Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

This reminds me of the Icelandic mysteries I've been reading because it's set in an isolated northern locale where there is little crime and everyone is related to everyone else. If you think about it, these kinds of settings offer up a version of a locked room mystery. In this case the locked room is the Shetland Isles, off the coast of Scotland. A young girl is murdered. A local detective figures it out.

Maxine really gives a good review of this book at Eurocrime. (I just wish that site was better organized.) My complaints are the same as hers: the author doesn't spend much time on the crime, but does spend a lot of time inside the heads of various suspects and witnesses. And the killer isn't anyone you are led to suspect. I felt a little tricked. Yet I wasn't bored. The people are interesting and the setting and local customs provide enough variety to keep this from being a run-of-the-mill mystery. (Have you ever heard of Up Helly Aa? I had not.) I liked it enough to try another one from the series, and I'm pretty picky these days, so that's something.

(Book 36, 2008)


Anonymous said...

Hello Becky, thanks so much for the nice comment about my review of this book.
I have read the next one in the series, White Nights, which I think works better as a mystery, and is equally atmospheric about the Shetlands.
I hope you'll be in touch with Karen over the Euro Crime site, it is a labour of love for her so I am sure she would appreciate your feedback about how to make it easier to navigate around.
Hope all is well with you.

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