shetland Islands Quartet in some places, A Shetland Islands Thriller in others. I hope that this betokens a realization on the part of Cleeves and her publishers that the series has the essential ingredient for longevity: Terrific characters entwined in believeable relationships.

We see Jimmy Perez, our sleuth, living without gal-pal Fran Hunter while she's down south in London to visit family and friends. His every waking thought seems to return to her, to her daughter Cassie, and to the natural fears of a man in love whose lover is far away: Is she safe, is she having too good a time to want to come back, is this the end of my dream of happiness, all the stuff men think but never admit they're thinking.

Sandy, Perez's Detective Sergeant, is also away, though closer to home...he's on Whalsay, a short ferry ride from Lerwick where Jimmy is based. While visiting home, Sandy's beloved grandmother is shot. It looks like a horrible, horrible accident. Sandy is first cop on the scene, naturally, and has to make hard calls about how to pursue the matter before Jimmy shows up to take over. Sandy's family will never be the same again, of course, but more importantly for the story, Sandy won't either. Jimmy helps Sandy grow into his manhood during this investigation, and this makes the book far richer than we'd have any right to expect from a simple thriller. When a second horrible death occurs, Sandy and Jimmy both conclude there are connections here that the two of them aren't making, and whether or not the deaths were intentional, the connections need to be investigated and explored. This takes each of them farther from his comfort zone than either expected.

Cleeves's plot snake-twines around each character, squeezing the past and the present tightly together, and finally forcing the characters into one inevitable crushing future. It looks nothing like the present. It looks nothing like the future the characters saw coming. And that's why I recommend this book, and this series, with such a strong voice. Crime, Mystery, Thriller I rate this book a solid 4 stars. The cover classes it as a thriller, but I thought it was more of a mystery than a thriller. A woman named Mima is killed one night on Whalsay Island, part of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. At first it is thought to be an accident, because a neighbor was out shooting rabbits at midnight in fog and accidentally shot her. But DI Jimmie Perez suspects that there is more to this and keeps digging. A second person is found dead, possibly suicide. Perez does solve the case,but the killer is not revealed until near the end, and the author left enough false clues, that I wasn't sure of the who or why until it all came together at the end.
Anne Cleeves writes descriptive books. This series, set in the Shetlands, is best read in order, as I have been doing. Perez is identified as a Black Shetlander,i.e. descended form a shipwrecked Spanish Armada sailor in 1588.
Some quotes:
Mima's house: Her house was tucked into the hill and you came on it very suddenly.
Evelyn Wilson, describing university students working on an archaeological dig: The two lasses from the university were there. What nice wee girls they are, although I think that Hattie could do with a bit of feeding up.. She's a skinny little thing. All eyes and bone.
Perez thinking about his boss, the Procurator Fiscal: He found it hard to explain the role of the Fiscal to English colleagues. Even Fran couldn't grasp it. 'But what does she do?' Perez always said that she was a cross between a magistrate and a prosecuting lawyer, but Fran didn't even get that. Jimmie is in a relationship with Fran, an English woman.
I read this library book in 4 days. Crime, Mystery, Thriller EXCERPT: Later they went into the house for a break. Mima made sandwiches for them and then came out herself to see what was happening. When Evelyn went back to work on the practice trench, the older woman stood watching. Mima was wearing black crimplene trousers and wellingtons that flapped around her knees. She'd thrown a threadbare grey fleece over her shoulders. Hattie thought she looked like a hooded crow, standing there watching her daughter-in-law at work. A hooded crow ready to snatch at a fragment of food.

'Well, Evelyn, what do you look like?' Mima said. 'On your hands and knees like some sort of beast. In this light you could be one of Joseph's pigs, grubbing around in the soil there. You be careful or he'll be slitting your throat and eating you as bacon.' She laughed so loud that she coughed and spluttered.

Evelyn said nothing. She knelt up and glared. Hattie felt sorry for her. She'd never know Mima to be so cruel. Hattie jumped into the trench beside Evelyn. The bone was protruding from the earth now, largely uncovered. Hattie took her own trowel from her jeans pocket. With intense concentration she stripped away more of the soil, then took a brush. The shape of the bone became more defined: there was a pleasing curve, a sculptured hollow.

'Pars orbitalis,' she said. Shock and excitement made her forget her earlier resolve not to show off, to keep her language simple so that Evelyn would understand.

Evelyn looked at her.

'The frontal orbit,' Hattie said. 'This is part of a human skull.'

'Oh, no,' Mima said. Hattie looked up at her and saw that her face was white. 'That cannot be right. No, no, that cannot be.'

ABOUT THIS BOOK: An island shrouded in mist and a community with secrets buried in the past . . .

When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson - his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. Mima Wilson was a recluse. She had her land, her pride and her family. As Jimmy looks to the islanders for answers, he finds instead two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness have lasted generations.

Surrounded by people he doesn't know and in unfamiliar territory, Jimmy finds himself out of his depth. Then there's another death and, as the spring weather shrouds the island in claustrophobic mists, Jimmy must dig up old secrets to stop a new killer from striking again . . .

MY THOUGHTS: In her own beautiful style, Cleeves takes a handful of unrelated threads: an archeology dig, the birth of a baby, the discovery of a skull, family feuds, and weaves them into a tapestry of intrigue. She is a master at the slow boiler, the novel that doesn't really appear to have much action but simmers slowly until it boils over at the climax.

I think one of the things I most love about her work, is that I never have any idea as to who the 'bad guy' might be. We get to know the characters intimately, their hopes, dreams and desires, their disappointments and frustrations, their family history. We can picture the setting down to the last mound of dirt, surging wave. We can feel the atmosphere she creates seep into our bones.

This is not a thrilling book, but it is a good mysterious 'whodunnit'.

😍😍😍😍

THE AUTHOR: Ann is the author of the books behind ITV's VERA, and the BBC's SHETLAND, which was aired in December 2012. Ann's DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann's Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands...

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Red Bones by Ann Cleeves, narrated by Kenny Blyth, published by Isis Publishing Co, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile, or the about page on Sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/... Crime, Mystery, Thriller Anne Cleeves is a recent favorite author. I am now on her 3 series. Shetland, a BBC production has been a favorite of mine prior to starting the books.

I can’t tell you how outstanding the TV and books are...Like the books, the setting for the series is in the outer Hebrides of Scotland. Desolate. Isolated. No trees. A hard living. A menacing sea. A thick bog you can sink and suffocate in...

Detective Jimmy Perez is what brings such enjoyment to the series... kind, considerate. A man worth knowing...a man that listens more that talks...a fine Scotsman with a very different background...quite interesting...very good at his job.

Do watch the series now in it’s 6th production +- or even better read the books...don’t miss out...the scenery is unbeatable.

4.5 out of 5 stars Crime, Mystery, Thriller Number three in this excellent series set in the Shetland Islands.
I am probably repeating myself from reviews of the earlier books, but I really enjoy the author's descriptions of the scenery and the lifestyle. The characters grow up, marry and grow old on the islands, some of them never venturing far away at all, even for a holiday! Nevertheless, even in this quiet backwater place people are still murdered and detective Jimmy Perez is called to solve the crimes.
I had already seen the TV episodes of this book but that was okay. There were enough differences between the TV program and the book and enough red herrings and general confusion that I still had no idea who the guilty party was. I won't be watching any more because I do not like the actor chosen to play Perez but I will definitely be reading more of the books .They are great! Crime, Mystery, Thriller