cover image Cold Earth: A Shetland Mystery

Cold Earth: A Shetland Mystery

Ann Cleeves. Minotaur, $25.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-10738-1

The ground shifts in more ways than one for Det. Insp. Jimmy Perez in CWA Diamond Dagger–winner Cleeves’s moody seventh Shetland mystery (after 2016’s Thin Air). At the funeral of old Magnus Tait, who was once accused of murder, the rain-soaked hillside above the mourners gives way and nearly buries them under a massive landslide. No one at the cemetery is hurt, but the body of a woman in a red dress is discovered in the ruins of a house on the hill, and no one seems to know who she is. Jimmy’s obsession with uncovering her identity only deepens when he learns that she was murdered before the landslide occurred. The Scottish oil boom brings many outlanders to the island, but Jimmy suspects the killer is someone close to home and sets about unraveling a tangled web of relationships among the locals. The stark Shetland landscape provides an atmospheric backdrop for Cleeves’s complex, relatable characters, especially Perez, a kind man dealing with his own tragic past. Agent: Sarah Menguc, Sarah Menguc Literary Agent (U.K.). (Apr.)