Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves
|Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the final book in this series which has been acclaimed in print as as a television series, and it's gone out on a very high note. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416/10h44m||Date: September 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
An English family moved to the Shetlands in the hope of a better life, particularly for their young son, who is at the able end of the autistic spectrum. The wife is a designer of knitwear and she makes use of many of the traditional local patterns: some Shetlanders like the idea. Others feel that she's ripping them off for her own profit. The husband is an architect: he's extended the croft they bought. Many admire the way that he's continued the clean lines of the croft and retained the original building. Others... - well, you get the picture. The family can do no right, particularly as the son has an obsession with fire and set some paper alight in the school playground. The former owner of the croft, who had to sell up when he was in financial difficulties, hung himself in the bothy: there are those on the island who feel that the family is responsible for his death.
Can it get any worse? Yes, it can. Emma Shearer is a nanny to the children of the local doctor. She's an incomer herself but has generally been accepted, possibly because she's been on the island for a number of years. Then history repeats itself and Emma is found hanging in the bothy and it's not long before rumours of an affair between her and the architect spread like wildfire. Then it becomes clear that this is murder rather than suicide and Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate, along with his boss, Willow Reeves. When Reeves arrives on the island she brings news which throws Perez into a state of considerable confusion.
It's Ann Cleeves: you know exactly what you're getting. The plotting is exemplary. All the clues are there but the denouement still comes as a surprise until you think about it and wonder why you didn't spot it earlier on. The characters are all strong: you feel that you know them, even if your 'knowledge' of the books is based on the television series which does take a few liberties. You could read Wild Fire as a standalone, but you'll get so much more out of it if you've read at least some of the earlier books: you'll find a chronological list here. Cleeves has a particular talent for evoking landscape, whether it be here in Shetland or in the Vera Stanhope novels. Cleeves has lived/lives in both areas and her knowledge of and love for the landscapes shines through.
Regrettably, this is the last book in the series but it goes out on a very high note.
I listened to an audio download of Wild Fire, which I bought myself. It's narrated by Kenny Blyth. Initially I worried that he would suffer in my estimation from not being Douglas Henshall (Perez in the television series) but I quickly found that I neither noticed nor cared. I've not listened to Blyth's work before, but he was a real pleasure to listen to and I'd like to hear more from him.
If you'd like to read an earlier book in the series, we loved Raven Black.
You could get a free audio download of Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Fire (Shetland, Book 8) by Ann Cleeves at Amazon.com.
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