In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea. At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity. Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died
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A fine writer||Cleeves is quietly carving out a reputation as the new Queen of Crime||Nobody does unsettling undercurrents better than Ann Cleeves||Ann Cleeves is a skilful technician, keeping our interest alive and building slowly up to the denouement. Her easy use of language and clever story construction make her one of the best natural writers of detective fiction
As far as they could tell she'd been the only casualty. Her dark eyes stared out at him. Perez still felt the weird and irrational attachment that he'd experienced at the scene.
Praise for the Shetland series
'Ann's characterization is worthy of the best writers in the field . . . Rarely has a sense of place been so evocatively conveyed in a crime novel' Daily Express
'Cleeves is quietly carving out a reputation as the new Queen of Crime, and this chilling thriller should help her on her way' Sunday Mirror
'Cleeves deftly paints in the personalities and their relationships, as the police inquiries disrupt the close-knit community. It's a good, character-led mystery, which displays the art of storytelling without recourse to slash and grab' Sunday Telegraph
'Like a smoky Shetland peat fire, this elegantly written, slow-burning intrigue shrouds you in mystery and crackles with inner heat' Peter James