Review 1315: Dead Water

Cover for Dead WaterI was trying to read Ann Cleeves’s Shetland series in order, but somehow I made a mistake and skipped the one before Dead Water. That unfortunately makes me privy to a key plot point for the previous book but did not spoil this one.

Jimmy Perez is on compassionate leave for reasons that readers of the previous novel will know, so he does not immediately become involved when the Fiscal, Rhona Laing, finds a body aboard the yoal that she shares with a group of rowers. The body is that of Jerry Markham, a reporter who left the island years ago to work in London. He has returned to Shetland to see his parents, the owners of a hotel, and for some other reason. He seemed to be working on a story, but if that is true, his editor knows nothing about it.

The mainland office sends Willow Reeves to be in charge of the investigation, and she immediately thinks the Fiscal isn’t telling everything she knows. The crux of the matter seems to be Markham’s reasons for returning to Shetland.

Jimmy slowly gets drawn into the investigation, which soon finds that years ago Markham made an innocent young girl, Evie Watt, pregnant and refused to accept responsibility for it. Evie lost the child, and now she is on the verge of marriage to John Henderson, a pilot. Evie acknowledges that Markham tried to contact her but says she refused to speak to him.

The team follows several leads, including a dispute over green energy, until another body surfaces and brings their attention back to Evie. This time the victim is her fiancé. Do the murders have something to do with Evie, or is it a coincidence that the victims were her ex and current lovers?

Again, Cleeves creates a twisty and suspenseful mystery for Jimmy Perez to figure out. Her characters are convincing, and we are truly interested in their fates.

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4 thoughts on “Review 1315: Dead Water

  1. Carmen February 13, 2019 / 5:39 pm

    I’m really getting interested in this series thanks to your reviews. I found the TV adaptation on Netflix, so I’ll be watching it at some point this year. I look forward to that as much as the rest of your reviews on the Jimmy Perez’ saga.

    • whatmeread February 13, 2019 / 6:08 pm

      I like it a lot. The TV series usually changes the solution to the crime, but I think both the books and the TV series are enjoyable.

      • Carmen February 15, 2019 / 4:54 pm

        Glad to know. By the way, did you like Lincoln in the Bardo? I saw that you just finished it and know you won’t be reviewing it for awhile.

      • whatmeread February 15, 2019 / 5:23 pm

        Hmmm. It is very unusual. There were things I liked about it and things I disliked.

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