cover image Dead Water: A Shetland Mystery

Dead Water: A Shetland Mystery

Ann Cleeves. Minotaur, $25.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-03660-5

The murder of prying journalist Jerry Markham propels Cleeves's absorbing fourth Shetland mystery (after 2010's Blue Lightning). Shrewd Det. Insp. Willow Reeves, from the west of Scotland, deals with the tightly-wound local prosecutor, Rhona Laing, who discovered Markham's body and may know more than she's telling. Prickly Insp. Jimmy Perez, not yet returned to full-time duty after his fiancée's death, assists with interviews of the island's residents. Also in the mix are the dead man's parents and girlfriend, who have a different view of Markham than most of their neighbors; Evie Watt, Markham's former girlfriend, who works for the local community-development agency; and Evie's fiancé, John Henderson, who has secrets to hide. The tensions between those who wish to preserve their traditions and those who seek the opportunities of new technologies are subtly illustrated. Cleeves keeps readers guessing about the perpetrator's identity until the final pages. Agent: Sarah Menguc, Sarah Menguc Literary Agent (U.K.). (Feb.)