White Nights

White Nights

, Book # 2
Pan Books
September 4th, 2008
August 23, 2018 August 25, 2018

It’s midsummer in the Shetland Islands, the time of the white nights, when birds sing at midnight and the sun never sets. Artist Bella Sinclair throws an elaborate party to launch an exhibition of her work at The Herring House, a gallery on the beach.

The party ends in farce when one the guests, a mysterious Englishman, bursts into tears and claims not to know who he is or where he’s come from. The following day the Englishman is found hanging from a rafter, and Detective Jimmy Perez is convinced that the man has been murdered. He is reinforced in this belief when Roddy, Bella’s musician nephew, is murdered, too.

But the detective’s relationship with Fran Hunter may have clouded his judgment, for this is a crazy time of the year when night blurs into day and nothing is quite as it seems.

About the book

This is the second volume in the series about Shetland Island, small islands to the north of Scotland with Inspector Jimmy Pérez as protagonist. In this new book, a male body is found in a fisher hut. He’s a foreigner and everything suggests a suicide. But is it true? Or is it a staging? And who was that man? After that, another body is found so maybe it wasn’t a real suicide.

The book is set in the northern summer, where the sun never sat and people go crazy because of the white nights.

As in the previous book, the same person finds the two bodies. This is a fact that I don’t like, I mean, a little bit of originality.

This is the follow up of the previous book or rather it is a series but there’s no continuity, because I’m almost at the half of the book and the old man accused in the previous book has disappeared. I mean, he was innocent of that crime so a small mention? But wait, after 283 pages (of 334) here is Magnus! A little bit more details about him, no? Okay. I’m always displeased when a particular character is introduced but then he’s abandoned. I liked Magnus!

As for the first book the tale is a little slow, but I guess life at the Shetland is slow, too. I don’t like Inspector Taylor, if the main character is Pérez why Taylor is so present? He doesn’t even live there, but he’s from Inverness. I hope he won’t be in the next book that I’ve already bought.

I’m sorry for Kenny and even if I understood what happened to Lawrence since the beginning, the killer was a surprise.

Even with the negative notes, I like how Cleeves describe her characters. She studies them and tries to present them as best as she can. More over, chapters are short and this is a plus point to the author.

This is about my translation copy, it has nothing to do with the author. Both this and the first book have many Italian mistakes, for example plural subject with singular verb. And I don’t understand the Italian title, why couldn’t the translator translate White Nights with “Notti bianche”? (which is the literal translation) We need to complicate everything right? A mega title that has nothing to do with the book. (Just to clarify the italian title is “Due cadaveri, un solo indizio” which means “Two bodies, only one clue”, 5 words against 2).

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