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review 2017-07-20 22:34
Too Good to Be True - Ann Cleeves,Kenny Blyth,Macmillan Digital Audio
Why did I read it? I have listened to most of the Shetland series, so, naturally, I was interested in this short, crime story featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez.
 
What's it about? Jimmy's ex-wife, Sarah, asks him to come to the borders, to Stonebridge, where the local teacher has died. Although the police think Anna committed suicide, rumours have it that Sarah's husband, the good doctor was Anna's lover and he murdered her. Jimmy just wants to get home to Shetland; instead he reluctantly agrees to look into the matter because Sarah is so distressed.
 
What did I like? Well, the audio recording was clear, and without error. Kenny Blyth did an excellent job as narrator. A very short listen, with quick character development of both the people, and the village of Stonebridge. Jimmy is very much on his own on this one, and that makes a nice change. He also seems a little sharper in this story.
 
I did like the shorter chapters, and the writing seemed tighter in this story, compared to the longer books. It was a pleasant way to pass a day's commute.
 
What didn't I like? Oh dear. One particular line gave the whole thing away, so there was no real revelation at the end. I'm wondering if this is becoming a habit with the author, as I found the same thing in the last offering Cold Earth.
It wasn't the best crime storyline, if I'm honest, as the motive/reason for the teacher's death has been employed by many a crime writer, and it felt a little tired.
 
I did wonder if perhaps this was just an exploration of Jimmy's past, with a death thrown in, to set up some future book?
 
Would I recommend it? If you a reader of the Shetland series, then, yes.
 
If you're a fan of crime fiction, have read widely in the genre, and haven't read any of Ann Cleeves's other books, then don't start with Too Good To Be True, as it's not her best.
 
If you've not read much crime fiction before, would consider yourself a bit squeamish (no graphic descriptions here), and are thinking of a quick dip into the genre, then you may enjoy Too Good To Be True, as it certainly doesn't require knowledge of the other books in the series

 

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review 2017-07-10 10:51
White Nights
White Nights - Ann Cleeves

New to my bucket list - go to Shetland

 

In a small community, a strange newcomer shows up at an art exhibit opening. While admiring the art he suddenly becomes very emotional and makes a big scene. He claims he doesn't remember who he is or where he is from. Later, he is found hanging from the rafters of an old fishing hut. It looked like a suicide but the death was determined to be murder. Everyone becomes suspect and Jimmy Perez begins questioning everyone. He himself feels guilty because he talked to the man when he became emotional at the gallery and tried to help him. He didn't go after the man when he took off though and he felt responsible for his death. With the help of Taylor from Inverness, Jimmy is determined to figure out what happened to this man no one knows. 

 

I loved this book and the chance to learn more about Shetland. I was just as fascinated in learning about the place as I was in the mystery. I googled many details about the place and looked up a lot of terms I didn't know. I even looked up a recipe for oat cakes and can't wait to make some. I was also intrigued to learn about the "midnight sun" or "white nights" which we also have where I live in Alaska. I looked at my son's globe and noticed that Alaska lines up with Shetland between the same two latitude lines close to the north pole so in some ways where I live is similar.

 

The story was very complicated and I was never sure who was to blame. Ann Cleeves is a master at weaving stories that are so unpredictable. The characters are well built and I felt like I knew them and could visualize their homes and their way of life. Just like with the first book there was a character that seemed the more obvious choice for the killer and I knew it wouldn't be that person BUT Ann would always leave me second guessing myself. As the story progressed I ended up thinking everyone in the book could be guilty at some point. Ann Cleeves has now become a favorite author for me and I've already ordered the next book in the series.

 

 

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text 2017-07-07 09:29
Reading progress: I've read 43%.
White Nights - Ann Cleeves
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text 2017-07-03 07:32
Reading progress: I've read 2%.
White Nights - Ann Cleeves

Some music to set the mood...  

 

Shetland Fiddle Music 

 

 

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review 2017-06-19 21:38
Cold Earth: Shetland, Book 7 - Ann Cleeves,Kenny Blyth,Isis Publishing Ltd

Why did I read it? I have enjoyed the Shetland series by Anne Cleeves thus far, and, as it is summer and I have time spare until next semester, I thought I'd pick up where I'd left off.

 

What's it about? While attending a funeral, a landslide occurs ripping through the cemetery and destroying "Tain", a nearby croft house, thought to be uninhabited.  While checking on the damage, Jimmy Perez finds the body of a woman.  Initially thought to be a victim of the landslide, upon discovering the woman was dead beforehand, Jimmy asks Willow Reeves to head up the murder investigation.

 

What did I like? The narration was clear, and without fault.  The narrator, Kenny Blyth was decent, and good with accents.

 

I loved re-visiting Jimmy, Willow and Sandy, and mainland Shetland.  As always, the descriptions of people and places were illuminating, and I felt right there with the characters.  Anne Cleeves is very good at evoking an atmosphere.

 

What didn't I like? As the narrator, Kenny Blyth was a little disengaging; I found myself drifting away from the audio book, and had to rewind and re-listen a few times.

 

I'm not sure what it was - the narration, the plot - but the whole story seemed to just drag on, and on, though, oddly, the murder is solved in a few days.  I generally like this series, but I wasn't gripped at all. 

 

I'm afraid, too, I guessed the culprit almost from the first meeting. This has not always been the case with the Shetland series, so I was disappointed.

 

Would I recommend it? Oh yes, to fans of the Shetland series, and those who like crime fiction, but start at the beginning of the series as this is not a stand-alone book, given prior knowledge of some of the characters is required in order to understand certain situations.

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