Cold Earth is the seventh book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series – a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall.
In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea.
At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity.
Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.
Also available in the Shetland series are Raven Black, White Nights, Red Bones, Blue Lightning, Dead Water and Thin Air.
The ground shifts in more ways than one for Det. Insp. Jimmy Perez in CWA Diamond Dagger winner Cleeves's moody seventh Shetland mystery (after 2016's Thin Air). At the funeral of old Magnus Tait, who was once accused of murder, the rain-soaked hillside above the mourners gives way and nearly buries them under a massive landslide. No one at the cemetery is hurt, but the body of a woman in a red dress is discovered in the ruins of a house on the hill, and no one seems to know who she is. Jimmy's obsession with uncovering her identity only deepens when he learns that she was murdered before the landslide occurred. The Scottish oil boom brings many outlanders to the island, but Jimmy suspects the killer is someone close to home and sets about unraveling a tangled web of relationships among the locals. The stark Shetland landscape provides an atmospheric backdrop for Cleeves's complex, relatable characters, especially Perez, a kind man dealing with his own tragic past.