Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves: A review
This is the eighth book in the series and, as always, one of the strongest points in the narrative is Shetland itself. As Cleeves describes it, it is such a wild and beautiful place. The landscape itself is like a major character in the story.
And as for those human characters, no one describes them better than Cleeves. They always seem real and relatable, like anyone that you might meet in your daily activities.
In this case, the main characters are newcomers to the island, Helen a knitwear designer, and her architect husband Daniel, and their two children, Christopher who is autistic and daughter Ellie. They have moved from London and are looking for a fresh start.
They are off to a bumpy beginning, however. The previous owner of their home, Hesti, had hung himself in the barn, and for some reason, the neighbors seem to hate and resent the newcomers and associate them in some way with the tragedy of their new home. The society of the place is claustrophobic and the main hobby of the inhabitants seems to be gossiping about their neighbors. Especially the new neighbors.
Autistic Christopher is shunned by the other students at school and he lives a mostly solitary life. Then, to make matters even worse, Christopher discovers another hanged body in the barn. It is that of a local nanny, Emma Shearer. Meanwhile, Helen is receiving anonymous notes with drawings of a hanged man. London is suddenly not looking so bad!
Chief Inspector Willow Reeves returns to Shetland to oversee the case and she gives some unexpected news to DI Perez - news that he does not handle well at all. Meanwhile, Perez's second-in-command, Sandy, has personal challenges to deal with in his life. All of these characters are facing turning points and have some difficult decisions to make.
But Ann Cleeves won't tell us what those decisions are. We'll just have to write those endings ourselves.
How disappointing that Ann Cleeves is ending the series! Wild Fire does sound like a good read though.ReplyDelete
Maybe it will give her more time to work on the Vera series, my favorite.Delete
Don't you hate when an author ends a favorite series? I know they can't keep writing them forever, but it's still sad to say good-bye to favorite characters.ReplyDelete
It's always tough to say goodbye to these characters that we've come to known and love.Delete
I look forward to what Cleeves might do with Vera. Like you, Vera is my favorite. I may be a bit strange but-- after my initial disappointment that a favorite series is coming to an end-- it doesn't bother me to fill in any blanks in whatever ways I choose.ReplyDelete
It does sort of free one's imagination, doesn't it?Delete
Sounds a bit hard for her fans to close out the series. Will Perez ever show up elsewhere? Hmm.ReplyDelete
That's an interesting question and he is an interesting character, but I get the sense that, for whatever reason, Cleeves is done with him.Delete