Raven Black (Shetland Island Series #1)

Raven Black (Shetland Island Series #1)

by Ann Cleeves
4.3 33


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Raven Black (Shetland Island Series #1) by Ann Cleeves

The basis for the hit series "Shetland" now airing on PBS

Winner of Britain's coveted Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award, Ann Cleeves introduces a dazzling new suspense series to U.S. mystery readers.

Raven Black begins on New Year's Eve with a lonely outcast named Magnus Tait, who stays home waiting for visitors who never come. But the next morning the body of a murdered teenage girl is discovered nearby, and suspicion falls on Magnus. Inspector Jimmy Perez enters an investigative maze that leads deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781405054720
Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2006
Series: Shetland Island Series , #1
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Ann Cleeves lives in Yorkshire, England.

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Raven Black (Shetland Island Quartet #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
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!!
goodwritingcounts More than 1 year ago
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...
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
JP33 More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
TheBookResortNY More than 1 year ago
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.
Bedelia More than 1 year ago
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.
Jean55 More than 1 year ago
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.
JKW24 More than 1 year ago
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.
kmoffat 9 months ago
The Shetland Island Series is a great read. There are currently seven books. I highly recommend starting with this one. I'm betting you will continue through all seven, and will be wanting another. Very enjoyable stories with excellent feel for the setting. These evoke the beauty and flavor of the Shetlands. Excellent characters and stories.
nolenreads More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book at the book store. I enjoyed the read. It started out with a body and a very obvious suspect. I discounted him, of course, but with Ann Cleeves, it's the facts, not the feelings that solve the crime. I love the raven imagery. I am not at all familiar with the Shepherd Islands so I learned a bit about them here. I recommend her books. I'm binge watching the entire Vera series now. LOL!
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
I have to confess, I saw the television series before I started reading these books. But it’s not a problem, and I strongly recommend this book to any lover of new locations, follower of fascinating characters, solver of mysteries, or avid watcher of Shetland. Raven Black is a mystery driven as much by location as by plot or character. The scenery of the Shetlands is frequently dominated by weather and sea, and the author brings land, air and water evocatively to life. The scenery is part of the mystery too, as it informs and molds a small-town wealth of characters. It’s part of the resolution, as an investigator’s sense of isolation draws him to see below the surface of each character’s story, finally leading to a conclusion that seems as unexpectedly inevitable in the novel as on the screen. No lives are simple, no truths entirely honest, and no dreams without their hints of nightmare here, as the town prepares for a celebration of history that might, itself, be as much a present dream as a past event. Great characters, great scenery, people who interact naturally as neither good guys nor bad, and a world in flux—a small world reminding readers of the larger world perhaps—Raven Black is gorgeously written, enticingly plotted, and a really good read. My husband bought it for me as a gift and I offer my honest review.
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Loved it
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Dude... I was talking about my gf on Rp... I needed advice...
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Lend_me_your_ear More than 1 year ago
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.
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