First Sentence: The land slipped while Jimmy Perez was standing beside the grave.
Due to heavy rains, a landslide destroys a house that was thought to be uninhabited. The discovery of a woman’s body is sad enough, but no one knows her and their only clue is a letter to My dearest Alis. Then it’s realized it wasn’t the slide that killed her. She was murdered.
The opening is dramatic, sad, and slightly scary. But it is also fascinating as well learn of traditions unfamiliar to most of us. One does rather expect the first revelation when it comes, but it is still a bit of a jolt and very well done.
Cleeves characters are so real and are fully developed. What is nice is that they even have normal insecurities. It’s also nice to have an ensemble cast, with each character contributing to the investigation. Enough backstory on Jimmy is provided so one understands him, and the budding, albeit slowly developing, relationship is a very nice touch.
One would dearly wish for a map to be included at the beginning of the book as it would provide the reader a better sense of locations and proximities. The weather and atmosphere of the island itself become its own character.
There is something very refreshing about detectives who follow the clues and take us along with them even when its information gleaned from a newspaper interview. Cleeves isn’t a guns-and-car-chases author, but one who builds the story, and the case, piece-by-piece.
“Cold Earth” is a story into which one becomes immersed and involved with its very good characters and very satisfying ending.
COLD EARTH (Pol Proc-Jimmy Perez-Shetland Is. Scotland-Contemp) – VG+
Cleeves, Ann – 7th in series
Minotaur Books – April 2017