LEIGH FORBES: Books of all Sorts

White Nights

by Ann Cleeves.

Just as good as Raven Black, if not better.

When a stranger is found hanged at a remote village on Shetland, local police Inspector Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate. Most of the people living in Biddista grew up together – does that make them close knit, or are there old animosities, lying beneath the surface: the secrets people keep just because they can?

I struggle very slightly with the jumpy style (e.g. one minute we in a cafe, the next driving down the road, with no indication of the switch until after some dialogue – it takes me a moment to catch up), but this is not intended to be criticism, particularly – it makes for swift transitions, and I am still carried through. I couldn’t put it down.

And once again, I loved Ann Cleeves’s characterisation – her people seem so real, so plausible, like someone you know, or could imagine meeting. They have real feelings and failings, and it’s immediately possible to sympathise with them or suspect them. Or not. This reader was never quite sure, and kept wanting to flick ahead to find out what happened.

A great read – keeps you hanging on until the end


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