Ann Cleeves: Shetland author's lost laptop with draft of next novel found in snow

Crime writer Ann Cleeves, who lost a laptop containing the draft of her next novel in a blizzard in Shetland, said it has been found.

The novelist appealed for help after losing the computer, which she feared may have fallen out of her bag as she made her way through Lerwick in wintry conditions on Monday. She revealed on Thursday evening that the laptop had been found in the snow by a "sharp-eyed" young woman.

The author, whose books have been adapted into the television series Shetland, said the device had been run over so is not much use, though she is glad to know it is safe. She had recently emailed herself an attachment containing what she had been working on, so has not lost too much work.

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Cleeves posted a picture of the damaged laptop on Twitter, writing: "Here it is! Found in the snow not far from where I was staying by sharp-eyed Rachel as she got off the school bus. It's been run over so not much use, but glad to know it's safe."

Responding to one person who asked whether the data on the device is retrievable, she wrote: "Don't know. Will have to consult an expert. But I had email attached my novel to myself a couple of weeks ago so not too much will be lost."

The young woman's mother also responded, saying her daughter found the laptop while she was digging her car out of the snow. Cleeves said she later discovered the young woman had not been on the school bus, and thanked Shetlanders for their efforts to reunite her with her laptop.

She told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It was a young woman who was digging her car out that had been stuck there and she found it, took it to her mum who thought it might have been one of the school kids' laptops, so contacted the school WhatsApp group. The bus driver said 'I think I know whose that is', and got in touch with my friend Ingrid with whom I'm staying - because Shetland is that sort of place, people knew that I was friendly with her - and she went and picked it up from Rachel's mum.

"What is amazing is the support I've had from Shetlanders and I'd like to say a huge thank-you to Shetland, they're there struggling with no power, with trying to keep warm, to get people fed and there they were keeping an eye out for my laptop, it's classic Shetland and I hope that they all get reconnected and warm soon."

Snowfall in the Shetland Islands has caused problems, with frozen slush weighing down power lines.Snowfall in the Shetland Islands has caused problems, with frozen slush weighing down power lines.
Snowfall in the Shetland Islands has caused problems, with frozen slush weighing down power lines.

The Scottish Government declared a major incident for Shetland on Tuesday after thousands of homes were left without power on Monday evening following significant snowfall. Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution are working to reconnect around 1,700 properties in the area that remain without power.

The news comes as it was revealed that many will go into the weekend still without power as work continues.



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