What we thought: Murder, mystery, mayhem, a dead ‘Southerner’ and a collection of eclectic Scots on a remote Shetland isle makes for an entertaining read. When an unidentified body is found hanging in a tool shed, locals in the small community start questioning each other rather than the outsiders. As the body count rises, DI Jimmy Perez finds less and less evidence or motive. To be fair, there’s less bad language than you’d hear in your average Scottish hostelry, but the same amount of back-stabbing and hostility. And for me, the ending was a genuine surprise, which I’ll admit is a rarity. I rate Ann Cleeves among the best of today’s new generation of crime writers.
You’ll enjoy this if you like: PD James, Agatha Christie, Peter May & Vera Stanhope.
Avoid if you don’t like: Scottish folk, Scottish islands, Scottish weather, Scottish accent, Scottish traditions or anything generally north of the border.
Ideal accompaniments: Mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, a thick, warm blanket and The Proclaimers.