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Raven Black

Written by: Ann Cleeves
Narrated by: Kenny Blyth
Series: Shetland Island, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a vivid splash of colour on the white ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour Catherine Ross. The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man – loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when police insist on opening out the investigation a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community. For the first time in years, Catherine's neighbours nervously lock their doors, whilst a killer lives on in their midst.

©2006 Ann Cleeves (P)2018 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great narration

A most enjoyable audiobook. Excellent narration ; I enjoyed the accents very much and unlike Some of the Vera narrations not strident and .off putting. Engaging storyline and as someone completely unfamiliar with the Shetlands full of fascinating detail. detail

12 people found this helpful

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Great listen<br />

I loved the narrator. The story line kept me trying to figure out who done it.

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A worthy start to the Shetland series

This story starts very well, slows a little in the middle and ends well. This is my first book by Ann Cleeves and I will listen/read more of her books. I like her writing style.

The narration by Kenny Blyth is spot on.

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Keeps you hooked

First, I was impressed with the narrator’s vocal range making it so easy to differentiate between the various characters. It also gave credibility by using a local flavour. The author threaded the story keeping you guessing until the end. She writes very well and you feel that you are actually there. I’ll get the next audiobook in the series for sure.

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Too hard to follow - narration is weak

I am not happy with this book and have abandoned it as the narration and the way it is written is very hard to follow. I don't see the story coming together.

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Great Murder/ Mystery based on Shetland Island

Really enjoyed the character development and plot development with the background of Shetland Island culture.

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Drags on

The plot was not very engaging. It felt as though the writer was just filling pages instead of advancing the story.

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  • TMM
  • 2020-01-26

Heavy going

I found this to be quite a depressing book. It is set in January with several deaths of young girls amidst a small, closed society. Cleve’s is a master of detailed, compelling description but I found the amount of description became overwhelming at times and even boring. I became tired of listening to yet another description of the countryside, the weather, people’s thoughts, their clothes, etc., etc.
The plot is excellent, the characters are fully formed and the reader has a detailed and intimate glance into a small town on a small Scottish island. There is a twist at the end and I didn’t figure out who the murderer was.
For me, the book was just too depressing (maybe it would have been better to read it during summer rather than during January!). I found it heavy going to get through but was determined to find out who the killer was.
Perhaps I will read more Ann Cleve’s in the future but definitely not during the winter, lol.

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  • Sharon
  • 2020-02-12

Treat yourself to a taste of the Shetlands!

I love this series. I actually read book 2 first, but now I have finally read the first one. Love the characters, and they seem very very realistic. The author really knows how to give you a taste of life in the Shetlands. Her language is wonderfully descriptive when talking about places, characters, and thoughts. It may seem a little bleak at times, but not nearly so compared to Scandinavian fiction. Jimmy Perez is a great hero, and is relatable to any of us who have felt a bit different at one time or another. I can only recommend this book and series!