Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves

Review published on October 9, 2018.

With Wild Fire being the last in her Shetland series, Ann Cleeves has once again given us a master class on how to write crime fiction. Her writing is evocative, deftly building up the characters, and every book in this series was better than the last.

With her words, Ann Cleeves paints pictures that bring the Shetland Isles to life, that are atmospheric, and the fog does help that, but it helps set the Shetlands as an intriguing and isolated location. It also shows how small communities, however close, may know each other’s secrets, but they do not know everything.

When an English family move to the old Gear farm property, there are all sorts of whispers about them, even more so when Dennis Gear kills himself on the property. When a nanny is found hung is the same barn by an autistic child, Perez kicks into full investigation mode. Hopefully, in this tight-knit community, someone will have seen something and be able to help them.

When Willow comes across from the mainland to head up the investigation, she needs to speak to Perez. She has some news for him and how he handles it will guide the course of his future. Will this news shake Perez, or just slow him down until he has worked everything out?

As the investigation continues, everybody knows everything but actually knows nothing, so at times Perez feels they are going around in circles. When another murder happens not far from the old Gear property, they really need a break. Little do they know who would give them the break they needed to solve the case, and it leaves them shocked. But as they reveal the full horror, they can understand why some events happened, even though they disagree with them.

Sad to see the Shetland series go, but goes out in style, and will we ever see Perez again? Only one person can answer that.

Paul Diggett 5/5

Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves
Macmillan 9781447278245 hbk Sep 2018

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