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Dead Water, Ann Cleeves' fifth Shetland murder mystery featuring detective Jimmy Perez, is now available in paperback. 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?
Dead Water was shortlisted for the Deanston Scottish Crime Book of the Year 2013.
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.
A second series of the powerful murder mystery drama Shetland, based on Ann Cleeves' novels, is now in preparation, and the BBC has released some advance information about the cast. Following its successful two-part debut this spring - over two nights, the series attracted a combined audience of over 12 million viewers - Shetland will return for a second run as a bigger six-part series (three pairs of episodes) with Douglas Henshall returning to the lead role as Detective Jimmy Perez.
The next series will focus on three more of Ann's Shetland novels: Raven Black, adapted by Gaby Chiappe (The Paradise, Vera), Dead Water by David Kane (Rebus, Field of Blood, This Year's Love) and Blue Lightning adapted by Richard Davidson (Silent Witness, Eastenders).
Brian Cox, previously seen in The Bourne Identity, stars in Raven Black as Magnus Bain, a solitary man and social outsider who finds himself the focus of a murder investigation. Julie Graham (Survivors, William & Mary) plays procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly - a new returning character who will make her mark in the first and third stories of the series.
Ann says: "I'm delighted that viewers will have another chance to explore these beautiful islands and to get to know my characters better."
Filming on the second series of Shetland has been taking place on Shetland and other Scottish locations. Elaine Collins, Executive Producer, ITV Studios says: "I'm thrilled by the terrific response we've had to Shetland. The Scottish landscape is one of the most beautiful places on earth and I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to work again with Douglas Henshall and the team on Ann Cleeves' wonderful Shetland stories."
Christopher Aird, Head of Drama Scotland & Executive Producer, adds: "I am so pleased we are taking Shetland to a full series. Douglas Henshall is a hugely talented lead and Shetland such a unique part of the country; we can look forward to a series of characterful, thrilling and windswept stories."
Visit Shetland with Ann
Ann talks about Shetland in general and Dead Water in particular in a new interview with Wanderlust website.
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.
Ann was recently in the Shetland Islands, and has posted a photo diary of her trip to 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.
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.