Cold Earth

It is entirely conventional now in crime and detective fiction for the setting of the events to be as much a character as the individuals playing out the narrative. So we think of Jersey as the backdrop to the police cases of Jim Bergerac, Oxford for Inspector Morse, Edinburgh for John Rebus, Glasgow for Jim Taggart. Author Ann Cleeves ( has chosen the wind blasted landscapes of Shetland in which to set the investigations of DI Jimmy Perez. Shetland is strikingly different from any other part of the UK, and only a visit can convey its bleak beauty. ( Eight publications now constitute the Shetland series, some of which have been televised by the BBC. (  The summary of the latest investigation is as follows. In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend, Magnus Tait, Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water 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. In his mind she shares his Mediterranean ancestry, and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was and how she died.

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400 pages in Macmillan

First published 2016

ISBN  978-1447278184


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Ann Cleeves

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