Review: White Nights by Ann Cleeves

White Nights by Ann CleevesWhite Nights by Ann Cleeves

Series: Shetland Islands #2

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Publishing Date: 2005

416 pages

Ebook, purchased

Synopsis: 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.

My thoughts

Bella Sinclair is a famous artist in the Shetlands and beyond so when she plans an exhibition of her art everyone is surprised when few people show up. Bella asked Fran Hunter (a character from the first book) who is also an artist to show her work at the exhibition, too. Fran is excited to have a show with Bella since she is still an unknown artist. Fran is really disappointed when so few people show up. Discovering why people didn’t show up at the opening is one of the mysteries Detective Jimmy Perez must figure out after a dead stranger is found. The stranger showed up at the exhibition party acting very strange and claiming to have lost his memory.

Fran and Detective Jimmy Perez are slowly working toward a romantic relationship which could present a problem for Jimmy as he investigates the death of the stranger. Jimmy is at the opening as Fran’s guest, but when he has to investigate the stranger’s death Fran is part of the investigation.

Bella lives in the very small community she grew up in. Many of those people are still living there. This is a book about secrets. And who knows your secrets and what you will do to keep your secrets. Perez discovers that secrets from the past may be the reason for the events happening now. Trying to discover what those secrets are isn’t easy.

I really like the way Ann Cleeves uses the Shetland Islands (which are quite a ways north of Scotland), the weather and the time of the year in these books–almost like another character. The first book took place during the winter and the storms, snow and darkness all factored into the story. In this book fog delays the Inverness crime scene personnel and investigation team who are sent to help the Shetland police and who must fly in or take a ferry to the Shetlands from getting to the scene very quickly. This book takes place during the summer when there’s very little darkness and lots of tourists.

“It’s the time of year,” he said. “The light nights. It makes us all go a little mad.”

This is a difficult case for the police since the man found murdered is a stranger to the Shetlands. They don’t know for a while who he is or why he acted the way he did before he was murdered. The stranger is found wearing a mask and hanging from a rafter in a building in the village. This mystery is very good. Ann Cleeves also does a great job writing about the characters in her mysteries. They’re all interesting, unique people.

I read the first book in this series–Raven Black–about three years ago. I’m not sure why it took me so long to read the second book, but I’m glad I finally read it and I’ve already read books 3 and 4!

My rating: B+

Have you read any of this series or other books by Ann Cleeves? How do you like them?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine

Arabella the Traitor of Mars by David D. Levine

Series: Adventures of Arabella Ashby #3

Published by Tor Books

Publishing date: July 31, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk

384 pages

Synopsis: Taking up almost immediately after the great Battle of Venus, Arabella has finally returned home to Mars to settle in to life with her husband, the mysterious Captain Singh. The Regent of the United Kingdom sets his eyes on solidifying his rule in the colonies and dispatches a fleet to better cement his control over Mars. Now Arabella and Singh must decide where their ultimate loyalties lie, with the Empire or with their home. 

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I’ve read the first two books in this series and I especially liked the first book–Arabella of Mars. I didn’t think the second book was quite as good, but I still can’t wait to read this one. Arabella is a great character and the stories are very imaginative. And what a good cover!

What books are you looking forward to reading?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Planetside by Michael Mammay

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Planetside by Michael Mammay

Series: Unknown

Published by Harper Voyager

Publishing date: July 31, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: War heroes aren’t usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation. So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it’s something big—and he’s not being told the whole story. A high councilor’s son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base, the space station orbiting a battle-ravaged planet. The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated—but there’s no record of him having ever arrived at hospital command.

The colonel quickly finds Cappa Base to be a labyrinth of dead ends and sabotage: the hospital commander stonewalls him, the Special Ops leader won’t come off the planet, witnesses go missing, radar data disappears, and that’s before he encounters the alien enemy. Butler has no choice but to drop down onto a hostile planet—because someone is using the war zone as a cover. The answers are there—Butler just has to make it back alive…

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That’s a great cover and this sounds like a good adventure science fiction.

What are you looking forward to reading when it’s published?

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: A Death in Eden by Keith McCafferty

 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

A Death in Eden by Keith McCafferty

Series: Sean Stranahan Mystery#7

Published by Viking

Publishing date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Scarecrows are appearing in the cliffs above the Smith River in Montana, and state investigator Harold Little Feather, is trying to discover the culprit leaving the hay figures in the cliffs, with signs painted that read “No Smith River Mine–Not on My Watch.” The event is related to a copper mine project that threatens the river, but his investigation takes an ominous turn when a little girl claims that a scarecrow chased her in the night.

At the same time, Sean Stranahan and his friend “Rainbow” Sam Meslik have been contracted as guides to float a party down the river, which includes the manager of the mine project and the president of “Save Our Smith,” a grassroots organization devoted to stopping the project. Both men grew up on the Smith on neighboring ranches. When a dead body is found in the park, it’s revealed that the two have a shared history that runs much deeper and darker than their opposing viewpoints.

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I’m several books behind with this mystery series, but I really like Keith McCafferty’s writing and the characters and mysteries in this series. The fly fishing setting in Montana is also a great plus!

What books are you looking forward to reading when they’re available?