In the dark days of a Shetland winter, torrential rain triggers a landslide that crosses the main Lerwick-Sumburgh road and sweeps down to the sea.
At the burial of his old friend Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez watches the flood of mud and peaty water smash through a croft house in its path. Everyone thinks the croft is uninhabited, but in the wreckage he finds the body of a dark-haired woman wearing a red silk dress. In his mind, she shares his Mediterranean ancestry and soon he becomes obsessed with tracing her identity.
Then it emerges that she was already dead before the landslide hit the house. Perez knows he must find out who she was, and how she died.
"...the spin a master storyteller takes with an ordinary whodunit... Read this and don't miss the TV series.."
"Few British writers can boast Cleeves' consummate skill at evoking atmosphere, and the sense of weather and terrain is as crucial to the success of her Shetland novels as the characterisation of Perez, whose Mediterranean ancestry ensures that he is always an outsider in this cloistered community. One of the most memorable entries in the series."
Barry Forshaw, FT
"Shetland is a fascinating place, and the cast of characters, some native born and bred, and some seeking consolation or redemption in an isolated island away from their past, co-exist and provide the backdrop for the mystery. This is another cracking good read and I can't recommend it highly enough."
Mark Lawson chose Cold Earth as one of his best crime books of the year, and called Ann "the best living evoker of landscape".
Cold Earth has been longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize (formerly the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award). The winner will be announced at the opening reception of Bloody Scotland, at Stirling Castle on Friday 8th September, and followed by a torchlight procession - open to the public - led by Ian Rankin on his way down to his event celebrating 30 years of Rebus.
In the US
The US edition was published by Minotaur Books on April 18th 2017:
In the UK
Cold Earth was first published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 6th October 2016.
- Order the orginal hardback edition from Amazon UK or from any bookshop (ISBN: 978-1-4472-7818-4),
- order the paperback edition (ISBN: 978-1-4472-7822-1),
- or download the Kindle edition.
- The audio edition, read by Kenny Blyth, is available from ISIS Publishing in a choice of formats, or as an audio download from Amazon.