Ann Cleeves is back again and in my opinion still on form.
This book was always going to be a little different after the tragic demise of Perez's fiance Fran in Blue Lightning.
What I like about Ann Cleeves is the believability of her characters, this said, Perez, 6 months on is still grieving for his fiance so this is why he is only easing himself back into work...as would others in the same position if they were able to. Why his character is not quite like the old Perez, although we do see little snippets of this character coming to the fore occasionally. I was good to see a new Inspector - Willow Reeves, I wasn't sure about her to start of with but she certainly had a subtle way of getting the best out of both Sandy and Perez. It was also interesting to see Perez's reaction to Willow,,,may be she will crop up again should there be future books.
Essentially though to me, this book was about betrayal and fear. Some other reviewers have not liked this book particularly and not believed the storyline to be credible. For me, I did find it mostly credible but all the 'green' technology etc seemed like red herrings as it was the under-current of potential betrayal of emotions across several characters that shone through at the end.
I found the story to be a 'slow-burner' for about 2/3 of the book with it gradually notching up through the later chapters as all played out, just how I like it. The clues for the ending are all in the text, you just don't realise it while you are reading. I hadn't worked out the killer, but I didn't mind.
I look forward to another Shetland story with Perez, hopefully it won't be loo long!
The lead characters are Perez, Sandy, Willow and most importantly the Shetland countryside; the coastline, small towns, countryside, families etc absolutely shine through. The books must be a huge advert for the Shetland Tourist Board!