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White Nights

(Shetland Island #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  15,083 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews
The electrifying follow up to the award-winning Raven Black

Raven Black received crime fictions highest monetary honor, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award. Now Detective Jimmy Perez is back in an electrifying sequel.

Its midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  15,083 ratings  ·  1,141 reviews

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Richard Derus
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.75* of five

This is the second Shetland Islands Quartet thriller, which marketing decision was a good one...calling these thrillers instead of mysteries sets up the expectation of a whacking good read though not necessarily the play-fair-with-the-reader puzzle-solver that modern mysteries are.

Cleeves writes wonderfully clearly and carefully about flawed, real, lovable characters in bad emotional states because of violent, evil acts disrupting their very ordinary lives.

The stories she
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another really pleasurable read from Ann Cleeves. White Nights features many of the same characters as its prequel Raven Black, but this time is set in summer, a time when the daylight in the Shetland Isles is practically endless and the people are said to go a little crazy.
I really enjoy the main character, Inspector Jimmy Perez. He is delightfully calm and thorough and very likeable. He also knows his local people well and his understanding of them always helps him solve his cases before the
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, british
I liked the first in the series, I enjoyed this one as well but something is missing. Both times I abandoned the book for a while to read something more interesting. I don't know why but I do not care enough for the plot or the characters. I will probably stop here with the series.
Leslie Ray
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jimmy Perez is back for another murder to solve on these remote Shetland Islands, which are a subarctic archipelago of Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape were wonderful as was the character development. This is a second in the Shetland Island series but the first one for me. I will definitely be reading each one now. I could not guess the murderer and enjoyed the buildup and suspense throughout. Some felt the book moved too slow, but I thought is was perfect for the setup and the ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
You can sense the intrigue the author must feel for these characters and character in general as this series unfolds. There are no stock people here.

The setting is marvelous, wild and cold and isolated, perfect for mystery, insular relationships, quirky characters.

I was hooked from the start by the gentle originality in the mystery set-up, and then carried along this fairly quiet story by the people who felt so real. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of insider/outsider investigators and
3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4

I raced through the almost 400 pages of this second of Cleeves's Shetland series just like the first Raven Black. This is the kind of mystery I really enjoy - a regular cast of characters that we get to know over time, relationships that develop in each book and contribute to the dynamics of the story, a place that creates a unique atmosphere and writing that's in sync with the culture of that place. Cleeves's writing in these novels particularly strikes me as
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another good story on Shetland. I've taken a liking to detective Jimmy Perez. He's a little different than most detectives I read about... quieter, more restrained. These stories show Perez using his ability to understand people and really listen to them in order to solve crimes, with less to emphasis on physical or forensic evidence. Good stuff! 3.5 stars.
Rachel Hall
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the atmospheric first in the series, Raven Black, Ann Cleeves follows up superbly with a brooding and equally menacing portrayal of life at the height of summer in Shetland and the curiously unsettling effect of the 'simmer dim' on life in the islands. In the long summer nights when it never seems to get dark the islands are a hive of activity with tourists flocking to the area on the cruise ships. With folk kept awake by the light an edgy and heightened sense of anxiety seems to pervade ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a great first outing for detective Jimmy Perez based in the Shetland Islands, I could not wait for a second helping. This time we are in the tiny community of Biddista where it is hosting an art exhibition. Jimmy is in the early stages of a relationship with local Fran Hunter who's work along with big-name local artist Bella Sinclair is featured. The night though does not go to plan with a really low turn out, were not even a performance from Bella's rockstar nephew, Roddy helps. Next, an ...more
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite-series
4.5 stars
Second in this murder mystery series set in the Shetland Isles. Loved it just as much as the first and although a gentle and conventional read it must have had a fairly big impact as I can't get my head out of Shetland...and I've never been there!
Kudos to Cleeves for creating characters that feel so real and invoking the spirit of the islands in a compelling series of stories.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the setting and the case was interesting enough! I like the main characters and I'm gonna miss the one that's leaving!
But as it happens in many stories we can't like it all!
So I didn't like some of the characters involved in this story! Also something that bothered me is that even though the detective has an idea I don't get a glimpse on it just to try myself to connect the dots of what might have happened!
And last I was so annoyed at some point with Fran and Jimmy because you know guys
Tanja Berg
An uknown actor is found hanged in a small Shetland town. It turns out to be murder rather than suicide and dective Jimmy Perez investigates. Before too long another person is murdered, this time a young, local celebrity. We're in it for another "whodunnit". I desperately wish this would have been a good book. It's well-written, the murderer, when revealed, is a surprise and the atmosphere is bleak and wind-blown. The story completely fails to engage. There is nothing to engage me in the ...more
Kaethe Douglas
May 2019
This may well deserve a higher rating, but 7 months after I finished it without making even the slightest effort at a review, I have no idea. I recognize the start of the story from the blurb. And that's pretty much it. The identity of the first victim eludes me, as does the reason for any of it. All I seem to recall is that there was extensive back story. Well, also it got me interested in the the Hebrides and other islands, enough to look at houses for sale and jobs listings, not that
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglophilia
I do like this series by Ann Cleeves. "White Nights" is the second book, and Jimmy Perez is a good, likable detective. I have never been to the Shetland Islands, although I have had Shetland sheepdogs and I can knit a nice, warm shetland shawl. That makes me an expert, so when I say these books are worth reading, you can take it as the word of someone who knows.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read Raven Black last year though I don't think I ever reviewed it. I love mysteries, especially ones set in the UK, and so I was delighted to find this series. The mystery here was intriguing and I admit I was guessing until the end- a sure sign of a successful thriller in my opinion. It is hard to share too many details of the story without spoiling it, but the writing and characters are excellent and truly make the novel.

What I like best about Cleeves' work is that the Shetland Islands play
Arielle Walker
Shetland must be one of the most desolately stunning places imaginable. A place where the sun never really sets in summer, and never really rises in winter - eternal light followed by eternal darkness, the perfect setting for an eerie crime-thriller.

Raven Black, the first in this series, balanced this setting perfectly with its plot. It was dark, nail-biting, atmospheric, gorgeous. I expected exactly that from White Nights but have to admit, was a little let down. It's hardly fair to say the
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every book by Ann Cleeves I love, I especially love the Shetland series and this was no exception. Highly recommend! 😊
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Shetlands trilogy. Following Inspector Jimmy Lopez and his relationship with Fran from book 1., Fran is displaying her art at a joint exhibition with local celebrity, Bella Sinclair, also an artist and Jimmy is accompanying Fran on her big night. A stranger, makes a dramatic scene at the exhibition, claiming he has amnesia and not knowing his name and then disappearing as quickly as he appeared. Jimmy has spoken to the man, but cannot get any information from him ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I listen to these, and the narrator is just so good. Love listening to these and feeling transported to Shetland. Cleeves does a wonderful job with the setting, and the mystery was sufficiently entertaining (although for once I figured it out before the end!).
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Book two in the Shetland Island series opens with a curious scene. A man in a clown mask and costume is distributing flyers at the dock in Lerwick. Who is he? What do the flyers say? Why the theatrical garb? The questions arise because this is an Anne Cleeves mystery. The questions will quickly multiply in typical Anne Cleeves fashion.

Jimmy Perez is still developing his relationship with Fran. After six months he has finally taken a big step a first date. Well, sort of. He has offered to escort
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 4-star
I very much enjoyed this book, as I did the first one in the series. I'm a prolific knitter and the culture and history of the knitting and wool in the Shetland Islands is of great interest to me; so the setting probably makes me biased to like the book before I even start.

I would love to visit and it gives a delightful taste of what the islands are like ( not so much the murders) but the erudite descriptions of the scenery and the differing lifestyles. It felt like a solid yet easy read. The
Ivonne Rovira
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The eponymous white nights refer to the lack of true nighttime in Shetland Islands during summer because theyre located so very far north (cf. Land of the Midnight Sun). Detective Jimmy Perez attends an art show where an Englishman breaks down and tears and claims not to remember his own name. Hours later, the man is found hanging from the rafters in a nearby shed. The verdict turns out to be murder rather than suicide.

White Nights is less claustrophobic and atmospheric than the debut Raven
Dawn Michelle
This was an excellent read - sad and haunting and the reveal was heartbreaking. I never saw it coming.
So glad I found this author.
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Scotland - NOT Russia

Mysteries are not my genre. The few I've started in recent years were written like TV dramas (stock characters and more action than nuance), so I've put them down. I picked this one for its setting and was pleasantly surprised.

Writer Ann Cleeves held my attention for two days as I followed Jimmy Perez on the mystery trail. Cleeves created excellent characters; people whom you'd realistically expect to live in the Shetland Islands. She has a good sense of timing, introducing
Mary Grand
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
realy loved this book, addicted to ann cleeves books at the moment
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think I even enjoyed this book more than the first one of the Shetland Quartet. I was drawn into the story from page one and it kept me wondering till the end.
Arielle Walker
The perfect thing to listen through in Autumnal Iceland, though the settings are admittedly rather different.
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
at this time of year, everyone went a bit crazy. It was the light, intense during the day and still there at night. The sun never quite slipping behind the horizon, so you could read outside at midnight. The winters were so bleak and black that in the summer folk were overtaken with a kind of frenzy, constant activity. There was the feeling that you had to make the most of it, be outside, enjoy it before the dark days came again. Here in Shetland they called it the 'simmer dim'. And this year ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Circling back to read #2 completes the set of 7 Shetland Island books for me. I don't recall if I saw a production of this particular book as it has been some time since I watched them. It seemed like fresh material to my memory as I read the book. But then I am old.
Ann Cleeves knows her island people, animals, tides and secrets that can be held for years. A competitive Inspector Taylor from Inverness joins Perez to take over the investigation of murder most mysterious. The murders multiply and
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved Jimmy Perez and the Shetland setting. These novels are so interesting and the murders fairly believable. The story just kind of rambles along but I don't mind. :)

I'm interested to see if they use this murder in the tv series.
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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...


Other books in the series

Shetland Island (8 books)
  • Raven Black (Shetland Island, #1)
  • Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)
  • Blue Lightning (Shetland Island, #4)
  • Dead Water (Shetland Island, #5)
  • Thin Air (Shetland Island, #6)
  • Cold Earth (Shetland Island, #7)
  • Wild Fire (Shetland Island, #8)

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