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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 14 January 2017
Red Bones – Number 3 in the Shetland Series from Ann Cleeves
If you haven’t read these books – then you really should. They are all excellent murder mysteries. Originally a quartet, the series grew to 6 and will soon reach 7 books. Our central character is Jimmy Perez who was born and raised on Fair Isle. His black hair and surname lead us to believe he is descended from Spanish sailors stranded while fleeing home in the Armada. He is now a police Detective Inspector living in Shetland and we discover much about his and island life. I started reading the Shetland series of books a number of years ago – and well before the BBC series based on them. Perhaps it was because I had read the books before, but I found the BBC adaptation more than a tad disappointing. I particularly didn’t like the way the stories were modified and the chronology changed.

This third book “Red Bones” continues on from the previous 2 as we are reintroduced to some of the characters we met earlier and some new ones too. The central theme is Jimmy Perez’s investigation of the shooting of an old woman by an archaeological site on her farm land. Jimmy disbelieves the theory of accidental death and investigates further – especially after a second death – supposedly suicide.
As with the previous mysteries, this is not a straightforward case at all – and we are taken into closed remote island communities with their old disputes and dark secrets. We meet the PhD student and her assistant who are working on the ‘dig’. We also meet the family of the murdered woman – are they all what they seem? Jimmy finally unravels it all with an interesting spin at the end which I didn’t see coming.

I was initially a tad disappointed with this book as the story does tend to drift a bit. However, perhaps I have just been spoilt with the previous 2 as once more, I couldn’t work it out until the very end – and once more, I couldn’t put the book down until I had read it all!

I suppose these books are an interesting mix of travel guide (they certainly make me want to go to Shetland) and well woven murder mystery. The characters are very real and we learn much about the islands and their people. An excellent combination – perhaps similar to the Lewis Trilogy by Peter May – another series well worth the read.
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on 30 March 2017
I gave this book the highest rating as it was amazing from start to finish. The links to each family's past, which slowly came to light, was complex and unexpected. It was difficult to identify 'main characters' as each, and all were so interesting. Brilliant
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on 25 May 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - if I hadn't guessed whodunnit so early in the story it'd have had 5 stars!
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on 27 April 2017
Ann Cleves is a talented writer. She even makes murder in Shetland believable.
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on 3 May 2017
Every book in this series has been a pleasure.
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on 23 October 2015
Currently working my way through the Shetland series. I loved this book. It was a bit diffrerent than the others as it does not concentrate on Perez.
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on 28 May 2016
Layer by layer, history and landscape reveal their secrets and human nature remains the same as ever.
Intriguing, slow burning, wrapped in Shetland mists, this is a story that grips the imagination from page to page. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 1 June 2017
Very good.
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on 25 March 2017
Good interesting story. Great characterisation. Page turner.
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on 27 June 2016
Enjoyed this book until near the end though thought the writing weak compared to others in the series. The end I thought preposterous and unbelievable.
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