RavenBlack by Ann Cleeves
RavenBlackis a crime novel. It was written in 2006 by Ann Cleeves and is thefirst in the Shetland Island series (Cleeves 2). The story is set inan Island in Scotland, a place deserted by the rest of the world incase of a bad weather. The small size of the location makes it easierfor people to identify each other and feel comfortable in returneasily. All the characters and events taking place in the story areunreal in other words, it is a work of fiction. The book can besufficiently understood by analyzing the main characters, elaboratingthe plot summary, and assessing the author’s intention.
Thestory has several main characters that help explain situationsvividly. They include Catherine Ross, Magnus Tait, Jimmy Perez, SallyHenry, and Taylor (Cleeves 10). Perez mostly performs forensicinvestigations, especially on homicides and reports to his seniorofficer, Inspector Taylor. Jimmy’s knowledge helps play a crucialrole of unraveling mysteries surrounding the little island. The deathof Catherine is among Jimmy’s investigative case (Meek).She is a young woman with ambitions but lived a care free life. SallyHenry is the daughter to a teacher who hates his celebrity status.Magnus Tait is a challenged elderly man accused by the islanders forkilling Catherine Ross.
Thebook starts at New Year in Shetland, the home of the aged MagnusTait. After a few days, Fran Hunter, a new comer to the island,stumbles on Catherine Ross’ body (Cleeves 5). It was lying a fewmeters from Magnus Tait’s house. The people were convinced thatTait was responsible for the death since he had killed a young girlby the name Catriona Bruce eight days before. Detective Jimmy Perez,assigned to the case is also confused and secretly suspects Tait(Meek).Jimmy’s emotions are quite hard to contain, but through acomprehensive search, he unravels the mystery surrounding Catherine’sdeath.
Theauthor’s idea of bringing out the sense of place is incredible. Theseclusion and the cold seem physical. She has also captured clearlythe feeling of a united community despite the divisions and tensionsharbored. They all identify their peers not only by name but also bybehavior and way life, thus pinning the death of Catherine Ross onthe old man, Magnus Tait. The author used death as a way ofinstilling fear among the characters. For instance, after theCatherine’s demise, they all observed high level of security andnervously locked their doors. The author can be credited for creatingtension, suspense, and heightening the stakes, especially for MagnusTait (a protagonist) (Bell 188). In every mystery or thriller, thereis always a dilemma and the concept of unknown (Lichtenberg et al.172). Therefore, Ann had to introduce an intelligent character (inthis case Jimmy) to solve the issue. Coincidences take place in reallife but the author was keen to avoid them to capture the attentionand interests of the readers ("Elementsof the Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and/or Crime FictionGenres"). Inessence, coincidence is obvious hence, it should be avoided infiction.
Insummation, the author fully utilized the beliefs and actions of thecharacters in the book to advance the theme of crime. Death and fearare some of the basic components of defining a felony. For instance,the mysterious deaths brought fear forcing people to keep their doorslocked as shown in the book. Narrowing the story to a small islandmade it comprehensive and easy to identify the role of the charactersand the author’s primary purpose.
"Elementsofthe Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense and/or Crime FictionGenres". WordHunter.N.p., 2012. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.
Bell,James S. Conflict& Suspense.Cincinnati, Ohio: Writers Digest Books, 2011. Print.
Cleeves,Ann. RavenBlack.London: Pan, 2010. Print.
Lichtenberg,Jacqueline, Jean Lorrah, Penny Ash, Anne P. Pinzow, Robyn H.McIntyre, Rusty Goode, Laura Wise, Roberta Rogow, Nan Dibble, EllieFleming, and Elsa Frohman. Vampire`sDilemma.Rockville, Md.: Wildside Press, 2012. Internet resource.
Meek,Karen. "Review – ".Eurocrime.co.uk.N.p., 2016. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.