‘Red Bones’ by Anne Cleeves

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Shetland detective Jimmy Perez has a mystery on his hands when an old woman is shot dead on the island of Whalsay. Though the death initially appears to be an accident, Perez discovers simmering disagreements between two of the families in the area that could have implications for his investigation. With an archaeological dig going on near where the dead woman is found, ancient bones are discovered. Could they relate to one of the stories told by islanders about events that happened sixty years earlier? As Perez struggles to uncover what may have been a murder, another woman is found dead.  

This is book 3 in the Shetland series and it’s the best yet. Ms Cleeves has a way of allowing her characters to gradually dig away at the mystery without any of the usual police procedural antics in most crime stories. What I particularly liked about this one is how the character of Sandy begins to mature and take on some of his boss’s ideas about interrogation. With Sandy’s family connections, discovering the facts behind the death of Mima Wilson force him to deal with his own past and the stories he’s been told about events during the war.

As always, the author’s descriptions of the landscape are as much a part of the story as the mystery itself and I loved the way she has Perez constantly questioning himself and his ideas about what may or may not have occurred.

A beautifully written first-class murder mystery.

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  2 comments for “‘Red Bones’ by Anne Cleeves

  1. 29/03/2022 at 2:23 PM

    This sounds great Colin. I prefer no police procedures.


    • 30/03/2022 at 9:12 AM

      Thanks, Robbie. yeah, me too – this book is all about the characters.


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