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Red Bones (Shetland Island #3)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  6,073 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
When a young archaeologist discovers a set of human remains, the locals are intrigued. Is it an ancient find—or a more contemporary mystery? Then an elderly woman is fatally shot and Ann Cleeves’s popular series detective Jimmy Perez is called in. As claustrophobic mists swirl around the island, Inspector Perez finds himself totally in the dark.

Audio Run Time: 11:21:0
Kindle Edition, 401 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.125* of five

The Publisher Says: When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find - or a more contemporary mystery?

Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson - his own colleague, Sandy Wilson.

The sparse landscape and the emptiness of the sea have bred a fierce and secretive people. Mima Wilson w
Mar 11, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this series - cosy murder mystery set in Shetland Isles - will certainly be working my way through these!
Nancy Day
Jan 30, 2013 Nancy Day rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I wasn't so intrigued with the climate and culture of the Shetlands, I would have stopped reading this book after the first few chapters. She does do a good job describing the unique characteristics of this incredibly interesting locale, but beyond that, what a lousy "thriller." The two main cops are riddled with self-doubt and self-deprecation, but not in a cool, Harry Hole kind of way, in the "gosh, I hope I get the girl!" and "how can I get my dad to like me?" way. Sure, part of the human ...more
Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
Το τρίτο βιβλίο της σειράς "Σέτλαντ Άιλαντ" της Ann Cleeves, με τίτλο "Κόκκινα οστά", έφτασε στη χώρα μας, για μία ακόμη φορά με την υπογραφή των εκδόσεων Κλειδάριθμος. Ο Τζίμι Πέρεζ επιστρέφει για ν' αναλάβει άλλη μια μυστηριώδη υπόθεση, καταφέρνοντας και πάλι να μας παρασύρει στα ομιχλώδη τοπία του Σέτλαντ, αναζητώντας μαζί του τη λύση του γρίφου καλείται να λύσει. Και για μία ακόμη φορά, δεν μας απογοητεύει, προσφέροντάς μας μια ιστορία γοητευτική και τρομακτική, ένα αγωνιώδες θρίλερ, τα κομμ ...more
Detective Jimmy Perez is called in to investigate after an elderly woman is shot dead in the island community of Whalsay. Then a young archeologist working an ancient site discovers human remains causing much speculation locally. When a suspicious death occurs the Procurator Fiscal is prepared to call it suicide but Jimmy is wary and continues to investigate. Two deaths in a small rural community is extremely suspect. Could there be a murderer on the lose in Whalsay? Who will be next? Jimmy is c ...more
mp3 workaday

Red Bones [2009] , 11 hours 24 mins,

blurb: An island shrouded in mist and a community with secrets buried in the past . . .When a young archaeologist studying on a site at Whalsay discovers a set of human remains, the island settlers are intrigued. Is it an ancient find – or a more contemporary mystery? Then an elderly woman is shot in a tragic accident in the middle of the night. Shetland detective Jimmy Perez is called in by her grandson – his own colleague, Sandy Wilson. The spa
Jun 10, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the "Shetland Quartet" featuring Detective Jimmy Perez, who despite having a Spanish surname, is a "multigenerational" Shetland islander. This book features Sandy, a police officer, who is thought to be rather stupid and only capable of doing plodding work that can be directed by his superiors. Bones are found at an archaeological dig. The question is how old are they? Then Sandy's grandmother is found dead, the suspect is quickly found although it seems to be an accide ...more
Jill Manske
It took a long time (more than 50 pages) to warm up to this book. It starts really, really slowly. And it takes awhile to get used to the Scottish slang and phrases. It was interesting in that I learned a lot about the Shetland Islands and the bleak existence that islanders share. And the mystery was ok - more like an Agatha Christie novel than anything else. It was frustrating because the police seemed so inept. Maybe we watch too much CSI and maybe small villages in Scotland don't have access ...more
Jun 24, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Interesting setting on the Shetland islands, an archeological dig, past scandals and mysterious disappearances, an unexpected death--all very promising, but this book is like an oatmeal cookie with too few raisins. There was so much of the detectives' internal maunderings about their life issues that it distracted from the suspense.
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
The pace was a bit slow at the start & some of the police actions are a bit odd, but this book has some beautiful descriptions of the Shetlands & it builds to a genuinely surprising ending.
I continue to like this series set in the Shetland Islands, this one revolving around an archaeological dig of what is thought to be a merchant's house from the 1500's. If it turns out to be true, it will be quite a discovery and will likely lead to the reconstruction of the home and a visitor's center focusing on the history of the island of Walsey and its possible involvement in the Hanseatic League. The dig and thinking about the Hanseatic League and S ...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Book 3. in the "Shetlands Quartet" and another one I loved. This one takes us to Sandy's homeland on Whalsay, renowned for its friendly Islanders, and while Sandy is home on a visit, his grandmother is shot dead one dark night outside her farmhouse and he finds her body. His cousin, Ronald, who is out shooting rabbits, is thought to have shot her accidentally There is an archaeological dig taking place on Mima's land (Sandy's grandmother) and the PhD student in charge of the dig, Hattie James, h ...more
Mark Robison
Apr 15, 2017 Mark Robison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a lot of familial relationships to keep track of, but the mystery was good. I totally didn't foresee the killer, yet the person made total sense. An old woman is killed on a remote Scottish island where an archaeological dig is taking place outside her home. Two families live nearby: one rich, one barely getting by. Finally, there's a book with a WWII subplot that's not a cliche! Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: B+
Dec 07, 2012 Lucinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
An intricately interwoven plot that is undeniably brilliant, atmospheric and beautifully crafted.

This stunning crime novel by highly acclaimed, bestselling author of Dead Water and Raven Black, Ann Cleeves brings a new exciting tale to the forefront. ‘Shetland’ is now a major BBC television drama adaptation. This profoundly gripping, absorbing tale is one that had me sat on the edge of my seat throughout as I was unable to put this book down for even a moment. Shrouded in mystery, deception and
May 09, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, shetland
The discovery of the body of an elderly woman on a mist-shrouded night is where this mystery began. Dense fog was not an uncommon event on Whalsay, one of the smaller Shetland Islands. Those misty incursions often covered the terrain so that only people very familiar with it could get around in it.

Sandy Wilson, at home for a visit on Whalsay was coming to visit his grandmother Mima in this dense haze to sober up a bit before going home to his parents house and at first he thinks that he sees a c
Bones in the land...skeletons in the cupboard..., March 11, 2012

It's early spring in the Shetland Islands in the North Sea - a time of rebirth and celebration. Hyacinths are blooming in pots and beds of yellow daffodils have popped up in the fields. Some of the inhabitants are planning an early garden - a strip of tatties, another of neeps...and a planticrub with cabbage.

Ann Cleeves has set her third installment of the Shetland Island mysteries on the small island of Whalsay, a mere 6 miles lon
Jun 11, 2010 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mystery
A couple of archaeology students at a dig on Whalsay island find silver coins and bones, including part of a skull on croft land belonging to an elderly lady.

When the elderly lady is shot late at night, it is assumed to be a tragic accident, the result of her drunken grand-nephew out rabbit hunting. When later, the lead archaeologist is also found dead in one of the trenches, her death is pronounced a suicide.

But are the 2 deaths linked at all? Inspector Jimmy Perez ferries over to Whalsay and
I am still loving this series from Ann Cleeves and can't wait to check out the 4th in the series. In this installment, there is more focus on Jimmy Perez's fellow policeman, Sandy, and less on Jimmy's relationship with Fran, as she is out of town for most of the novel (however, there are quite a few new developments in that category by the end of the novel.) I like how Red Bones switches the focus more towards Sandy and his family as the mystery revolves around a murder of Sandy's grandmother. T ...more
Apr 30, 2015 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My introduction to Ann Cleeves! She has been compared to Agatha Christie and as far as the surprise element at the end, I found that to be true!

I enjoyed this mystery set on the Shetland Islands, an unfamiliar region in literature for me. I enjoyed learning about life there and reading about how some islanders aided in the Norwegian resistance during World War II. I also enjoyed the archeology element in this novel.

Though a bit slow moving at times, this mystery was hard to put down once I got i
Sep 21, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-audio
This novel is deftly situated in the Shetlands and is so closely tied to the islands' geography and culture that it could not take place anywhere else. I loved it for this.

A mystery surrounds the archaeological discovery of some bones that turn out not to be so old and then a seemingly motiveless murder. The archaeologists' presence ensures that the suspects are not limited to the islanders and makes the story more interesting. There are red herrings, which I fell for, and a large cast of chara
I always enjoy to read books in places I've never been before (literary wise and in real life). The Shetland Islands were such a black spot on my map.

I needed some time to warm up to Jimmy Perez and Sandy, I thought Sandy was quite clumsy and liked to drink quite a bit.

The more I learned about the people on the Island the more I liked the story. It was a bit slow at times, though. Of course, I read about people I disliked on sight :) (view spoiler)
Minty McBunny
Nov 10, 2013 Minty McBunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, november-2013
I enjoyed this book as much as I did Raven Black. I thought White Nights was the best of them so far, the formula feels a little worn after 3 in a row and I felt the action dragged in some places. Like the first book, it didn't give me as much of a sense of the Shetlands as I would have liked. But I enjoy Perez, I liked the deeper look into Sandy's life. I'm looking forward to the fourth book, I missed Fran's presence in this one.
Susan Johnson
Mar 26, 2011 Susan Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't express how much I enjoy this series and it gets better as it goes along. The description of the Islands makes it so realistic that I feel like I'm there. Perez's girlfriend says. "No light pollution, no sound, but they just can't conceive it." Cleeves does a great job of making it conceivable.
The mystery was very layered and the ending really surprised me. This book succeeds on many levels.
Sep 10, 2015 Nancy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The first book in this series grabbed me from page one and I couldn't put it down. Second one not so much, but I still enjoyed it. I made it to chapter 11 in book 3 and decided it's time to take the book back to the library. Too much jumping around and there's minimal development of the new characters or the existing ones in my opinion. I wanted to like this series, but it just didn't happen.
Feb 05, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Archeology students on a remote island uncover bones, which leads to two deaths and a mystery for Jimmy Perez to solve. This time his police sidekick Sandy and his family are at the heart of the drama. Another slow burning read set in the Shetland islands. Not one of my favourites of the series. Enjoyable though.
Dec 02, 2012 Lili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of the quartet I've read back to back and I must admit that once again it is an enjoyable story. In this book Sandy comes of age making Inspector Perez proud of his younger colleague. Written skillfully, with a delightful insight into the lives of Island folk and a plot that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
Gisela Hafezparast
This is clearly the book in the series where Ann Cleeves found her feet. Unlike the others before the characters are now rounded and the story believable and well situated in the amazing Shetland Isles. Great read.
Harini Srinivasan
Decentish. I thought at first I had found a new favourite mystery writer, but though I thoroughly enjoyed the brooding atmosphere, the local colour, and the characters, the denouement was rather disappointing. But I shall reserve judgement until I've read a few more of her books.
Joanna Warrens
Great dark thriller!
Nov 25, 2013 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, library, mystery
These books make me want to run away to Shetland. I'm always so nervous that a knitter is the murderer.
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The Mystery, Crim...: Ann Cleeves 9 281 Sep 14, 2015 11:28PM  
  • A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway, #4)
  • The Lewis Man (The Lewis Trilogy, #2)
  • Necessary as Blood (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #13)
  • A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler, #7)
  • Lying Dead (DI Marjory Fleming #3)
  • The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan, #2)
  • Driftnet (Rhona MacLeod #1)
  • The Raven's Eye (Brock & Kolla, #12)
  • The End of the Wasp Season (Alex Morrow, #2)
Ann is the author of the books behind ITV's VERA, now in it's third series, and the BBC's SHETLAND, which will be aired in December 2012. Ann's DI Vera Stanhope series of books is set in Northumberland and features the well loved detective along with her partner Joe Ashworth. Ann's Shetland series bring us DI Jimmy Perez, investigating in the mysterious, dark, and beautiful Shetland Islands...

More about Ann Cleeves...

Other Books in the Series

Shetland Island (7 books)
  • Raven Black (Shetland Island, #1)
  • White Nights (Shetland Island, #2)
  • Blue Lightning (Shetland Island, #4)
  • Dead Water (Shetland Island, #5)
  • Thin Air (Shetland Island, #6)
  • Cold Earth (Shetland Island, #7)

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“Anna opened her eyes and saw a pair of hands, streaked and shiny with blood. No face.” 1 likes
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