Crime Fiction Pick of the Month – June 2012

The Crime Fiction Pick of the Month meme is hosted at Mysteries in Paradise by Kerrie. I read 5 crime fiction books this month and my pick of the month is:

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves

Red Bones is the third book in Ann Cleeves’s Shetland Quartet. It’s set on Whalsay, where two young archaeologists, excavating a site on Mima Williams’s land, discover human bones. They are sent away for testing – are they an ancient  find or are the bones more contemporary? Sandy Wilson, Inspector Jimmy Perez’s sergeant is Mima’s grandson. He is visiting his family when late one night he finds Mima’s body. It appears she was shot accidently by his cousin Ronald, out shooting rabbits. Then one of the archaeologists is also found dead, and even though it appears to be suicide Jimmy and Sandy are not convinced, thinking it could be murder.

I really like these Shetland mysteries. They are complicated and slow-moving books that enable you to immerse yourself in the mystery. The characters have depth and the locations are superbly described. In this book Ann Cleeves explores both the history of the island, its close-knit community, its traditions and the intricacies of the close family relationships. In contrast to the rest of the series the novel is narrated by Sandy as well as Jimmy and consequently both their innermost thoughts and feelings are revealed.

Red Bones is currently being filmed for a two-part TV drama. More good news – Ann Cleeves’s website reveals that there is another Jimmy Perez mystery in progress  – Dead Water to be published in January 2013.

The four books in the Shetland series are: