Ann Cleeves is the author behind ITV’s Vera and BBC One’s Shetland. She has written over twenty-five novels and is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez – characters loved both on screen and in print.
Both series are international bestsellers. In 2006 Ann was awarded the Duncan Lawrie Dagger (CWA Gold Dagger) for Best Crime Novel, for Raven Black, the first book in her Shetland series. In 2012 she was inducted into the CWA Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame. Ann lives in North Tyneside.
The Crow Trap is the first book starring Vera Stanhope.
Three very different women come together at isolated Baikie’s Cottage on the North Pennines, to complete an environmental survey – three women who each know the meaning of betrayal. Rachael, the team leader, is still reeling after a double betrayal by her lover and boss, Peter Kemp. Anne, a botanist, sees the survey as a chance to indulge in a little deception of her own. Grace, a strange, uncommunicative young woman, is hiding plenty of her own secrets.
Rachael is the first to arrive at the cottage, where she discovers the body of her friend, Bella Furness. Bella, it appears, has committed suicide – a verdict Rachael refuses to accept. When another death occurs, a fourth woman enters the picture, the unconventional Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope.
The Glass Room is the fifth book starring Vera Stanhope.
DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbours keep her well supplied in homebrew and conversation. When one of them goes missing, her path leads her to more than a missing friend. Vera tracks the young woman down to the Writer’s House. Things get complicated when a body is discovered and Vera’s neighbour is found with a knife in her hand. Calling in the team, Vera knows that she should hand the case over. She’s too close to the main suspect, but the investigation is too tempting and she’s never been one to follow the rules. When another body is found, Vera suspects that someone is playing games with her.
Blue Lightning is the fourth book in the Shetland series.
With the autumn storms raging, Fair Isle feels cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped, tension is high and tempers become frayed; enough to drive someone to murder. A woman’s body is discovered at the renowned Fair Isles bird observatory, with feathers threaded through her hair. The islanders react with fear and anger. Detective Jimmy Perez has no support from the mainland and must investigate the old-fashioned way. He soon realizes that this is no crime of passion, but a murder of cold and calculated intention. There’s no way off the island until the storms abate, so the killer is also trapped, just waiting for the opportunity to strike again.
Thin Air is the sixth book in the Shetland series.
A group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island, to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a Shetlander. Late on the night of the wedding party, Eleanor disappears. It’s mid-summer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. Eleanor’s body is discovered, lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge and detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves go to Unst to investigate. Before she went missing, Eleanor claimed to have seen the ghost of a local child who drowned in the 1920s. Her interest in the ghost had seemed unhealthy and obsessive, but Jimmy and Willow are convinced there is more to Eleanor’s death than they first thought.