My Friday Post: Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

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Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

This week I’m featuring Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves, one of the books I’m planning to read soon. It’s the 8th and last book in her Shetland series.

Wild Fire (Shetland Island, #8)

Emma sat on the shingle bank and watched the kids on the beach below build a bonfire. They’d dragged pieces of driftwood into a pile; it was something to do to relieve their boredom. Nothing much happened in Deltaness.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56:


‘It’s a suspicious death,’ Perez said. ‘None of us know yet how or why Emma died.’

‘But it wasn’t suicide, was it? there was no way she could have done that to herself.’

Perez didn’t answer.

Blurb (Amazon)

Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, a new English family move to the area, eager to give their autistic son a better life. But when a young nanny’s body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire.

With suspicion raining down on the family, DI Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate. For him it will mean returning to the islands of his on-off lover and boss Willow Reeves, who will run the case.

Perez is already facing the most disturbing investigation of his career, when Willow drops a bombshell that will change his life forever. Is he ready for what is to come?


I’ll be sad to come to the end of Ann Cleeves’s books about Perez but I think she’s right to end it with this book – as she says in this articleI decided to finish writing about the islands while I was still enjoying it. I’d hate to start repeating myself, boring my readers, losing enthusiasm for my characters. This feels like the right time for it to end.

The TV series continues though – the first episode of series 5 was on shown BBC 1 on Tuesday night! The adaptations have expanded the books. As Ann Cleeves explains: ‘From series three, the format moved away from self-contained adaptations to longer, six-episode original stories. These allowed plots and characters to develop and for some of the action to move away from the islands.’  

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

12 thoughts on “My Friday Post: Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

  1. I think that’s a really brave choice. As an author, it must be hard to give up characters and a world you know so well and move onto something new. I’d also imagine it’s pretty scary to risk losing readers at the end of the series. But I think she’s right, it’s sucks when a series goes on too long. It gets dull and repetitive, and the bad ones tend to sour my memories of the ones I enjoyed.

    My Friday memes this week

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  2. Like you, I’ll be sad to see this series end, but it’s better to end it at the right time, Margaret. And this really does look like a fine, fine addition to the series. I really like the way Cleeves slowly reveals the characters’ hidden motives and secrets, and, of course, there’s the setting…


  3. Yes, I’m also sad to see that this series is complete, but since I haven’t read any of the books yet, it makes me happy to know that 8 will be a complete set. I’ve recently heard of two other others that are ‘completing’ their series (supposedly anyway). They are Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books (10 of them) and Eliot Pattison’s Shan Tao Yun series (also 10). Margaret Maron did this with her Deborah Knott series, finished at 20 books. I like what Ann Cleeves said about her thought process in this regard and then we recently talked about how she is beginning a new series, new location, new characters, and I think Vera will continue perhaps.


  4. I think it’s not such a bad thing when author’s decide to bring a halt to a series because they feel they’ve gone as far as they can go. I’ve been cogitating on this on my blog and on Facebook funnily enough. And here’s an odd thing, I haven’t read a Perez book since the TV series started. I think I couldn’t reconcile the two in my head so one had to go and it was the books. The first episode of the new series was excellent.


  5. Love both quotes. They hint of something unknown. I am not familiar with the author, but seems she is popular. Hmm, maybe something for my to read list.


  6. I really must give this series a go because I love reading anything set on/about the Scottish islands. We are heading for the Orkney Isles on holiday later this year, and a visit to Shetland will hopefully follow soon!


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