A landslide reveals a dead body and a tricky case for Shetland Islands detective Jimmy Perez (Thin Air, 2015, etc.).
The miserable winter weather has done nothing to help Jimmy get over the murder of Fran, the woman he loved. Standing at the graveside of Magnus Tait, an old friend, Jimmy and the other mourners barely escape a sudden landslide that decimates a little croft house. Although the place is supposed to be uninhabited ever since the owner died and left it to a relative in America, a quick check reveals the body of a woman. As soon as the autopsy reveals that the woman was strangled, Jimmy calls in Police Scotland in the person of Chief Inspector Willow Reeves. Their first task is to identify the body. When the neighbors at the farm next door claim to know nothing, Jimmy, with the help of slow but steady assistant Sandy Wilson, expands his questioning over the entire island. The victim was seen buying champagne at a local store, having a drink at a hotel with a middle-aged man, and visiting a local counseling center. The name she gave the center was false, but it does lead them to the destroyed house's owner and the striking victim’s true identity. Through it all, Jimmy, who's taking care of Fran's daughter and still feeling guilty about her death, isn’t sure if he’s ready for love. But he and Willow, who have a more than collegial relationship, work well together. Once they know who the mysterious stranger really is, they identify a surprising number of suspects who happen to be Jimmy’s friends.
The Shetland Islands provide a stunningly atmospheric setting for the complicated hero’s latest procedural, a challenge he meets with determination and more than a little angst.