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What happened to Jimmy Perez' wife in Shetland?

Fran Perez died prior to season one

douglas henshall shetland s7
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
August 24, 2022
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Shetland series seven is well underway on BBC One and fans have loved watching Douglas Henshall in his final outing as beloved detective Jimmy Perez. 

MORE: Who will replace Douglas Henshall on Shetland? Fans share their theories

While the past two episodes have seen Jimmy busy investigating the mysterious disappearance of a vulnerable young man, it's clear that he's still haunted by the death of his late wife, Fran. But what exactly happened to her?  

WATCH: Are you enjoying series seven? 

What happened to Jimmy Perez' wife in Shetland? 

In the very first series, Jimmy moves back to Shetland from Fair Isle along with his daughter Cassie following the death of his wife.

But how exactly did she die? In Ann Cleeves' novel series, upon which the drama is based, Fran suffered a horrific death. 

In the fourth book of the series, Blue Lightning, Jimmy returns home to Fair Isle to introduce his fiancée Fran to his parents. However, just before the pair are due to tie the knot, Fran is stabbed and killed, leaving the detective devastated. 

MORE: Shetland star Douglas Henshall reveals plans to return after announcing shock exit

MORE: Shetland's Mark Bonnar has a very famous wife - and you might recognise her!

However, Fran's demise differs slightly in the drama series. Her death is rarely addressed by Jimmy and the other characters, with only a few references to her having had an illness. 

douglas shetland s7 alison© Photo: BBC

Jimmy's wife died prior to season one

Who has Jimmy Perez dated since his wife? 

In series five, Jimmy grew closer to an old friend and Shetland newcomer named Alice, played by Catherine Walker. The only problem was that Alice was already married to her husband, Chris.  

However, it all ended in tears as the final episode of the season revealed that Alice, whom Jimmy had fallen for, was behind the trafficking ring that he was investigating.

shetland ep 2 s7© Photo: BBC

Fran Perez was stabbed in the fourth book in the novel series

However, there's hope for Jimmy's love life in the latest series as Douglas teased a potential romance with Nurse Meg (played by Lucianne McEvoy), who was first introduced in season six. 

"You never know, but as with anything to do with Perez and the opposite sex, it's never straightforward," he began, adding: "Meg's got his head like a washing machine.

 "I think once you get to a certain age, there are a lot more questions that you have to ask of yourself, of a significant other.

 "I think the conversations you have are a lot different because there's baggage there. But as long as there's hope, there's a way forward."

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