Cleeves, Ann. Blue Lightning. New York: Minotaur Books, 2010.
Reason read: to finish the series started in January in honor of the Shetland Up Helly Aa festival.
In Blue Lightning Jimmy Perez, now engaged to Fran, the woman he met in Cleeves’s first book Raven Black, takes her home to meet his parents. He’s not looking forward to the trip because he doesn’t get along with his father and home is a smidgen of an island called Fair Isle. When Jimmy was younger he couldn’t wait to move away and escape the trappings of parental expectations. True to form, murder follows Jimmy & Fran (she found the murder victims in Raven Black). Thanks to terrible storms prohibiting people from coming to or leaving the island they are forced, along with Jimmy’s partner, Sandy, to solve the crime without help from the mainland. Things go from bad to worse when there is a second murder and shockingly, a third. This time the murders center around birds as the killer has woven bird feathers though the first victim’s hair & strewn feathers over the second victim’s body.
For the most part I enjoyed this fourth book in the Jimmy Perez series. It isn’t necessary to read the other three to understand or enjoy Blue Lightning. My only complaint? After the second death I knew when the third victim would die.
Book trivia: In the acknowledgments Cleeves makes reference to a crime scene saying, “probably the most awkward crime scene I’ve yet devised.” It made me curious to know if I would recognize the scene (spoiler alert: because in every Cleeves mystery so far multiple people have died, hence multiple crime scenes). What would make one particular crime scene awkward. Then, I got to it, recognized it & decided, yes it’s awkward.
Author fact: I don’t have anything new to share about Ms. Cleeves except to say the series continues after Blue Lightning.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Sheltering in the Shetlands” (p 205).