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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"Totally input-down-able! More please!"
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"Not Enough Mystery"
I enjoy the Shetland Island descriptions and genuinely like Inspector Jimmy Perez. Yet, this book dragged on and on. It was as if there wasn't enough of a story so there had to be lots of descriptions and unnecessary narrative. This story would have gotten a few more stars if it had cut about a third of it away. Still, the writing is very good and I am already planning on using a valuable credit for Book #3 in this series. Hope it is credit-worthy.
First, I would not have so much introspection on the part of the lead detective, going on and on about "does she like me or doesn't she" etc. and it took up way too much time and made the overall story very slow. Next, I would not have the point of view shift between so many characters. This made it hard to figure out whose voice we were hearing. Also, the two main leads had such similar accents that it was very hard to tell who was speaking. The reader did a good job with the females, though.
I enjoy Cleeves' Shetland novels as much for the rich picture of the islands' people, geography, and culture as for the mysteries.
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
"always a surprise"
you never ever know who did it til the last chapter. always an amazing surprise
"Another wonderfully evocative book of Shetlands"
I always feel that I've been there and know the people when I read a Cleeves book. it's a bleak and beautiful landscape with inhabitants who seem to know mourning better than laughter, but who personify the word "indomitable." The stories are believable and well-crafted start to finish.
"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.
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!
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.
Yes I like her Vera books and have enjoyed listening to them
Someone with a not so light a voice.
muddled, hard to get in to and too easy to loose interest in protagonists. A weak plot.
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.
Muddled, unbelievable plot. very disappointing.
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