Raven Black to be on Radio 4

This year’s Up-Helly-A’ might just have taken place, but plans are already underway to mark next year’s event by bringing an already acclaimed story that uses the festival as a fiery backdrop to radio listeners across the country.

Raven Black, the first book in the Shetland-based quartet by writer Ann Cleeves, is being dramatised for BBC Radio 4.

The winner of the Crime Writers’ Association’s Duncan Lawrie Dagger for 2006 is set in the run up to Up-Helly-A’, and the one off dramatisation will go on air next January, to co-incide with the 2010 event.

A two-part serialisation of the book has already been heard on radio in Germany after the book proved popular with German readers.

Ms Cleeves, a former probation officer who lives in North Tyneside, said she hoped the UK version would have a distinct Shetland flavour to it.

“I love the idea because I’m a real Radio 4 fan, so I’m absolutely delighted and think it will work really well. I hope they can use Shetland music and voices to put across a real flavour of the place.”

The third book in the quartet, Red Bones, is due to be published in hardback on 20th February, and takes Whalsay as its main setting.


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