Snow-covered Shetland is the setting for this gripping crime thriller. The landscape and the people come alive in Ann Cleeves‘ writing. Fran Hunter is walking home after taking her small daughter to school when her eye is caught by ravens circling over a splash of colour. It is the red scarf of her neighbour, Catherine Ross, whose eyes are being pecked out by the circling birds.
In Agatha Christie style, we are given an immediate suspect, the dim-witted Magnus Tait who was already accused by the community of the death of another girl years earlier. Catriona Bruce disappeared and has never been found, but it is soon apparent that both girls had called on Magnus shortly before their deaths.
Perez is the local detective who is initially in charge of the case and, with him, we interview and suspect a range of local characters. We see into the minds of Magnus, Fran and Sally, Catherine’s closest friend. The pace hots up when a third girl disappears. This is a truly evocative and exciting read and I can’t wait to lay my hands on the next Ann Cleeves book in the Shetland series, White Nights.