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Red Bones (Shetland #3)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,096 ratings  ·  259 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 fatally is shot and Ann Cleeves's popular series detective Jimmy Perez is called in.In Red Bones, aclaustrophobic mists swirl around the Shetland Islands,and Inspector Perez finds himself totally in the dark. ...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4.125* of five

This is the third in what the publishers call The Shetland Islands Quartet in some places, A Shetland Islands Thriller in others. I hope that this betokens a realization on the part of Cleeves and her publishers that the series has the essential ingredient for longevity: Terrific characters entwined in believeable relationships.

We see Jimmy Perez, our sleuth, living without gal-pal Fran Hunter while she's down south in London to visit family and friends. His every waking th
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
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.
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
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
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)
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
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
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
Nancy Day
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
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
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
Alana White
"Red Bones" is Number Three in the Jimmy Perez Shetland Island series, which I read even after not particularly enjoying Number Two, "White Nights." Why did I do it? Jimmy is an appealing character (though I do wish he would quit thinking he is not good enough for his "girlfriend," artist Fran Hunter). Readers will follow a good character most anywhere, I believe, and that includes me. Also, Cleeves's Shetland Island setting is intriguing. In "Red Bones," Cleeves continues to focus on the island ...more
Rob Kitchin
Red Bones is the third book in Ann Cleeves Shetland series featuring Inspector Jimmy Perez. The strength of the tale is the sense of place, atmosphere, characterisation and social relations. Cleeves drops the reader into the wild landscape and seascape of the Shetland Isles, vividly portraying the desolate and isolated beauty and the close relationship between people and place. Moreover, she nicely captures the close knit nature of small communities, inter-linked through familial connections and ...more
Carol Rogers
I am really enjoying this series. This is the third in the series and I am getting used to the author's style. Once again the Shetlands is the setting for a death, but was it an accident or something more sinister, and is it connected to the discovery of an ancient skull in an archaeological dig?

I love the way the characters develop. We get to know them in a very everyday way as they go about their lives and without realising it we are drawn in as if we are part of the community. This time we ge
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.
Susan Johnson
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.
I've gone through 1, 2, and 3 and looking forward to - finally - the 'event' on Fair Isle itself. True Perez is a bit difficult to 'grasp' as a detective in a police force but we MUST put away our American knock 'em sock 'em drink 'em attitudes, dear mystery afficionados! Take it as it lays, I say...enjoy the experience of the Shetlands! And, in truth, the mysteries ARE just fine and lots of good reading along the way.

For myself, I'm hard-pressed to say which of the three I've read to date I pre
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.
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.
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.
Caroline David
Can't wait for her next one to come out.
This is the first book by Ann Cleeves that I have read - it won't be the last. Although I am not a huge fan of crime fiction I enjoyed the almost claustrophobic atmosphere created by the setting: a tiny, damp, foggy island where a tiny community of haves and have-nots try to do the best they can to make a living whilst maintaining a certain status in the eyes of their all-seeing neighbours. When something happens to upset the delicate balance of the community (in this case two deaths) the façade ...more
Another nice Shetland mystery from Ann Cleeves, featuring Lerwick-based detective Jimmy Perez, but not his Inverness-based Liverpudlian colleague this time. I liked this one more than the second one, perhaps because it was simpler, with less complications. I also liked the fact that much of the story is written from the viewpoint of Sandy Wilson, Perez' detective constable, who has a reputation for not being the sharpest.
The story starts with the finding of the red bones of the title, in an arc
A bit of a departure form the earlier books in the Shetland series, we spend much less time in the head of Jimmy Perez this time out, and get to know the thoughts and dreams of several other characters. In particular, we delve more deeply into the inner life and motivations of Constable Sandy Wilson, previously dismissed as not that bright and something of a liability on an investigation. The Sandy POV sections are cleverly written, as he doesn't suddenly become some kind of crime-solving savant ...more
This third in the series by Ann Cleeves did not disappoint. I like the way her main characters are developing. I'm sorry that the fourth is the final in the Shetland Series. RED BONES took place on Whalsay Island, off the mainland by ferry. The life of the islanders is closer on the outlying islands and the history of Scotland and these northernmost pieces of land become the primary focus of the plot. The weather, the isolation, the inbreeding all play a huge role in these murders, thefts and je ...more
Tanja Berg
This the third novel in the Shetland Quartet and the best one so far. An obsessive student, Hattie, is working a dig on Whalsay island, off the main land, when a skull is found. The woman living at the site, Sandy Wilson's grandmother Mima, is found shot a little later. It is deemed an accident, but detective Jimmy Perez isn't convinced. Mima was a lively character, an avid gossip, and not particularly well liked. When Hattie is found dead in an apparent suicide Jimmy can't believe that the two ...more
I read that the BBC made Red Bones into a program that showed in the UK earlier this year and am hoping for a speedy export to the US! Ann Cleeves really hits her stride in this third book in the Shetland Quartet which takes place on the island of Whalsay, just off the Shetland mainland. But it might as well be a million miles away given its inhabitants' close-held secrets. All of Cleeves' books in this series deal with reality never being quite as it seems and this theme continues into Red Bone ...more
This is the third book in the Shetland Island series. In this book, a young PhD student, Hattie, is on a preliminary dig on the small island of Whalsay. While Hattie is more of an introverted personality, she has an assistant, Sophie, who is more outgoing and forward, particularly with the men on the island. Hattie also has a local woman, Mima, who has been helping and lives near the land that they are excavating. Hattie is looking for evidence that the house once located on the land was belonge ...more
Those who have enjoyed White Nights and Raven Black will already know Sandy Wilson as Jimmy Perez’s bumbling young sidekick, clumsy and a little careless. But in Red Bones we get to know him and the complicated dynamics of his family much better as his elderly grandmother is found shot in her garden. At first it seems like a tragic accident when one of the islanders confesses to taking pot-shots at stray rabbits in the dark at the time the death occurred. But Mima was a feisty old lady who knew ...more
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The Mystery, Crim...: Ann Cleeves 7 162 Dec 19, 2012 04:56PM  
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway #5)
  • The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy, #3)
  • The Darkness & the Deep (DI Marjory Fleming #2)
  • No Mark Upon Her (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #14)
  • The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler, #2)
  • The Impossible Dead
  • Bloodhounds (Peter Diamond, #4)
  • Driftnet
  • Sacrifice
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 (6 books)
  • Raven Black (Shetland, #1)
  • White Nights (Shetland, #2)
  • Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4)
  • Dead Water (Shetland, #5)
  • Thin Air (Shetland, #6)
Raven Black (Shetland, #1) White Nights (Shetland, #2) Blue Lightning (Shetland, #4) Dead Water (Shetland, #5) The Crow Trap (Vera Stanhope, #1)

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