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Red Bones

(Shetland Island #3)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  14,727 ratings  ·  1,041 reviews
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 c
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published February 20th 2009 by Macmillan (first published 2009)
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Tracy I no longer have the book to confirm the page (library book) but the connection was Jackie and Evelyn. I just can't remember positively if they were s…moreI no longer have the book to confirm the page (library book) but the connection was Jackie and Evelyn. I just can't remember positively if they were sisters or cousins, but I'm fairly certain it was sisters. Hopefully someone can either confirm or correct me.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  14,727 ratings  ·  1,041 reviews

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Start your review of Red Bones (Shetland Island, #3)
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Number three in this excellent series set in the Shetland Islands.
I am probably repeating myself from reviews of the earlier books, but I really enjoy the author's descriptions of the scenery and the lifestyle. The characters grow up, marry and grow old on the islands, some of them never venturing far away at all, even for a holiday! Nevertheless, even in this quiet backwater place people are still murdered and detective Jimmy Perez is called to solve the crimes.
I had already seen the TV episo
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
2017 UPDATE: The TV series based on the idea of the books is on Netflix in the US. Aired four years ago, and you can tell:

PEREZ: For more holiday lets? Christ Duncan you're turning into Shetland's answer to Donald Trump.

DUNCAN: *laughs*

That line spoken in Scotland today would lead to blows and severed friendships.

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
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Later they went into the house for a break. Mima made sandwiches for them and then came out herself to see what was happening. When Evelyn went back to work on the practice trench, the older woman stood watching. Mima was wearing black crimplene trousers and wellingtons that flapped around her knees. She'd thrown a threadbare grey fleece over her shoulders. Hattie thought she looked like a hooded crow, standing there watching her daughter-in-law at work. A hooded crow ready to snatch at ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each book in this series has gotten progressively better, and Red Bones was a wonderful read. Cleeves uses the Shetland Island setting to maximum advantage, really bringing the story to life and the characters into vivid detail. And I'll be darned if I could figure out who the murderer was! Looking forward to the next in line. ...more
Nancy Day
Jan 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Leslie Ray
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
The 3rd installment of the Jimmy Perez/Shetland Island series which brings Sandy to the forefront of the mystery. It is Sandy's friend, Ronald, who is accused of accidentally shooting Sandy's grandmother, Mima, which sets off a chain reaction resulting in another killing. Mima has allowed an archeological dig on her property. After one of the students at the dig find a skull, old secrets are eventually brought to light, leading to finding the killer.
Sandy, who is never taken seriously, is force
Julie  Durnell
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-uk, mystery
I really like this series and the setting. The archeological background to the plot was very interesting as well. I enjoyed the tv series very much but while they are similar to the books I enjoy the books just a bit more.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 - 4 wavery stars

I enjoyed this book for what it is, but not for what it’s advertised to be.

It’s subtitled ‘A Thriller’.

Well, no. Not at all.

A mystery? A little bit. Yes, I’d put it in the genre. But the genre checklist is pretty weak. You’re not even sure if any crimes have been committed till you’re nearly through the book.

And the idea that a really satisfying mystery/thriller gets justice against a really bad guy? Well, not so satisfying in that regard.

As a mystery it’s almost closer
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this series - cosy murder mystery set in Shetland Isles - will certainly be working my way through these!
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third story of the Shetland Island series is more personal. A murder that involves one of Perez's colleagues that we get to know a little better and has a bigger part in this investigation.
After an accident Perez is called to investigate and decide what is to be done with the person responsible. As the story continues questions arise as to wether or not it was an accident and then another person dies under tragic circumstances and Perez doubts that it's a coincidence and tries to find the p
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
Jill Manske
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 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. ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
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.
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 was a recluse. She had her land, her pride
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I didn't find it a real page turner like the other two, but it was good anyway. ...more
A very enjoyable mystery that delves into the family of Sandy Wilson, the young policeman who works for main series character Jimmy Perez. Sandy's family lives on one of the outlying Shetland islands, Whalsay, in a small community where an archaeologist has recently unearthed bones that may or may not be "ancient history." When tragedy ensues, Perez investigates how Sandy's extended family, as well as the students and professor involved with the dig, might be involved. Not just a family drama, t ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a bit slow at the beginning. Shetland Islands, Archeaological dig, crofts, secrets, families
Carolyn Breckinridge
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
'Red Bones' by Ann Cleeves is the third in her popular Shetland Island mystery series, and I think it is the best so far. This novel takes us to the island of Whalsay in the Shetlands, and this setting, so different from other places in the world, enhances the novel's charm. The story revolves around an archaeological dig and a series of meaningful finds there. Ms. Cleeves' skill in building the lives and personalities of the tightly-knit group of families who live there is powerful, and is wove ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anglophilia
Third book in th Shetland Islands mysteries. I love these books. Ann Cleeves really keeps you guessing til the last page, and you honestly care about the people she creates, something that is often missing in modern suspense novels.
In "Red Bones'" she mixed just enough historical and geographic fact with her fiction to create a very believable plot about family secrets, modern archaeology, settling old scores, and people from "away" trying to fit in to old island communities.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book but was a little confused at times due to the amount of characters and the jumping around of the plot. I have since learnt that this is the third book in the series so maybe reading the other 2 books first would have helped.
Nevertheless I enjoyed it enough to try other Ann Cleeves books.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Ram Kaushik
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Reasonably gripping read and respectable member of Ms. Cleeves excellent Shetland series. Couldn't help thinking that this needed some tighter editing. Much rambling about various characters' childhood experiences in the name of building "atmosphere" could have been safely discarded by a more brutal editor. Still, a decent read on a rainy afternoon or a flight. ...more
John Johnston
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Instead of doing an overview or review of Red Bones by Ann Cleeves: I elected to provide these general comments on the Shetland Island series and its protagonist, Inspector Detective Jimmy Perez. This book indeed does the slow burn and it does take awhile for the plot to get warmed up and running. A lot of reviewers like to comment on the ‘character development’, I tend to think that Ann Cleeves likes to write more about ‘character relationships’

The Shetland Islands is a remote area with a close
Squid McFinnigan
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one was right up my street. Although the action takes place on a small island I never felt restricted in this work of fiction. There were many times I thought I knew what was coming, sometimes I was right but never in the way I expected it to come. I liked that both genders were depicted with equal complexity, a difficult thing to do. I loved the Mima character. Just loved her. Not once did I want to put down this book.

Why not five stars so?

My only sticking point was many different place na
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another book lost on my shelf. It actually is book 3 of a 4 book series.
Raven Black & White Nights preceeded it and Blue Lightning follows.
But each book stands alone.
This book takes place in the Shetland isles and the scenery and way of life of the highlanders comes across in vivid detail.
The mystery progresses rapidly and keeps you interested.
The ending may be a little weak, I was waiting for a stronger climax.
But I enjoyed it.
Her first novel in the series Raven Black won her best Crime Novel
Kaethe Douglas
Atmospheric as all get out. Death on a small Shetland island: it's practically a locked-room mystery.

I really don't know what it is about Cleeves I like so much: the overthinking detective, the isolation but also the interdependence. There's just a mood to them that's quite pleasing. You know as the reader it's all going to come out in a big burst, and the tension is amazing.

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Play Book Tag: [+Poll Ballot] Red Bones / Ann Cleeves. 3 stars 1 6 Jul 30, 2020 01:27PM  
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Play Book Tag: Red Bones by Ann Cleeves - 4 stars 2 14 Jan 12, 2019 11:46AM  
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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)
  • 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)
  • Wild Fire (Shetland Island, #8)

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