Sometimes the dead won’t stay buried
Once again Ann Cleeves unveils the sparse landscape and the chilling emptiness of the sea in Shetland, the subarctic archipelago of Scotland which lies north-east of Great Britain.
On the isolated island of Whalsay bones are found at an archaeological dig. How old are they? Is it an ancient find – or a more contemporary mystery? Then on a cold, mist-shrouded night an elderly woman is fatally shot.
Detective Jimmy Perez is called to the island by his detective sergeant, Sandy Wilson, for it’s Sandy’s elderly grandmother who is found dead.
In no time at all, there’s another death, a young student working on the archaeological site appears to have taken her own life. But did she?
In what seems almost an afterthought, Cleeves throws in some interesting Shetland history that’s essential to the plot. We learn of the Shetland Bus, a group of young men who sailed between Shetland and Norway carrying essential supplies and Resistance fighters during World War II.
The plot of Red Bones coils around each person on the island, entwining the past and the present tightly together, and finally forcing the characters into one inevitable crushing future.
A solid conundrum with a steadfast narrative.
My Amazon link Red Bones : A Shetland Mystery