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Red Bones (Shetland Island #3)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,631 Ratings  ·  357 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, a claustrophobic 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Richard Derus
Oct 18, 2015 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 16, 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
Mar 22, 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
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
 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.
Oct 17, 2015 Suzy rated it really liked it
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
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
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)
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
Tanja Berg
Aug 14, 2011 Tanja Berg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2013 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
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
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
Oct 10, 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
Dec 27, 2015 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 09, 2016 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue to find the Jimmy Perez novels fascinating. Ann Cleeves manages to write a detective who isn't a man driven to drink by the job like so many others, and her murderers aren't really bloodthirsty. I was glad to see more of Sandy Wilson, particularly since the mystery involved his family so deeply. This is a deft, quiet thriller.
Svein F Hestvaag
Apr 08, 2016 Svein F Hestvaag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Both the story, the setting and the language is also kind of stripped to the bone... I like it.
Carolyn Mck
Feb 16, 2016 Carolyn Mck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt really comfortable with this novel - a strange thing to say about a murder mystery! The plot was well conceived and convincing but what I liked most was the development of the characters, many of whom I'd met in previous books in the series.

Jimmy Perez (the Shetland detective with the Spanish name from Armada shipwreck days) is unusual in the way he listens quietly and emphasises with people in his community, even when they show their darker side. His unlikely offsider, Sandy Wilson, is s
Jan 19, 2016 Olivermagnus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third installment of Ann Cleeves 19 Shetland series takes place on the island of Whalsey. Two young female students are conducting an archaeological dig on land belonging to one of the islands older residents, Mima Wilson, when they discover some bones. These are quickly sent for dating in the hopes they will support the theory that Hattie, one of the students, has developed about the site 19s past. Their discovery sets off a chain of tragic events for the island. Mima is found shot dead, pr ...more
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
Nov 21, 2014 Carol Rogers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 08, 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.
Cathy Austin
Nov 02, 2015 Cathy Austin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply love this series and Cleeves' writing style and characters. One murder of a longtime Shetland resident on the island of Whalsay leads to another murder.PC Sandy Wilson's grandma is killed by accident, or is it? Det Jimmy Perez comes to investigate the death of his colleague's grandmother. Then a young girl, an archaeologist working a dig on Grandma Wilson's property is found dead by suicide, or is it? Are the murders connected? And what of the red bones found at the dig site: 1500 or mo ...more
Minty McBunny
Nov 12, 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 24, 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.
Mar 14, 2016 Netti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krimi, british, scottish
Das dritte Buch mit Jimmy Perez... sein Privatleben nimmt von Band zu Band mehr Raum ein. Inzwischen ist es mir zuviel melodramatisches Familien- und Liebesleben. Die Beziehung zu Fran erscheint mir arg unrealistisch und kitschig, ich kann mir einfach nicht vorstellen, dass ein Mann mittleren Alters mit einem anspruchsvollen Beruf PERMANENT an seine Partnerin denkt, und zwar nicht im Sinne von Sex, sondern... Fran hat gesagt... Fran würde denken... was macht Fran wohl gerade... wie Fran aussieht ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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The Mystery, Crim...: Ann Cleeves 9 275 Sep 14, 2015 11:28PM  
  • A Dying Fall (Ruth Galloway, #5)
  • The Lewis Man (The Lewis Trilogy, #2)
  • Necessary as Blood(Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #13)
  • The Betrayal of Trust (Simon Serrailler, #6)
  • The Reckoning (Maeve Kerrigan, #2)
  • Lying Dead (DI Marjory Fleming #3)
  • The Raven's Eye (Brock & Kolla, #12)
  • Den stumma flickan (Sebastian Bergman, #4)
  • The Demon of Dakar (Ann Lindell, #7)
  • Where the Shadows Lie (Fire & Ice, #1)
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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