Author Ann Cleeves has revealed she is considering killing off detective Jimmy Perez – the star of her Shetland series of books.
Ann’s best-selling books have been turned into a prime-time BBC series, starring Glasgow-born Douglas Henshall as the central character tasked with solving all manner of gruesome crimes.
She is writing the eighth – and what she say will be the final – book in the series. But in a twist that will shock fans around the globe, Ann told The Scottish Sun she is mulling over whether to kill off Perez.
She told the Sun: “It’s quite weird because although I have started writing the last book, even I don’t know how it’s going to end.
“I don’t know whether I’m going to kill Jimmy off or whether it’s going to have a happy ending. Lots could happen. It’s actually quite scary.”
Filming is due to start on the next series of Shetland in the spring, and local runner Davie Gardner has already been sourcing locations. He said crews would be filming in the isles for about five weeks in May, though no locations have been selected yet.
Over the years he has become friends with many of the cast and crew – including Henshall. Davie said: “Dougie like everyone else would be good for a good storyline, even if it means his character’s death.
“He really enjoys coming up here and doing the Shetland series, so I’m sure he would be disappointed [if Perez is killed off]. But the thing has taken a life of itself beyond Ann’s books as well.
“It could be just another dramatic twist.”
Ann admits that Perez’s death might make things awkward for those who produce the show, which attracts regular audiences of around six million. She said: “It might make things a bit tricky for the show if I did kill him. It would be slightly problematic, but we’ll see.”
She said: “It might make things a bit tricky for the show if I did kill him. It would be slightly problematic, but we’ll see.”
The author has apparently been aware for some time that the books may have been reaching a climax. Davie said that last time Ann was in the isles for her book launch she had hinted at that.
“She mentioned that she didn’t know how much life was in the books. I’m sure a lot of people would be disappointed to see the end of Jimmy and the Shetland books.
“Really at the end of the day it’s up to Ann and everything has its life – including Shetland’s favourite detective.”