Raven black – Ann Cleeves


Raven Black is the first book in Ann Cleeves’s Shetland Quartet. I read the last book in the series first & I reviewed Blue Lightning here. I’ve now gone back to the beginning & read book one.

This is a terrifically atmospheric murder mystery set on Shetland. A beautiful young girl, Catherine Ross, is found murdered, lying in the snow with ravens circling her body. There are several suspects. A reclusive old man, Duncan Tait, is the last to admit seeing Catherine & he has been shunned by the community since he was suspected of involvement in the disappearance of another girl years before. Catherine’s father, Euan, has been distracted since the death of his wife & seems headed for a breakdown. Catherine’s teacher, Michael Scott, was attracted to her & there are several other young men who were obsessed by her intelligence & beauty. Then there’s Fran Hunter who found the body & had employed Catherine as a babysitter. Jimmy Perez is the detective, a Shetland native who has come back to the islands after his marriage ended. He’s a sympathetic character who manages to hold his own when the detectives from Inverness arrive to lead the investigation. The atmosphere & the place are the stars in this book. It’s January, bitterly cold, there’s a real sense of dread that murder has come to the island. It was great to go back to the beginning of the series & see how Jimmy began the journey that ends in Blue Lightning.

3 thoughts on “Raven black – Ann Cleeves

  1. I just finished this book! I picked it up because you recently recommended the series. I enjoyed it a lot and was keen to read the next one but somehow my local bookstore doesn't have it right now so I'll have to wait. I never guessed who the murderer was till it was finally revealed. Thanks for recommending it!

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  2. Hello Mrs B. I had no idea either! I was wavering between a couple of the characters, much too obvious suspects as it turned out! Now it's on to White Nights which is set in summertime.

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  3. I checked the library catalogue for this when you wrote about Blue Lightning, and I'm still waiting for it to reappear. It was due on march 30th, and if it doesn't appear soon I may crack and place an order!

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