White Nights is the second book in Ann Cleeves' bestselling Shetland series – a major BBC One drama starring Douglas Henshall.
When Shetland detective Jimmy Perez finds a body in a hut used by fishermen it seems to be a straightforward case of suicide. He recognizes the victim – a stranger with amnesia who had disrupted a local party the night before his death.
Yet this is no desperate act of anguish, but the work of a cold and calculating killer. As Perez investigates, he finds himself mired in the hidden secrets of the small Biddista community. Then another body is found.
Perez knows he must break the cycle before another death occurs. But this is a crazy time of year when night blurs into day and nothing is quite as it seems . . .
In Dagger-winner Cleeves's uneven second installment in her Shetland Island quartet (after Raven Black), Insp. Jimmy Perez sees a stranger sobbing in front of a painting at an art exhibit featuring the work of Perez's new girlfriend, Fran Hunter, and mythic local painter Bella Sinclair. Claiming to be suffering from amnesia, the unknown man disappears before Perez can question him further, but turns up dead that same night, hanged in a fishing shed. In his investigation, Perez focuses on Bella, whose talent is matched by her penchant for drama and extravagant parties. When another body turns up, Perez must sift through generations of closely guarded island secrets to find the truth. Despite characters as vivid as those in Raven Black, Cleeves struggles to sustain a suspenseful plot, which slows to a crawl in the middle and packs too much action at the end. Still, this slight misstep shouldn't deter fans of the introspective Perez from looking forward to Cleeves's next thriller.
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Really good story, hard to work out who did it. Good plot much better than the TV series.