Crime fiction round-up

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RED BONES BY ANN CLEEVES (Macmillan, £16.99)

ANN Cleeves's thriller, set in Shetland while an archaeological dig is taking place, gets intriguing from the moment when an elderly busybody is found dead, apparently shot by accident. Not long afterwards, the body of a young woman, whom everyone had assumed was dedicated to the dig, is discovered, apparently a suicide. There are internal conflicts inside the local police force, and Inspector Jimmy Perez has the job of sorting it all out. Cunning character play and deception play their part in this satisfying tale, bringing about a denouement that turns everything in the plot neatly and bewilderingly on its head.

TATTOO

BY MANUEL VASQUEZ MONTALBAN

(Serpent's Tail, 7.99)

1970s BARCELONA is the setting for this whodunit, which features ex-cop turned private eye, Pepe Carvalho. When Carvalho is hired to ascertain the identity of a disfigured, faceless corpse fished out of the sea he's soon on a trail that sees him haring off to Amsterdam to pursue his investigations in the Dutch drug scene. Readers who are averse to the idea of a thriller set in the drugs underworld need not worry. This is a well-trailed, nicely plotted murder mystery – with plenty of misdirected leads.

A NOT SO PERFECT CRIME

BY TERESA SOLANA

(Bitter Lemon Press, 8.99)

BARCELONA features again (this time in an unmistakably 21st-century setting) in Teresa Solana's thriller, which – uncannily – also involves a side-trip to Amsterdam. A politician suspects his wife of infidelity, but the twin private eyes he calls on to investigate find themselves involved in a murder hunt when the errant wife is poisoned. Lots of local colour, plenty of confusion between the twins and some satisfying plot twists lead to a cleverly plotted outcome.