More about Dead Water
More about Raven Black
More about White Nights
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More about Blue Lightning
The BBC has announced that the new series of Shetland, the powerful murder mystery drama series, will begin on Tuesday March 11th at 9.00 pm. Douglas Henshall returns as Detective Jimmy Perez, with two-part adaptations of three more of Ann's Shetland novels, starting with Raven Black (read about it in the Radio Times).
Christopher Aird, Shetland Executive Producer and BBC Scotland's Head of Drama, told the BBC Media Center: "It has been terrifically exciting to develop the second series of Shetland. I think people will find the show darker and more atmospheric." The series continues with adaptations of Dead Water by David Kane (Rebus, Field of Blood, This Year's Love) and Blue Lightning adapted by Richard Davidson (Silent Witness, Eastenders).
Follow the link to read interviews with some of the stars of the new series, including Douglas Henshall, who plays Jimmy Perez, and Shetlander Steven Robertson who plays his sidekick Sandy Wilson. There are also interviews with Brian Cox, previously seen in The Bourne Identity, who stars in Raven Black as Magnus Bain, a solitary man and social outsider who finds himself the focus of a murder investigation, and with Julie Graham (Survivors, William & Mary) who plays procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly - a new returning character.
Even hardcore fans of the books will find that the TV show holds some surprises. Ann has been watching some previews, and says: "The TV adaptations are very often very different from the books - the scriptwriters cut some characters and add others, cut big chunks of plot and sometimes they even change the murderer! But I'm very relaxed about that. Prose and film are different forms. Besides, the book stops being mine every time someone reads it. Each reader brings their own imagination, history and prejudice to the story and each writer has to learn to let go. Adaptation just takes the process a bit further."
Filming on the second series of Shetland took place on Shetland and other Scottish locations. Read what Douglas Henshall has to say about filming on Fair Isle.
Dead Water, Ann Cleeves' fifth Shetland murder mystery featuring detective Jimmy Perez, is now available in the US. It picks up the story after Ann's initial quartet of Shetland novels, which ended with a shocking change in the life of detective Jimmy Perez. This is a time of change for the islands, too: they have done well from the oil boom, but what will the new era of renewable energy bring? Can Jimmy Perez make a new beginning in his own life? And can he find the murderer of journalist Jerry Markham?
"...The tensions between those who wish to preserve their traditions and those who seek the opportunities of new technologies are subtly illustrated. Cleeves keeps readers guessing about the perpetrator's identity until the final pages."
Secrets of Soil
There was a brief glimpse of the background of Willow Reeves, a new character introduced in Dead Water in Secrets of Soil, a short story written by Ann Cleeves in collaboration with forensic soil scientist Lorna Dawson. It was read by Lesley Hart in front of an audience at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling, and broadcast on Radio 4 on Sunday 22nd September 2013.
Visit Shetland with Ann
Ann talks about Shetland in general and Dead Water in particular in a new interview with Wanderlust website. Or you can share the photos from a Shetland trip with Ann on her FaceBook page: the picture (right) shows her outside a house in the Lodberrie very like the one that detective Jimmy Perez lives in! Click here to see the whole set.
To help you follow Jimmy's investigations through the Shetland Isles, Visit Shetland have produced a downloadable leaflet with a map, and a commentary from Ann about the real and fictitious locations in her books.
Or see a large image of the map on this site.
The Shetland Quartet
Raven Black was initially intended as a standalone novel - after all, how many murders could there be in Shetland? But the book was so successful, winning the first Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for the best crime novel of the year, as well as numerous fans, that Ann wrote another Shetland mystery, and then another - until she had completed a quartet covering all four seasons and a tour of the archipelago.
The turning of the year's circle and the dramatic changes it has brought for Jimmy Perez don't mean the end of the story - Ann's latest book, Dead Water, brings new beginnings - and the start of a new quartet based on the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. For a fan's eye view of the original quartet, see The Book Resort, which gave the Shetland Quartet rave reviews during its Ann Cleeves Week; all the earlier books - plus an interview with Ann - are linked from the review of Blue Lightning. They also held an informal chat with Ann, in which she answers the question: "Tell us one thing about yourself that most of your fans don't already know?".
Ann has also written a short story, The Soothmoothers, which features Jimmy Perez. It was written for Radio 4's Red Herrings series, and broadcast on April 30th 2009, read by Marnie Baxter. Read The Soothmoothers exclusively on this web site.
My Shetland - two prize-winning short films chosen by Ann Cleeves to show readers of her Shetland Quartet what the islands look like to the people who live there.