Peter May has written another compelling book following on from the brilliant Lewis Trilogy. Entry Island has everything within its pages a few mysteries, historic detail, a bit of romance, a difficult relationship all set on two islands, so expertly described, that is impossible not to picture them as the pace of the story sweeps you along. As soon as it became clear that this was a story of both past and present, I realised I was in for a real treat. A murder mystery in the present and an atmospheric history lesson in the past and the link which is Sime.
Entry Island is a Canadian Island where the inhabitants speak English and routinely leave their doors unlocked. It is a safe place to live, so when Kirsty Cowell’s husband is murdered and she is the only witness suspicion naturally falls to her. Sime Mackenzie is the English speaker who makes up the team of investigators from Quebec Sûreté who are flown in to investigate, the locals having no experience of a crime of this magnitude. As soon as he meets Kirsty he feels that he knows her, not the best start for an interrogation for a case that his boss expects to be resolved by her arrest as speedily as possible.
Sime is a chronic insomniac and soon something causes his almost non-existent sleep to be punctuated by vivid dreams where he remembers the story of his namesake an ancestor who left the Isle of Lewis on a ship from Glasgow to Canada where he made his life. The stories were told to him by his Grandmother who read parts of them from his handwritten diaries to the young Sime, seeking an escape from his miserable present life Sime is determined to find out as much as possible about his namesake.
Entry Island is a fascinating read, made more so by the realistic way that May’s characters behave. This is not a sanitised version of the hardships that the crofters on the Isle of Lewis faced but full of raw need for food balanced against the need to belong. A raw and emotional picture painted of the differing lifestyles between the crofters and their hand-to-mouth existence and their landlords who lived in castles, ate nourishing food and hunted deer for fun. If like me you have been mourning the end of the Lewis Trilogy, Entry Island will not let you down.
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers Quercus in return for this honest review.
Entry Island Amazon UK