RAVEN BLACK ……by Ann Cleeves (2006)

raven black white nights red bones blue lightning dead waterA continuation of my series –contemporary fiction in the Scottish Islands.  Murder and suspense in the Shetland Islands  of Scotland featuring the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves.

This series was originally refered to as “the Shetland Quartet’ but since the  fifth book has been released it is now called “the Shetland Series” It is a well written series and deserves its popularity which skyrocketed after the BBC turned the books into a mini-series. I haven’t seen the mini-series but I am familiar with the actor who plays the lead character of Jimmy Perez, and I have to say he is miscast.  He’s a lovely blond fellow with a beautiful voice but Jimmy is supposed to be a dark haired, olive-skinned man descended from a shipwrecked Spaniard.

The Shetland Islands are north of mainland Scotland – so far north that maps of Scotland often just have an arrow pointed north with the words ‘Shetland Islands” (and perhaps an inset map). The largest island is called “Mainland” and  there are 15 other inhabited islands.  The culture of Shetland is extremely different from Lewis (from my previous blog) with the genetic make-up of the inhabitants being 50% Scandinavian and most place names can be traced to the Vikings.

Many of the characteristics and customs of Shetland are displayed in these books. A famous festival called “Up Helly Aa” -a fire festival in a Viking tradition – is featured in he plot of one of the books. Another Character is a talented fiddler in the Shetland style.

This is a series that should be read in order.  The reader will simply have too many spoilers if the series is not read in order. The other books in the series are;

White Nights (2008)

Red Bones (2009

Blue Lightning (2010)

Dead Water (2013)

A wonderful series and perfect for fans of Scottish Island fiction.




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Filed under book review, book reviews, books, General fiction, mystery fiction, Scottish Island Fiction

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