A stunning second installment in the acclaimed Shetland Island Quartet, White Nights is sure to garner American raves for international sensation Ann Cleeves. This series is the basis for the hit BBC show Shetland,starring Douglas Henshall, which attracted over 12 million viewers in its first two nights on the air.
Raven Black received crime fiction's highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel.
It's midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate party to launch an exhibition of her work at The Herring House, a gallery on the beach.
The party ends in farce when one the guests, a mysterious Englishman, bursts into tears and claims not to know who he is or where he's come from. The following day the Englishman is found hanging from a rafter, and Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that the man has been murdered. He is reinforced in this belief when Roddy, Bella's musician nephew, is murdered, too.
But the detective's relationship with Fran Hunter may have clouded his judgment, for this is a crazy time of the 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.