Wild Fire by Anne Cleeves

This is the last of the Shetland Island Mystery series which features a Detective Inspector  named Jimmy Perez.  There is a definite overarching plot which means the books are better read in order of publication. This is what I did with a binge of reading of books 3 through 6. 

Wild Fire by Anne Cleeves
2018 /  416 pages
Read by Kenny Blythe 10h 44m Rating:  A-  / mystery

#8 in the Shetland Series

The Four Seasons Quartet
• Raven Black (2006); Gold Dagger Award
• White Nights (2008)
• Red Bones (2009)
• Blue Lightning (2010)

The Four Elements Quartet
• Dead Water (2013)
• Thin Air (2014)
• Cold Earth (2016)
• Wild Fire (2018)

In this final book in the series, Emma Shearer, an off-island based nanny for a local family, is found hanging from a rafter in a barn.  Jimmy and his supervising detective Willow Reeves along with his assistant Sandy Wilson (male) do the usual investigating and interviewing to proceed through the case. We also read the interactions of some of the characters/ suspects.   Of particular note and interest is an 11-year old boy named Christopher who is autistic and has recently moved to the island with his family.  He has problems at school and sometimes  plays with matches.  Fires figure prominently in the story.  Abuse and bullying as well as dysfunctional families are some other themes.  

The overarching plot has Jimmy and the now pregnant Willow still not quite committing – Jimmy comes with a lot of baggage (read the prior 7 books first).  

Overall I very much enjoyed these books which I would categorize as being somewhere between traditional and cozy mysteries – maybe more traditional than cozy. They are traditional because there is a definite murder and a cast of suspects so it’s a who-done-it with a professional detective and his procedures solving the crime. But there’s a cozy element because of the close attention to setting and the various love stories of some of the main characters. I might try another Cleeves series – we’ll see.

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