Saturday, 7 February 2009

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

Detective Jimmy Perez is the first investigator on the scene. He grew up on the neighbouring Fair Isle and is familiar with the locals and the way of life. Determined to get a head start before the Senior officer and his team arrive from Aberdeen on the mainland, Jimmy begins to question the locals. Luckily for Jimmy his senior officer, the driven energizer-bunny Inspector Taylor, is wise enough to recognize that Jimmy's local knowledge is an asset and allows him to have his head. Together they try to unravel the inter-connecting relationships and secrets to discover who killed Catherine.

RAVEN BLACK works well on a number of levels. First off it's a first-class whodunit. All the clues are there if you can figure it out (I didn't). On top of that, the author gives the reader a glimpse of life in a small isolated community. A fascinating layer-cake of things determine attitudes; an unacknowledged hierarchy revolving around how long a given family has lived on the island and their prosperity or otherwise; open secrets that aren't spoken about; the difficulties recent arrivals have in being accepted and a whole host of other things. I could give you examples but that would spoil half the intrigue of the book.

Karan sent me this one, it was a lovely book to read, although like Karan i did want to know what happened to the main characters in the book as it seemed to come to a bit of an abrupt end. There are 3 more books set on the island so maybe there is news of them in the others. I have to keep an eye out for these when i visit the charity shops failing that take a trip to the library if i run out of stuff to read!!

Thank you Karan for recommending this one, it was a nice one to read in the middle of the night nursing a sick kitty cat!

I'll hang onto this for a week if anyone wants it let me know, otherwise i'll release it into the wild.


Karan said...

Glad you enjoyed it Julie. :0) Am keeping my eyes open for the follow-ups but haven't spotted them yet.