2 July 2022

Review: OFFSHORE, Ann Cleeves

  • this edition made available by my local library through Libby
  • Also listed as Shetland Island #6.1
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Macmillan (1 April 2015). Originally published in 2014.
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 72 pages

Synopsis (Amazon)

Offshore is a striking collection of short stories, all set on islands off the coast of the UK, and features cases for both DI Jimmy Perez on Shetland, and DI Willow Reeves on Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

In 'Stranded', set on Hilbre near Liverpool, a young man's first love vanishes. In 'Hector's Other Woman', on Holy Island, we meet a young Vera before she becomes DI Vera Stanhope, and discover how she decides to enter the police force. One of the stories, 'Postcard from Skokholm', is written by Lynne Chitty, winner of Pan Macmillan's Bello imprint's short story competition, who introduces Ann Cleeves' beloved characters George and Molly Palmer-Jones to new readers.

Ann Cleeves deftly captures the spirit of each island setting, and offers us a compelling new collection of mysteries.

The stories include

The Pirate
    Published in the CWA Anthology, Deadly Pleasures (2014)
    Re-published in Offshore
The Spinster
    A story featuring Jimmy Perez, published in OxCrimes, (Profile Books, May 2014)
    Re-published in Offshore
Secrets of Soil
    written in collaboration with forensic soil scientist Lorna Dawson, and featuring Willow Reeves, read by Lesley Hart in front of an audience at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling, and broadcast on Radio 4 on Sunday 22nd September 2013.
    Published in Offshore (2014)
Hector's Other Woman
    A Vera Stanhope story published in Guilty Consciences, the CWA Anthology, edited by Martin Edwards (Severn House, 2011).
    Re-published in Offshore (2014)
The Soothmoothers
    (read by Marnie Baxter) was first broadcast on April 30th 2010 at 3.30pm, as part of Radio 4's Red Herrings series. You can now read this story (which features Jimmy Perez, of the Shetland murder mysteries) on this web site.
    Re-published in Offshore

My Take

I am a great fan of this author and have read most of the titles in each of her later series.

The stories presented here make quick reading and included a couple that I hadn't read before. I found the inclusion of the first chapter of THIN AIR ( Shetland #6) a little odd. It seems to be there as a promo for the novel which was published later in 2014.

My rating: 4.4 

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