Award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves will launch her fifth Shetland novel featuring detective Jimmy Perez at Mareel tomorrow night.
Dead Water, the first book in a new quartet, begins with the discovery of the body of former Shetland Times and now London-based journalist Jerry Markham in a yoal at Aith marina.
Recently bereaved, Fair Isle man Perez at first declines an invitation to work on the case. But before long he is heavily involved helping Hebridean detective inspector Willow Reeves to unravel the mystery.
At the event in Mareel’s main auditorium, Cleeves will hold a discussion with leading forensic pathologist Dr James Grieve, who features as himself in the book. There will also be readings by Shetland actors.
Cleeves said: “I’m delighted to be in Shetland to launch Dead Wateron publication day. Where I else could I be to celebrate the new book in the Shetland series?
“My visit has coincided with Up Helly A’, it’s always great to experience the fire festival.”
The third of Cleeves’ Shetland novels, Red Bones, has been adapted for a two-part BBC TV drama, Shetland, starring Dougie Henshall and Shetlanders Steven Robertson and Sandra Voe. It is expected to be screened in March.
According to Promote Shetland, which markets the isles as a tourism destination and a place to live, the Ann Cleeves novels and the forthcoming BBC TV dramatisation are very positive for the tourist industry.
As part of a concerted programme of promotional activity, the organisation has produced a map pinpointing some of the key places in Shetland in the books and other places that have inspired fictional locations.
Promote Shetland manager Andy Steven said: “Many people from all different parts of the UK have come to Shetland because of Ann’s books.
“With the new book and the TV drama, we anticipate that even more people will want to come and see Shetland’s rugged beauty for themselves.
“It speaks volumes that Ann also has a strong local following and that she comes back again and again to launch her books. That’s because Shetland is one of her best characters and is so authentically portrayed, even if murders are extremely rare here and crime generally is very low.”
He added: “The map and the other materials we are producing are evidence of our belief that the Jimmy Perez books are a good thing for tourism in Shetland.”
Dead Water is published on 31st January by Pan Macmillan. Cleeves will be available to sign copies at the launch.