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The electrifying follow up to the award-winning Raven Black Raven Black received crime fiction’s highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel. It’s midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate The electrifying follow up to the award-winning Raven Black Raven Black received crime fiction’s highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel. It’s midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate party to launch an exhibition of her work at The Herring House, a gallery on the beach. The party ends in farce when one the guests, a mysterious Englishman, bursts into tears and claims not to know who he is or where he’s come from. The following day the Englishman is found hanging from a rafter, and Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that the man has been murdered. He is reinforced in this belief when Roddy, Bella’s musician nephew, is murdered, too. But the detective’s relationship with Fran Hunter may have clouded his judgment, for this is a crazy time of the year when night blurs into day and nothing is quite as it seems. A stunning second installment in the acclaimed Shetland Island Quartet, White Nights is sure to garner American raves for international sensation Ann Cleeves.


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The electrifying follow up to the award-winning Raven Black Raven Black received crime fiction’s highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel. It’s midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate The electrifying follow up to the award-winning Raven Black Raven Black received crime fiction’s highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel. It’s midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate party to launch an exhibition of her work at The Herring House, a gallery on the beach. The party ends in farce when one the guests, a mysterious Englishman, bursts into tears and claims not to know who he is or where he’s come from. The following day the Englishman is found hanging from a rafter, and Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that the man has been murdered. He is reinforced in this belief when Roddy, Bella’s musician nephew, is murdered, too. But the detective’s relationship with Fran Hunter may have clouded his judgment, for this is a crazy time of the year when night blurs into day and nothing is quite as it seems. A stunning second installment in the acclaimed Shetland Island Quartet, White Nights is sure to garner American raves for international sensation Ann Cleeves.

30 review for White Nights

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 3.75* of five This is the second Shetland Islands Quartet thriller, which marketing decision was a good one...calling these thrillers instead of mysteries sets up the expectation of a whacking good read though not necessarily the play-fair-with-the-reader puzzle-solver that modern mysteries are. Cleeves writes wonderfully clearly and carefully about flawed, real, lovable characters in bad emotional states because of violent, evil acts disrupting their very ordinary lives. The stories she te Rating: 3.75* of five This is the second Shetland Islands Quartet thriller, which marketing decision was a good one...calling these thrillers instead of mysteries sets up the expectation of a whacking good read though not necessarily the play-fair-with-the-reader puzzle-solver that modern mysteries are. Cleeves writes wonderfully clearly and carefully about flawed, real, lovable characters in bad emotional states because of violent, evil acts disrupting their very ordinary lives. The stories she tells in this series, to date, are proof to me that she's looked deeply into human nature and seen what its outlines show to the astute...there but for the grace of God go I. Everyone in this book flees from their hurts. Their flight is, inevitably, unsuccessful. Jimmy Perez can't run from his flaming co-dependence. Fran Hunter can't run from her seething ambition. Bella Sinclair can't run from her self-created persona, an Iron Maiden as effective as any Inquistor's torture device. Inspector Taylor, back up from Inverness, can't escape his fear-driven energy. No one, not any one, escapes. The white nights of the title are a phenomenon of the far north. The sun never *quite* sets enough for true, dark night to fall. It's unsettling to some, it's a biorhythm disturber of tremendous power to have the body's million-year-old clock disrupted by absence of night. It's used by vile people the world over as a form of torture to deprive a human of good rest. And yet, there are thousands whose entire lives are lived with this condition as backdrop, and they seem not to feel its downside too strongly. But let's face it...this fact of nature is a thriller-writer's best birthday present. What better metaphor, and even a pretty subtle one, for bringing to light old wrongs, shining the pitiless lamp of the torturer on the consciences of those guilty of undiscovered crimes, than a sun that won't go down? That's a very nice backdrop you've chosen, Mme Cleeves, and it works very, very well for your chosen story, right up to and including the resolution of the multiple crimes. It does not make up for the sense I got, throughout the book, that your focus wasn't on me, your reader. I recommend the book, yes. I even think there are some things about it that are outstanding, including the character developments of Perez and Taylor. But as I careened from incident to incident, I didn't sense that you were laying out this tale for my delectation, but rather leading me, like a museum docent, from exhibit to exhibit, trying in a haphazard way to lead my somewhat dim brain to a conclusion you'd already reached and were now impatiently awaiting my "aha!" moment. I am already in possession of Red Bones, and I am very much looking forward to seeing what you have planned for me next, but I am a little bit put out by this sense of magisterial disdain that I got from the resolution to White Nights. I wish you'd let me get there with you, instead of running ahead and pointing and waving your arms.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Another well done mystery/thriller from Ann Cleeves in the Shetland series. The cover calls it a thriller, but I would classify it as a mystery. There is no profanity, no graphic violence and no graphic sex--making it suitable for cozy fans. Detective Jimmy Perez is the man in charge of the case, along with DCI(Detective Chief Inspector) Roy Taylor from Inverness, Scotland. Shetland Islands are located several hundred miles north of Scotland. Perez is at a gallery showing the works of Bella Sincl Another well done mystery/thriller from Ann Cleeves in the Shetland series. The cover calls it a thriller, but I would classify it as a mystery. There is no profanity, no graphic violence and no graphic sex--making it suitable for cozy fans. Detective Jimmy Perez is the man in charge of the case, along with DCI(Detective Chief Inspector) Roy Taylor from Inverness, Scotland. Shetland Islands are located several hundred miles north of Scotland. Perez is at a gallery showing the works of Bella Sinclair and Perez' friend Fran Hunter. A stranger comes to the gallery and starts weeping in front of a picture. When Perez tries to help him, the man claims to not know who he is. The next day he is found hanging from the rafters in a boat shed. Unraveling this mystery leads to a long buried secret. I was not sure of who the killer was until the end. This library book was a suspenseful read and I recommend it to fans of the mystery genre. I previously read book 1 in the series and this series is better read in order. Two quotes: Bella Sinclair "With her grey hair cropped very short, long silver earrings and a grey silk shirt, Perez thought she looked like a large silvery fish. Something about her mouth, too, the wide pale eyes. But she was attractive still." Bedroom of dead man "The bed was unmade, though she thought that didn't mean much. She'd never yet met a man who made a bed when he got up."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Another really pleasurable read from Ann Cleeves. White Nights features many of the same characters as its prequel Raven Black, but this time is set in summer, a time when the daylight in the Shetland Isles is practically endless and the people are said to go a little crazy. I really enjoy the main character, Inspector Jimmy Perez. He is delightfully calm and thorough and very likeable. He also knows his local people well and his understanding of them always helps him solve his cases before the c Another really pleasurable read from Ann Cleeves. White Nights features many of the same characters as its prequel Raven Black, but this time is set in summer, a time when the daylight in the Shetland Isles is practically endless and the people are said to go a little crazy. I really enjoy the main character, Inspector Jimmy Perez. He is delightfully calm and thorough and very likeable. He also knows his local people well and his understanding of them always helps him solve his cases before the city cops do. The Shetland setting is very well written and makes me want to visit - in summer of course. I have yet to experience a night where it does not go dark at all, though I would probably not want to live there! This was a very readable book with an intriguing mystery and a nearly unpredictable murderer, although with hindsight the clues were always there. The best kind of mystery:)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    I liked the first in the series, I enjoyed this one as well but something is missing. Both times I abandoned the book for a while to read something more interesting. I don't know why but I do not care enough for the plot or the characters. I will probably stop here with the series. I liked the first in the series, I enjoyed this one as well but something is missing. Both times I abandoned the book for a while to read something more interesting. I don't know why but I do not care enough for the plot or the characters. I will probably stop here with the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Ray

    Jimmy Perez is back for another murder to solve on these remote Shetland Islands, which are a subarctic archipelago of Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape were wonderful as was the character development. This is a second in the Shetland Island series but the first one for me. I will definitely be reading each one now. I could not guess the murderer and enjoyed the buildup and suspense throughout. Some felt the book moved too slow, but I thought is was perfect for the setup and the intric Jimmy Perez is back for another murder to solve on these remote Shetland Islands, which are a subarctic archipelago of Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape were wonderful as was the character development. This is a second in the Shetland Island series but the first one for me. I will definitely be reading each one now. I could not guess the murderer and enjoyed the buildup and suspense throughout. Some felt the book moved too slow, but I thought is was perfect for the setup and the intricate way the remoteness of the landscape shaped the people and ultimately the decisions that led to the murder(s).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    You can sense the intrigue the author must feel for these characters and character in general as this series unfolds. There are no stock people here. The setting is marvelous, wild and cold and isolated, perfect for mystery, insular relationships, quirky characters. I was hooked from the start by the gentle originality in the mystery set-up, and then carried along this fairly quiet story by the people who felt so real. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of insider/outsider investigators and You can sense the intrigue the author must feel for these characters and character in general as this series unfolds. There are no stock people here. The setting is marvelous, wild and cold and isolated, perfect for mystery, insular relationships, quirky characters. I was hooked from the start by the gentle originality in the mystery set-up, and then carried along this fairly quiet story by the people who felt so real. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of insider/outsider investigators and the complementary, agitating differences in personality resulting from the life ghosts each carries.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 I raced through the almost 400 pages of this second of Cleeves's Shetland series just like the first Raven Black. This is the kind of mystery I really enjoy - a regular cast of characters that we get to know over time, relationships that develop in each book and contribute to the dynamics of the story, a place that creates a unique atmosphere and writing that's in sync with the culture of that place. Cleeves's writing in these novels particularly strikes me as complet 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4 I raced through the almost 400 pages of this second of Cleeves's Shetland series just like the first Raven Black. This is the kind of mystery I really enjoy - a regular cast of characters that we get to know over time, relationships that develop in each book and contribute to the dynamics of the story, a place that creates a unique atmosphere and writing that's in sync with the culture of that place. Cleeves's writing in these novels particularly strikes me as completely in tune with the characters who populate the book, especially our main police detective Jimmy Perez. In an interview with Cleeves for NPR's Crime in the City, she says: "There are no trees in Shetland, and you can't do overgrown language here," she says. "The language has to be simple, because that's how the landscape is." White Nights is set around the summer solstice when it never really gets dark in the latitudes of the Shetland Islands and where this round-the-clock light is said to make people a little crazy. This story takes place in a tiny coastal hamlet where everyone grew up with each other and not only know everything about each other's business, but they know everybody's back story too. A man is found hanging in a beach hut where the community fishing gear is kept. Everyone uses the hut and throughout the book I could see that almost any of the locals could have killed this unidentified victim. When a murder occurs, investigators and crime scene inspectors come from Inverness on mainland Scotland. The way things are structured, the mainland investigator is in charge of things, with our man Jimmy Perez "assisting". (Of course our local guy gets the solve every time!) We met Roy Taylor from Inverness in the previous book. His completely opposite personality from Perez adds to the interest and tension. This time around though, Taylor seems a little like a cardboard cut-out or a stereotype of an impatient cop with a dysfunctional back story - not fully developed, which I did not feel in the first book. For this I shaved off a part of a star in my rating. Another part of a star got shaved off because of the ending. This was a page-turning read, and I did not see "whodunit" coming. This is often a good thing, but here the ending felt rushed, tacked on and didn't really jive with the rest of the story. So while the ending was a let-down and felt a little like Cleeves didn't quite know how to wrap up in a compelling way, I still liked White Nights a lot and feel this will be a favorite series of mine. Here's a link to the interview with Ann Cleeves - worth a listen! http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/3295201...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Berg

    An uknown actor is found hanged in a small Shetland town. It turns out to be murder rather than suicide and dective Jimmy Perez investigates. Before too long another person is murdered, this time a young, local celebrity. We're in it for another "whodunnit". I desperately wish this would have been a good book. It's well-written, the murderer, when revealed, is a surprise and the atmosphere is bleak and wind-blown. The story completely fails to engage. There is nothing to engage me in the caracht An uknown actor is found hanged in a small Shetland town. It turns out to be murder rather than suicide and dective Jimmy Perez investigates. Before too long another person is murdered, this time a young, local celebrity. We're in it for another "whodunnit". I desperately wish this would have been a good book. It's well-written, the murderer, when revealed, is a surprise and the atmosphere is bleak and wind-blown. The story completely fails to engage. There is nothing to engage me in the carachters or the landscape, it all falls flat. The impression should have been a good one, because I see this is solid work. It's just so incredibly boring.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I like the setting and the case was interesting enough! I like the main characters and I'm gonna miss the one that's leaving! But as it happens in many stories we can't like it all! So I didn't like some of the characters involved in this story! Also something that bothered me is that even though the detective has an idea I don't get a glimpse on it just to try myself to connect the dots of what might have happened! And last I was so annoyed at some point with Fran and Jimmy because you know guys I like the setting and the case was interesting enough! I like the main characters and I'm gonna miss the one that's leaving! But as it happens in many stories we can't like it all! So I didn't like some of the characters involved in this story! Also something that bothered me is that even though the detective has an idea I don't get a glimpse on it just to try myself to connect the dots of what might have happened! And last I was so annoyed at some point with Fran and Jimmy because you know guys there's something called "talking things through" instead of making assumptions! Generally a good read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Another good story on Shetland. I've taken a liking to detective Jimmy Perez. He's a little different than most detectives I read about... quieter, more restrained. These stories show Perez using his ability to understand people and really listen to them in order to solve crimes, with less to emphasis on physical or forensic evidence. Good stuff! 3.5 stars. Another good story on Shetland. I've taken a liking to detective Jimmy Perez. He's a little different than most detectives I read about... quieter, more restrained. These stories show Perez using his ability to understand people and really listen to them in order to solve crimes, with less to emphasis on physical or forensic evidence. Good stuff! 3.5 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    4.5 stars Second in this murder mystery series set in the Shetland Isles. Loved it just as much as the first and although a gentle and conventional read it must have had a fairly big impact as I can't get my head out of Shetland...and I've never been there! Kudos to Cleeves for creating characters that feel so real and invoking the spirit of the islands in a compelling series of stories. 4.5 stars Second in this murder mystery series set in the Shetland Isles. Loved it just as much as the first and although a gentle and conventional read it must have had a fairly big impact as I can't get my head out of Shetland...and I've never been there! Kudos to Cleeves for creating characters that feel so real and invoking the spirit of the islands in a compelling series of stories.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    After the atmospheric first in the series, Raven Black, Ann Cleeves follows up superbly with a brooding and equally menacing portrayal of life at the height of summer in Shetland and the curiously unsettling effect of the 'simmer dim' on life in the islands. In the long summer nights when it never seems to get dark the islands are a hive of activity with tourists flocking to the area on the cruise ships. With folk kept awake by the light an edgy and heightened sense of anxiety seems to pervade t After the atmospheric first in the series, Raven Black, Ann Cleeves follows up superbly with a brooding and equally menacing portrayal of life at the height of summer in Shetland and the curiously unsettling effect of the 'simmer dim' on life in the islands. In the long summer nights when it never seems to get dark the islands are a hive of activity with tourists flocking to the area on the cruise ships. With folk kept awake by the light an edgy and heightened sense of anxiety seems to pervade the region, with outsiders observing the way of life and the eccentricity of the inhabitants. Biddista is a small community isolated from the rest of the island by a hill on one side and a sea on the other. The opening of an art exhibition bringing the work of the noted Shetland artist, Bella Sinclair, together with outsider and new talent, Fran Hunter, turns into something of a damp squib when a poor turnout and even the presence of Bella's nephew, Roddy, serenading on his fiddle doesn't rejuvenate the atmosphere after a distraught stranger falls to his knees and starts weeping. Inspector Jimmy Perez is on hand and his first opinion in a simple case of midsummer madness and the theatrical hysteria that it routinely brings. Feeling almost duty bound to assist, when Jimmy offers him an ear he claims to have lost his memory, with no knowledge of how or why he arrived at the event. Seeming an unlikely candidate for suicide but reluctant to be left on his own, the mystery man slips away from the exhibition leaving Perez wondering and feeling a sense of responsibility. When the morning brings a call of a man hanging from a rafter in the communal fishing hut, Perez is guilt ridden that he could have done more to help the unidentified man. Evidently an Englishman who neither Bella or Fran claim knowledge of, the manic grin of a plastic clown mask that covers his face in death recalls the performer entertaining the incoming tourists from the cruise ships earlier in the day. Later confirmed as the same street performer who distributed flyers announcing the cancelling of the evenings exhibition due to death in the family, Perez and the locals wonder just who is he and why has he come. When confirmation is given that the man's death was not suicide, chillingly showing signs of a premeditation that is a rarity in violent crimes on Shetland. More bizarrely, just what is the intended significance of the sinister clown mask? The confirmation of murder brings DCI Roy Taylor, a Liverpudlian based in Inverness to Biddista. Still smarting from Inspector Jimmy Perez being credited with solving the first case they worked on together he is a little uneasy with Perez and the lack of urgency that seems to be a trademark of life in the area. Marked out by his distinctive colouring which seems to set him apart from the more easily identifiable Shetlanders, Inspector Jimmy Perez stands out like a island in the midst of choppy waters. Jimmy Perez's unconventional attitude and acceptance of the way things function on the islands immediately makes locals infinitely more comfortable in his presence. Never appearing awkward or rushing to fill in the gaps in conversation, his equanimity makes him an excellent judge of character. Indeed he is the focal point for the investigation. Jimmy and Fran's burgeoning relationship gives readers a more rounded take on his personality and the early days of the romance have all the headiness of teenage sweethearts. Anxious-to-please Whalsay lad, Sandy Wilson hangs eagerly onto Perez's coat tails, but never quite seems to process the actual import of a violent murder in a peaceful community. It soon becomes clear that the victim might have been an outsider, but the answer to his death lies in the history in the Shetlands. Cleeves is a captivating chronicler of the landscape and the locals, bringing a true appreciation for the remoteness, often bleak weather and the way in which every scrap of privacy is cherished. The investigation itself revolves around the handful of families that live in Biddista and artist, Bella is first to fall under the spotlight. Cleeves fleshes out her characters so well, weaving in resentments, past acrimony and intimate affairs and uncovering a host of hidden secrets, making for a captivating novel which swiftly becomes all consuming It fascinates me how Ann Cleeves makes the lives of the inhabitants in a isolated community so fascinating, particularly when their lives and occupations are so diametrically opposed to the life that most of us know and live. Four families that go back generations and are connected by everything from the broken hearted older brother of Kenny disappearing after a failed relationship with local sophisticate Bella Sinclair, to the petty grievances and sniping surrounding a broadside on a piece of amateur art. A second murder on the shape of Roddy Sinclair however brings new angles to the case and Perez knows that the answer lies in the history of the natives. Whilst the resolution and identification of the killer was a little unsatisfactory to my mind, with a slightly implausible motive detracting from the revelations, it will not dim my enthusiasm for this series. Cleeves provides plenty of subtle clues along the way making this an ideal novel to test eagle-eyed readers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    After a great first outing for detective Jimmy Perez based in the Shetland Islands, I could not wait for a second helping. This time we are in the tiny community of Biddista where it is hosting an art exhibition. Jimmy is in the early stages of a relationship with local Fran Hunter who's work along with big-name local artist Bella Sinclair is featured. The night though does not go to plan with a really low turn out, were not even a performance from Bella's rockstar nephew, Roddy helps. Next, an After a great first outing for detective Jimmy Perez based in the Shetland Islands, I could not wait for a second helping. This time we are in the tiny community of Biddista where it is hosting an art exhibition. Jimmy is in the early stages of a relationship with local Fran Hunter who's work along with big-name local artist Bella Sinclair is featured. The night though does not go to plan with a really low turn out, were not even a performance from Bella's rockstar nephew, Roddy helps. Next, an unknown man appears disorientated, and despite Jimmy's best efforts, he is unable to find the persons identity. The man is a mystery to all and disappears as soon as he showed himself only to be found the next day hanging in a shed by the beach. Just like before Jimmy is going to need help and makes the call for Roy Taylor from the Inverness police to oversee proceeding. For Roy, there is the annoyance with the last case that he failed to solve and this time want's to play a much bigger role. Once again Jimmy's familiarity with locals and the environment means Roy has to cast his net larger to find leads away from the dullness of the community. What follows is the team trying to find the identity of mystery Englishman and then being caught off guard when Roddy is found dead, only hours before he was meant to be traveling to Australia. This book is overall a great read with a few caveats. Firstly the pacing is quite uneven with slow plodding chapters mixed with a steady build-up of tension in others. The last few chapters are in particular a let down with the story of Bella's teens till the present and her many admirers seeming to come out of nowhere and be out of sync with the majority of the story. I also found the motivation of the killer to be a bit perplexing. On the plus side, Jimmy Perez continues to be a character at home in the lonely community he loves. While the book gives us a fascinating look at a way of life that is sadly vanishing (especially in the west) with a simple existence well away from the rat race.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    I do like this series by Ann Cleeves. "White Nights" is the second book, and Jimmy Perez is a good, likable detective. I have never been to the Shetland Islands, although I have had Shetland sheepdogs and I can knit a nice, warm shetland shawl. That makes me an expert, so when I say these books are worth reading, you can take it as the word of someone who knows. I do like this series by Ann Cleeves. "White Nights" is the second book, and Jimmy Perez is a good, likable detective. I have never been to the Shetland Islands, although I have had Shetland sheepdogs and I can knit a nice, warm shetland shawl. That makes me an expert, so when I say these books are worth reading, you can take it as the word of someone who knows.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I very much enjoyed this book, as I did the first one in the series. I'm a prolific knitter and the culture and history of the knitting and wool in the Shetland Islands is of great interest to me; so the setting probably makes me biased to like the book before I even start. I would love to visit and it gives a delightful taste of what the islands are like ( not so much the murders) but the erudite descriptions of the scenery and the differing lifestyles. It felt like a solid yet easy read. The n I very much enjoyed this book, as I did the first one in the series. I'm a prolific knitter and the culture and history of the knitting and wool in the Shetland Islands is of great interest to me; so the setting probably makes me biased to like the book before I even start. I would love to visit and it gives a delightful taste of what the islands are like ( not so much the murders) but the erudite descriptions of the scenery and the differing lifestyles. It felt like a solid yet easy read. The narrative moved along well yet set a detailed and interesting atmosphere. I liked the spattering of Shetland/Scottish words e.g. neeps, tatties, Peerie, simmer dim, ken etc. The plot wasn't half bad either. Left me guessing for quite awhile. Everything felt authentic, not a fantastical description of an imagined circumstance. The investigation was well paced - detailed enough to get you invested in the case but not long winded enough to bore. As with the nature of the close community on the islands, it made it different to other detective stories, since Jimmy Perez already knew a lot of the back story of the people. It didn't quite get 5 stars because it just didn't have that wow factor, nor was it an unputdownable book. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Arie

    Shetland must be one of the most desolately stunning places imaginable. A place where the sun never really sets in summer, and never really rises in winter - eternal light followed by eternal darkness, the perfect setting for an eerie crime-thriller. Raven Black, the first in this series, balanced this setting perfectly with its plot. It was dark, nail-biting, atmospheric, gorgeous. I expected exactly that from White Nights but have to admit, was a little let down. It's hardly fair to say the aut Shetland must be one of the most desolately stunning places imaginable. A place where the sun never really sets in summer, and never really rises in winter - eternal light followed by eternal darkness, the perfect setting for an eerie crime-thriller. Raven Black, the first in this series, balanced this setting perfectly with its plot. It was dark, nail-biting, atmospheric, gorgeous. I expected exactly that from White Nights but have to admit, was a little let down. It's hardly fair to say the author set her own bar too high, but this slightly dreamier sequel just missed something. It was still tightly plotted, with twists that the reader could possibly work out, but easily enough to be predicable. The relationships built up since the last book were intriguing and even quite sweet, at times. It just wasn't enough A gentle, enjoyable read, just not as fantastic as the first led me to expect.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    May 2019 This may well deserve a higher rating, but 7 months after I finished it without making even the slightest effort at a review, I have no idea. I recognize the start of the story from the blurb. And that's pretty much it. The identity of the first victim eludes me, as does the reason for any of it. All I seem to recall is that there was extensive back story. Well, also it got me interested in the the Hebrides and other islands, enough to look at houses for sale and jobs listings, not that May 2019 This may well deserve a higher rating, but 7 months after I finished it without making even the slightest effort at a review, I have no idea. I recognize the start of the story from the blurb. And that's pretty much it. The identity of the first victim eludes me, as does the reason for any of it. All I seem to recall is that there was extensive back story. Well, also it got me interested in the the Hebrides and other islands, enough to look at houses for sale and jobs listings, not that I could consider moving without a lottery win because there is no way in hell that I am packing up and lugging all these books anywhere. I would love to see the white nights though. Sad, innit, how little I remember? Still, I'd like to read more by Cleeves. Library copy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    I listen to these, and the narrator is just so good. Love listening to these and feeling transported to Shetland. Cleeves does a wonderful job with the setting, and the mystery was sufficiently entertaining (although for once I figured it out before the end!).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tressa Rauh

    After binge watching four seasons of Shetland, the series based on Ann Cleeves' books, I decided to try one of the books. As in the show, I was unable to solve the crime and had to wait for the Jimmy Perez reveal. Maybe now I'll binge read the books. After binge watching four seasons of Shetland, the series based on Ann Cleeves' books, I decided to try one of the books. As in the show, I was unable to solve the crime and had to wait for the Jimmy Perez reveal. Maybe now I'll binge read the books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I read Raven Black last year though I don't think I ever reviewed it. I love mysteries, especially ones set in the UK, and so I was delighted to find this series. The mystery here was intriguing and I admit I was guessing until the end- a sure sign of a successful thriller in my opinion. It is hard to share too many details of the story without spoiling it, but the writing and characters are excellent and truly make the novel. What I like best about Cleeves' work is that the Shetland Islands play I read Raven Black last year though I don't think I ever reviewed it. I love mysteries, especially ones set in the UK, and so I was delighted to find this series. The mystery here was intriguing and I admit I was guessing until the end- a sure sign of a successful thriller in my opinion. It is hard to share too many details of the story without spoiling it, but the writing and characters are excellent and truly make the novel. What I like best about Cleeves' work is that the Shetland Islands play such a crucial role as a character, and also help to create the feeling of a locked room mystery because the list of characters and settings is so short and outsiders are so unlikely to wander into the story. Jimmy Perez is a truly interesting character, one with the kind of backstory that pulls the reader into his viewpoint. His relationship with the islands and their residents, as well as with the crime scene experts who come in from outside, is deftly drawn and highlights the insular nature of the entire community. I highly recommend this series; I'm about to read the third and hope there are more to come!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)

    Every book by Ann Cleeves I love, I especially love the Shetland series and this was no exception. Highly recommend! 😊

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the second book in the Shetlands trilogy. Following Inspector Jimmy Lopez and his relationship with Fran from book 1., Fran is displaying her art at a joint exhibition with local celebrity, Bella Sinclair, also an artist and Jimmy is accompanying Fran on her big night. A stranger, makes a dramatic scene at the exhibition, claiming he has amnesia and not knowing his name and then disappearing as quickly as he appeared. Jimmy has spoken to the man, but cannot get any information from him a This is the second book in the Shetlands trilogy. Following Inspector Jimmy Lopez and his relationship with Fran from book 1., Fran is displaying her art at a joint exhibition with local celebrity, Bella Sinclair, also an artist and Jimmy is accompanying Fran on her big night. A stranger, makes a dramatic scene at the exhibition, claiming he has amnesia and not knowing his name and then disappearing as quickly as he appeared. Jimmy has spoken to the man, but cannot get any information from him and the next day, the very same man is found hanged in the nearby boat shed. Looking like suicide initially, Jimmy calls out the local doctor to examine the mans body and is told it looks a little suspect. So, he forced to call the mainland for help in finding a killer. This is a great, solid police procedural/digging deep story, which goes right into the past and the locals history and relationships. Jimmy is a likable character, who has a way with people. Fran, can come across as being a little distant, maybe too strong a woman for Jimmy, but it's early days. There are two further books in this series, it was initially called a trilogy but was obviously successful and extended. I hope there are many more to come. Read Raven Black first if you want to follow this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    The eponymous white nights refer to the lack of true nighttime in Shetland Islands during summer because they’re located so very far north (cf. Land of the Midnight Sun). Detective Jimmy Perez attends an art show where an Englishman breaks down and tears and claims not to remember his own name. Hours later, the man is found hanging from the rafters in a nearby shed. The verdict turns out to be murder rather than suicide. White Nights is less claustrophobic and atmospheric than the debut Raven Bl The eponymous white nights refer to the lack of true nighttime in Shetland Islands during summer because they’re located so very far north (cf. Land of the Midnight Sun). Detective Jimmy Perez attends an art show where an Englishman breaks down and tears and claims not to remember his own name. Hours later, the man is found hanging from the rafters in a nearby shed. The verdict turns out to be murder rather than suicide. White Nights is less claustrophobic and atmospheric than the debut Raven Black, but I really enjoyed this different approach, as well. As with its predecessor, the characters prove as much — if not more — of a draw as the cleverly plotted mystery. I enjoyed White Nights even more than its predecessor. I’m really looking forward to No. 3, Red Bones.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    I think I even enjoyed this book more than the first one of the Shetland Quartet. I was drawn into the story from page one and it kept me wondering till the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ms.pegasus

    Book two in the Shetland Island series opens with a curious scene. A man in a clown mask and costume is distributing flyers at the dock in Lerwick. Who is he? What do the flyers say? Why the theatrical garb? The questions arise because this is an Anne Cleeves mystery. The questions will quickly multiply in typical Anne Cleeves fashion. Jimmy Perez is still developing his relationship with Fran. After six months he has finally taken a big step — a first date. Well, sort of. He has offered to escor Book two in the Shetland Island series opens with a curious scene. A man in a clown mask and costume is distributing flyers at the dock in Lerwick. Who is he? What do the flyers say? Why the theatrical garb? The questions arise because this is an Anne Cleeves mystery. The questions will quickly multiply in typical Anne Cleeves fashion. Jimmy Perez is still developing his relationship with Fran. After six months he has finally taken a big step — a first date. Well, sort of. He has offered to escort her to the gala opening of her art exhibition, well-publicized as a joint event with celebrated local artist Bella Sinclair. Turnout for the show is both disappointing and disturbing. A stranger shows up and creates a scene, loudly bursting into tears and claiming he has lost his memory. Perez intervenes to help but the man bolts before he can learn anything more. Not even the presence of Bella's nephew, a well-known singer recently profiled in a BBC documentary, can dispel the discomfited mood. As for the mysterious stranger? Yep. The next morning he turns up dead. Not one but two questions need to be answered: Who murdered him and who was he? The unique feel of the islands always adds to the to the tone of the series. Here, the focus is on the “simmer dim” or summer light that never quite fades. It is a disturbing phenomena. Even life-long islanders suffer from interrupted sleep cycles and bouts of depression and anxiety. It's a major distraction for Roy Taylor, originally from Liverpool and dispatched from his regular posting in Inverness to lead the murder investigation. This was my least favorite of the five books in the series. Much of the procedural deals with the friction between Perez and Taylor. Taylor is the nominal lead investigator, but Perez is the one with the local knowledge and deft rapport with the islanders. As a character, Taylor is simply not that interesting. He is an outsider and seems out of place in his own investigation. In addition to the simmer dim he is wrestling with personal issues about his own career and his past relationship with his father. He is restless and impatient, qualities that rebuff the taciturn Shetlanders. He started to get on my nerves even more than Perez's! The theme of old secrets felt heavy-handed in this book. Three island families are tied to the investigation: The Sinclairs (Bella and her nephew), the Williamsons (Aggie Watt, her son Martin, Martin's wife Dawn and their daughter Alice), and the Thomsons (Kenny, his wife Edith, and Kenny's brother Lawrence whom they have lost contact with years ago when he announced he was leaving for England). These families were intertwined since childhood. In a claustrophobic world where everyone knows bits and pieces of each other's business and fills in the unknowns with speculative rumors, Perez's inquiry produces an overabundance of plausible theories. The result dilutes the level of suspense. One of Cleeves' strengths is character development, particularly that of Sandy as the series progresses. Here, however, Sandy is still depicted as an oaf with few redeeming characteristics. He does not come into his own until the third book when he became one of my favorite characters. This was an entertaining book, but not one of the best of the series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Circling back to read #2 completes the set of 7 Shetland Island books for me. I don't recall if I saw a production of this particular book as it has been some time since I watched them. It seemed like fresh material to my memory as I read the book. But then I am old. Ann Cleeves knows her island people, animals, tides and secrets that can be held for years. A competitive Inspector Taylor from Inverness joins Perez to take over the investigation of murder most mysterious. The murders multiply and Circling back to read #2 completes the set of 7 Shetland Island books for me. I don't recall if I saw a production of this particular book as it has been some time since I watched them. It seemed like fresh material to my memory as I read the book. But then I am old. Ann Cleeves knows her island people, animals, tides and secrets that can be held for years. A competitive Inspector Taylor from Inverness joins Perez to take over the investigation of murder most mysterious. The murders multiply and the police try to find the cause, but uncovering very old secrets is not something done easily.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Grand

    realy loved this book, addicted to ann cleeves books at the moment

  28. 4 out of 5

    Regina Lemoine

    Another solid and enjoyable novel from Cleeves. I do have one fairly major complaint, though. (view spoiler)[The solution seems to come out of thin air. Why Cleeves chose to make a sympathetic character the murderer really made little sense and, to me, there were not enough clues so that the reader might have figured it out. I don’t mind being mislead, but this seemed unrealistic. (hide spoiler)] I love the characters and setting and I’ll continue on with the series. Another solid and enjoyable novel from Cleeves. I do have one fairly major complaint, though. (view spoiler)[The solution seems to come out of thin air. Why Cleeves chose to make a sympathetic character the murderer really made little sense and, to me, there were not enough clues so that the reader might have figured it out. I don’t mind being mislead, but this seemed unrealistic. (hide spoiler)] I love the characters and setting and I’ll continue on with the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    Scotland - NOT Russia Mysteries are not my genre. The few I've started in recent years were written like TV dramas (stock characters and more action than nuance), so I've put them down. I picked this one for its setting and was pleasantly surprised. Writer Ann Cleeves held my attention for two days as I followed Jimmy Perez on the mystery trail. Cleeves created excellent characters; people whom you'd realistically expect to live in the Shetland Islands. She has a good sense of timing, introducing Scotland - NOT Russia Mysteries are not my genre. The few I've started in recent years were written like TV dramas (stock characters and more action than nuance), so I've put them down. I picked this one for its setting and was pleasantly surprised. Writer Ann Cleeves held my attention for two days as I followed Jimmy Perez on the mystery trail. Cleeves created excellent characters; people whom you'd realistically expect to live in the Shetland Islands. She has a good sense of timing, introducing people, their history, and their relationships to each other at a pace the reader can digest. The setting is an isolated but sophisticated town with crofting and tourism as its economic mainstays. The plot unfolds with character driven clues along the way. You have ideas, but are not sure what happened until the last pages when all the pieces come together. There is a particularly nice interplay between the local detective, Perez, and his boss from "the city", Taylor. My only criticism is the punctuation. Quotations are set off by only one mark and not the conventional two (that is, ' and not "). Periods are left off abbreviations which my eye wanted to see. There were some Scottish and British expressions. Most like "collect my daughter" were easily deciphered, but I couldn't figure out or find them all - for instance, what is a "voe"? I highly recommend this for mystery readers. Those who aren't into mysteries, but appreciate a good story, will enjoy this too.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    I didn't finish this one. On page 172, the "big-city" detective arrives and observes "There was so much do do and these local guys seemed to think there was all the time in the world." My sentiments exactly. The pace is sloth-like. There is a story here, but I'm not going to know it. I didn't finish this one. On page 172, the "big-city" detective arrives and observes "There was so much do do and these local guys seemed to think there was all the time in the world." My sentiments exactly. The pace is sloth-like. There is a story here, but I'm not going to know it.

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