RogerBW's Blog

Blue Lightning, Ann Cleeves 15 March 2020

2010 mystery, fourth in Cleeves' Shetland Island series. Jimmy Perez is taking his fiancée Fran Hunter home to meet his parents on Fair Isle. But over at the Fair Isle Field Centre, tensions among the isolated birdwatchers may be building up to murder.

There are parts of this that work very well. I don't expect nice ephemeral characters in an Ann Cleeves novel, and indeed I don't get them; rather, each person has their embarrassing secret that they'll lie to protect, and each of them is a bit pathetic in their own way. There are plenty of motives for murder. The plot is deceptively simple, resting on a well-hidden truth.

Meanwhile Perez is the only policeman on site when a major storm blows in, so he has to do the initial investigation himself with only occasional telephone contact with the outside world. That works very well, and it's almost a disappointment when more police are able to arrive.

On the other hand, some things happen which left me annoyed. One murder in particular seemed inexplicable both on rational grounds and in the mindset of the murderer; it felt as though it had been wedged in to cause pain, and since it's the murder of a woman in order to cause pain to a man, for my taste that's falling far too close to Women in Refrigerators.

Vg qbrfa'g uryc gung obgu gur frpbaq naq gur guveq ivpgvzf ner jbzra jub jrer "cynlvat qrgrpgvir", obgu bs gurz irel flzcngurgvp punenpgref jubfr shgherf V jnagrq gb ernq nobhg, naq V ng yrnfg tbg n fgebat srryvat bs nhgube'f zrffntr gung jbzra ernyyl bhtug gb fgnl ng ubzr naq yrnir vg gb gur ovt fgebat zra gb qb rkpvgvat guvatf; gur bayl bgure jbzra jr zrrg ner va cnffvir be fhccbegvat ebyrf, rira va gur cbyvpr, rkprcg sbe gur Cebphengbe Svfpny jub'f cbegenlrq irel artngviryl. Gubhtu V znl or bire-vagrecergvat guvf.

In spite of all that, I think this does hold together, though it came close to losing me at times. This is the last of the original "Shetland Island Quartet", though Cleeves has since continued the series; I may continue too, though I think I want a bit of a break from them for now.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Red Bones | Series: Shetland Island

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1