Friday, December 12, 2008

White Nights by Ann Cleeves

This is the second in the author's series of detective stories set in the Shetland Islands. Once again, I wish a map had been included, but it's easy enough to find one on line. The title refers to the long hours of daylight at midsummer when the sun barely sets. Resulting sleep disturbances make everyone a little crazy, even the natives.

In Raven Black, the first book in the series, we spent a lot of time inside the head of the murderer without knowing he/she was the murderer. I think that's cheating, though I have to admit that Cleeves is a very skilled writer and when I went back and re-read some of those sections, she never put a foot wrong. This book, White Nights, contains no such tricks, and I liked it better for that. Cleeves does a great job of capturing the wild weather and stunning scenery of the Shetlands, along with the claustrophobia and paranoia of such an isolated place. Her detective, Jimmy Perez, is charming, yet modest and self-effacing; a great combination.

(Book 45, 2008)


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