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White Nights by Ann Cleeves

White Nights

by Ann Cleeves

Other authors: Brenda Blethyn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shetland (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8406216,744 (3.74)234
It's 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 party to launch an exhibition of her work at The Herring House, a gallery on the beach. The party ends in farce when one the guests, a mysterious Englishman, bursts into tears and claims not to know who he is or where he's come from. The following day the Englishman is found hanging from a rafter, and Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that the man has been murdered. He is reinforced in this belief when Roddy, Bella's musician nephew, is murdered, too. But the detective's relationship with Fran Hunter may have clouded his judgment, for this is a crazy time of the year when night blurs into day and nothing is quite as it seems.… (more)
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  1. 10
    Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (Scrabblenut)
    Scrabblenut: Raven Black was Ann Cleeves first book introducing detective Jimmy Perez and is also set in Shetland. Complex characters and lots of psychology, an excellent mystery.

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» See also 234 mentions

English (61)  Swedish (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Another well written, empathetic mystery involving long held secrets in the Shetland Islands. Jimmys relationship with Fran is deepening, and this mystery centers around an Art opening for Fran and her friend Bella. 4 deaths later we find out the cause. I never would have guessed. ( )
  pennykaplan | Jun 16, 2019 |
Gift from Mae K.

The body count in White Nights is higher than in Raven Black, as an old death triggers new ones. Shetland is small, but the community of Biddista is even smaller, consisting of only a few families. When an outsider turns up dead after an art gallery showing - an apparent suicide, but it's quickly determined that it was murder - Jimmy Perez is on the case again, as is Roy Taylor from Inverness. The victim has no identification on him, and while they're trying to figure out who he is, there is another suspicious death: Roddy Sinclair, the famous fiddle player, artist Bella Sinclair's nephew, is found at the bottom of the Pit O'Biddista. Also in the Pit are human bones - likely those of Kenny Thomson's older brother Lawrence, who disappeared fifteen years ago. Perez is sure all the deaths are related, but in a small community like Biddista, secrets are held close to the chest.


More stories, Perez thought. We all grow up with them, but how can we tell which of them are true? (47)

"There are people in Biddista who have things to hide...But it doesn't have to be murder."
...The police turn up at the door and there's always something to feel guilty about. Speeding. Defrauding the taxman. Having it off with the wife's best friend. The detective picks up the guilt. It's easy to believe that it's to do with the current case. (137)

Some memories did stay hidden and it just took a trigger to resurrect them. (329)

Investigation was all about "What if..." (366)

It wasn't a conspiracy, because it had never been discussed. (388) ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 1, 2019 |
While I enjoy this series, it suffers from the original Murder, She Wrote trope: there seem to be an endless supply of wealthy, interesting people on a small, remote island, not to mention the disproportionate number of murders that occur. Still, the setting comes through clearly, the plot moves along at a good pace, and the writing is solid. I don't remember much about the plot of these books after I read them, but they're a solid way to spend some time. ( )
  mediumofballpoint | Mar 4, 2019 |
White Nights is book two in the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. I am late getting acquainted with this series; this second book was published in 2010. The good news there is I can jump into the next story without the laboriously long wait for the author to release the latest book. Sometimes it’s nice to discover a series that’s been out a while. White Nights refers to the long period of daylight in the Shetland islands.

Our main detective character Jimmy Perez has a starring role again. Book one left it in the air whether he was staying on the island or returning to his childhood home. I haven’t seen the television series but have seen the comparisons about the books vs TV. Seems, as always, they are different. There are quite a few characters to keep up with in the book but it isn’t confusing, unless you stop reading for a bit and then go try and pick it up again. Having been ill recently, that’s what I did and had to reread the previous two chapters.

The characters are likable but I’d push Perez to be more animated. He does an awful lot of ruminating over what he should have done in regard to Fran, his love interest. As for the investigative role he’s spot on.

The book starts with a person in clown mask, handing out flyers to locals and tourists from a cruise ship. I don't like clowns but that didn't put me off. then we move to an evening at artist Bella Sinclair’s manse featuring a famous musician (Bella’s nephew) and artist Fran Hunter. They are displaying their work and hoping for sales and recognition.

It’s not a great turnout, being as clown boy sabotaged the evening by handing out flyers stating the show was canceled. Mystery number one there. During the exhibition, an Englishman staring at a portrait suddenly drops to his knees and starts crying. Perez is at the exhibition with Fran, uncomfortably mingling as a guest and not there in his professional capacity as a police officer. Now he feels the need to get the crying man and see if he needs medical attention.

What a drag for Perez, he just wants to enjoy the evening. The Englishman has no identification and claims amnesia. That’s mystery number two. While Perez is checking with other guests to see who he may have arrived with or if anyone knows him, the memory- loss Englishman disappears. Flip another chapter and he’s found hanging, an apparent suicide.

Or is it?!

We have another death then some old bones discovered in a cave near the cliffs (mysteries three and four!) The bodies are certainly piling up in this small island setting. Sometimes the story moved too slowly, my opinion, yet I wasn’t tempted to toss the book aside. It’s the flavor of the setting, a slower lifestyle and thoughtful conversations. There are only seven books in the series so I aim to finish the Shetland series this year. Maybe I will then check out the DVDs. This book is categorized as a mystery and thriller. More mystery, not so much a thriller. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Feb 26, 2019 |
The second entry in Cleeves Shetland series, and it is not nearly as good as the first book. I feel like she mucked up the ending - I had someone different picked for the murderer, and I think mine would have made for a better story. Also, some weird tension between the two lead detectives in this one which didn't really make sense to me since they got along fine in the first book. I like the lead characters and the setting, so I will continue with this series. ( )
  Crazymamie | Jan 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Cleevesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blethyn, Brendasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Handels, TanjaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanssen, TorilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jan JärnebrandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mellema, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostrup, HenrietteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Ingirid Eunson,
with thanks for great times at Gunglesund
First words
The passengers streamed ashore from the cruise ship.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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