Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves
8th February 2022.
The seventh novel in the Shetland series of novels, featuring DI Jimmy Perez, starts in dramatic fashion. The funeral he’s attending is disrupted by a landslide, which rips through a small, uninhabited croft house. A woman in a red dress is found among the wreckage and Jimmy wants to know who she is and what she was doing there.
The post mortem reveals murder and Willow returns from mainland Scotland to supervise the investigation, renewing her friendship with Jimmy. It’s not long before a second body is discovered on the beach, leading to more local unrest and more questions for the team to answer.
This is another engaging and beautifully crafted murder mystery, filled with familiar and new characters, lies and secrets, and the enchanting Shetland landscape with its bleak Winter weather. The classy story moves along at a gentle but steady pace, the tension building until the team piece all the disparate parts together for another exciting climax.
While you can read this as a standalone, it’s well worth starting at the beginning to watch the characters develop as they tackle their own personal issues as well as the murders.
The darkest secrets are buried deepest . . .
In the black days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main road and sweeps down to the sea.
At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of peaty water and mud 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. Perez becomes obsessed with finding out her identity and what she was doing there.
Then it emerges that she was already dead when the landslide hit the house and Perez finds himself with a murder investigation to solve.
Tags: Ann Cleeves, Crime fiction, Murder mystery, Police procedural