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Ann Cleeves will launch her fifth ‘Shetland’ novel, Dead Water, on Thursday 31st of January, in Mareel Auditorium at 7.30pm, in an event presented by Shetland Arts in partnership with Promote Shetland and Pan MacMillan.

The novel, which will be published in the UK by Pan MacMillan on the 31st of January, features the return of Inspector Jimmy Perez, who teams up with Willow Reeves to investigate the death of journalist Jerry Markham who was chasing a story in the heart of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Ann Cleeves is well known in Shetland and has many friends here. She is best known for her Inspector Ramsay novels, set in Northumberland, her Shetland Quartet, and her Vera Stanhope series, which has recently been televised on ITV and stars Brenda Blethyn.

Ann Cleeves

BBC One produced a two part drama, starring Doug Henshall and featuring Shetland’s very own Steven Robertson, based on Red Bones the third novel from Ann’s Shetland Quartet.

Her novel, Raven Black, the first book of the Shetland Quartet, won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the richest crime-writing prize in the world, awarded annually by the Crime Writers Association.

As well as readings from the novel, by a Shetland actor, the event will feature a discussion between Ann and leading Forensic Pathologist, Dr James Grieve. Dr Grieve is a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Medicine at the Department of Pathology at the University of Aberdeen and a Police Forensic Pathologist for the North East and Grampian area.

He has carried out numerous post-mortem investigations including sudden unexpected natural events, suicides, homicides and accidents, as well as deaths possibly resulting from medical mishap. He regularly gives evidence in the criminal courts and at Fatal Accident Inquiries.

Shetland Arts Literature Development Officer, Donald Anderson said: “This promises to be fascinating and a thoroughly enjoyable event for all readers of crime fiction and for anybody who is interested in the nitty gritty of forensic pathology. Ann Cleeves and Dr James Grieve are highly entertaining speakers. It is also a great privilege for us to have the opportunity to host the launch of this novel on the day of its publication.”

Tickets for the launch are free but booking is strongly recommended as the event is expected to be popular. Tickets will be available on Friday 21 December via Shetland Box Office in Mareel and Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at or

Dead Water will be published in the UK by Pan Macmillan on 31st January 2013: it is already available for advance order from Amazon (ISBN: 978-0=2307-6017-2).

Dead Water

When the body of journalist Jerry Markham is found in a traditional Shetland boat, outside the house of the Fiscal down at the Marina, young Detective Inspector Willow Reeves is drafted in from the Hebrides to head up the investigation.

Since the death of his fiancée, Inspector Jimmy Perez has been out the loop, but his interest in this new case is stirred and he decides to help the inquiry and, for Willow, his local knowledge is invaluable as the close-knit community holds many secrets.

Markham - originally a Shetlander but who had made a name for himself in London - had left the islands years before to pursue his burgeoning writing career. In his wake, he left a scandal involving a young girl, Evie Watt, who is now engaged to a crofter. He had few friends there, so why was he back in Shetland?

Willow and Jimmy are soon led to Sullom Voe, the heart of Shetland's North Sea oil and gas industry. In a community where traditional values are held very dear by some, the advent of new energies, even renewables, is not always welcome. It emerges that Markham was chasing a story in his final days. One that must have been - for someone - significant enough to warrant his death...

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