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Raven Black (Shetland Island Quartet #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

strong Scottish police procedural

In Scotland¿s Shetland Islands, an unknown perp strangled teenage Catherine Ross her corpse was found half buried by the snow. The locals including the police believe Magnus Tait killed her as circumstantial evidence is very convincing. He is a strange individual who...
In Scotland¿s Shetland Islands, an unknown perp strangled teenage Catherine Ross her corpse was found half buried by the snow. The locals including the police believe Magnus Tait killed her as circumstantial evidence is very convincing. He is a strange individual who was the last person known to have seen Catherine alive besides which Magnus has a history when eight years ago he was the prime suspect in a girl¿s disappearance, but most locals feel he got away with murder. --- The only person seemingly to have major doubts that the eccentric Magnus is the killer is Police Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, who leads the investigation into the homicide. Not willing to rule out anyone as the culprit including Magnus, Jimmy begins to look closely at those who knew the victim as a family member, a friend, or intimately. The DI begins to uncover dark secrets that make the Shetlands seem even colder, but one of them has the darkest secret of all: being a killer hidden by a facade of lies., Perez (and readers) wonders which one? --- Readers will quickly understand why Ann Cleeves won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award as she provides a strong Scottish police procedural that keeps the audience guessing until the climax of this enthralling whodunit. The entertaining story line provides a strong sense of place and season especially through the secondary cast. However, the novel is owned by the likable dedicated DI, who methodically battles the cold wintry weather and the increasingly colder suspects seeking to solve the murder mystery to the delight of the fans. --- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

This is the first book in a series set in Scotland's Shetland Is

This is the first book in a series set in Scotland's Shetland Islands.  The atmosphere, local rituals and language, and tone of a small close community make this mystery uniquely different from other mysteries.  The discussions about the local raven population and the m...
This is the first book in a series set in Scotland's Shetland Islands.  The atmosphere, local rituals and language, and tone of a small close community make this mystery uniquely different from other mysteries.  The discussions about the local raven population and the meaning of 'raven black' is quit interesting in and of itself.




The body of a young girl is found,  and the search for her killer immediately turns to an older mentally challenged 'strange' man, Magnus Tait, who had been suspected in the disappearance of a much younger girl a few years earlier.  He was born and raised in the Shetlands, but has lived alone since the deaths of his sister and mother a few years ago.  Though the townspeople go out of their way to avoid being around him, young children sometimes miss the 'message' sent by the townspeople and do interact with him.




Policeman Jimmy Perez has his own background with this community.  He too was born here but his family's history still makes him 'different'.  When the townspeople immediately decide  Tait is guilty of this new murder, Perez is just not convinced, and continues to investigate the crime.




The story that follows involves questioning, intrigue, secrets uncovered, illicit relationships, and twisted surprises.  The Shetland atmosphere and traditions become a major part of this award winning mystery.  A must read to start this series!!

posted by RonnaL on December 5, 2012

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong Scottish police procedural

    In Scotland¿s Shetland Islands, an unknown perp strangled teenage Catherine Ross her corpse was found half buried by the snow. The locals including the police believe Magnus Tait killed her as circumstantial evidence is very convincing. He is a strange individual who was the last person known to have seen Catherine alive besides which Magnus has a history when eight years ago he was the prime suspect in a girl¿s disappearance, but most locals feel he got away with murder. --- The only person seemingly to have major doubts that the eccentric Magnus is the killer is Police Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, who leads the investigation into the homicide. Not willing to rule out anyone as the culprit including Magnus, Jimmy begins to look closely at those who knew the victim as a family member, a friend, or intimately. The DI begins to uncover dark secrets that make the Shetlands seem even colder, but one of them has the darkest secret of all: being a killer hidden by a facade of lies., Perez (and readers) wonders which one? --- Readers will quickly understand why Ann Cleeves won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award as she provides a strong Scottish police procedural that keeps the audience guessing until the climax of this enthralling whodunit. The entertaining story line provides a strong sense of place and season especially through the secondary cast. However, the novel is owned by the likable dedicated DI, who methodically battles the cold wintry weather and the increasingly colder suspects seeking to solve the murder mystery to the delight of the fans. --- Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 5, 2012

    This is the first book in a series set in Scotland's Shetland Is

    This is the first book in a series set in Scotland's Shetland Islands.  The atmosphere, local rituals and language, and tone of a small close community make this mystery uniquely different from other mysteries.  The discussions about the local raven population and the meaning of 'raven black' is quit interesting in and of itself.




    The body of a young girl is found,  and the search for her killer immediately turns to an older mentally challenged 'strange' man, Magnus Tait, who had been suspected in the disappearance of a much younger girl a few years earlier.  He was born and raised in the Shetlands, but has lived alone since the deaths of his sister and mother a few years ago.  Though the townspeople go out of their way to avoid being around him, young children sometimes miss the 'message' sent by the townspeople and do interact with him.




    Policeman Jimmy Perez has his own background with this community.  He too was born here but his family's history still makes him 'different'.  When the townspeople immediately decide  Tait is guilty of this new murder, Perez is just not convinced, and continues to investigate the crime.




    The story that follows involves questioning, intrigue, secrets uncovered, illicit relationships, and twisted surprises.  The Shetland atmosphere and traditions become a major part of this award winning mystery.  A must read to start this series!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Well-written, rich plot

    As someone who appreciates good writing as much as the plot itself, I'm thrilled to find a new writer and series of books to enjoy. I actually read the first two books of this series out of order, but have thoroughly enjoyed them nonetheless. Her characters are wholly plausible, the location fascinating, and her writing fully immerses the reader in both, capturing the feel of this culture. The only (very slight) negative is that I didn't find the endings totally convincing, but not false enough to be a great disappointment. Overall a very good read...

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Thriller

    Wow! What a thriller! Great character development, could not put it down... this novel was fun and a quick read definitly different and entertaining. A fun, un-predictable read!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Too "dark" and depressing

    I would not recommend this book unless you are in the mood for a depressing and bleak story. I didn't even finish it because I found it so depressing. The author seemed to want to focus more on how bad and horrible was the main protagonist . Not engaging to me.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Psychological mystery

    A psychological mystery focusing on the inner thoughts of the key characters. Rather dark in that the "good" people are all experiencing personal difficulties and the "bad" people -- well, not surprisingly, they fail to muster sympathy.

    As the subtitle indicates, this is the first of a quartet of stories taking place on the Shetland Islands. There is some sense of place, but most of the focus is on the personal relationships and inner thoughts of the various characters. Many of the personal difficulties are left unresolved - I presume to be taken up in later parts of the quartet.

    Fairly well done if you like this gendre. Rather a dark read if you don't care for this type of novel with little to inspire you to read the further works in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Penned with the skill of a surgeon's scalpel!

    Ann Cleeves' Raven Black is absolute sheer brilliance contained in 376 pages of absorbing suspenseful entertainment. I was riveted from the gripping start to the pulse-pounding end. Cleeves' literary masterpiece was penned with the precision of a skilled surgeon's scalpel. I was left breathless, perplexed & mesmerized throughout. Raven Black is Cleeves' nineteenth novel and the first in a quartet of books set in the Sheltland Isles. Raven Black infuses a flawless blend of old-fashioned whodunit with a psychological element not captured as adeptly as Cleeves' delivers effortlessly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very good - great mystery

    This is a really good mystery - I was surprised by ending and I read a lot of mystery books. Fast moving and easy to read and understand. Very different setting. Can't wait to read her next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

    This was a complete surprise! Excellent location and well presented characters and story. I will be looking forward to another by this very talented writer.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Jimmy Perez is the most amazing Police character. His thoughts a

    Jimmy Perez is the most amazing Police character. His thoughts are intriguing — how he figures out (knows) exactly what happens. He is more like a psychologist. He determines the outcome through a series of thought processes that are out of the ordinary. The Shetlands (a Scottish Island) are described in vivid detail. I felt I was there, freezing, but loving the atmosphere. This is one author I could not figure out who the murderer was. . . not even close until the very end. Since this is the first book of the series, I recommend you start here. I have since read the all but the 2014 DEAD WINTER. I am still unable to determine the murderer in any of them until the final page/chapter. Not sure I could take the different season of no sun and all day (light). 2015 THIN AIR comes out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    A pony that followed

    She tiphoofs in but u cant see her through the shadows

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    FF

    Or maybe you're the g<_>ay one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    Noah

    Yea

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Amanda

    Noah?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Blazin

    Cool house.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    White

    Dude... I was talking about my gf on Rp... I needed advice...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 4, 2013

    Good book.

    I enjoyed reading both of Ann Cleeves books. While they are not action books and are not particularly suspenseful, the characters are likeable and real, the setting is very different and Cleeves does a great job of imprinting the setting into the characters. The conclusion is plausible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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