I loved Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy, and thoroughly enjoyed his China Series, and boy would I love his travel budget.
He writes evocatively, especially when describing places and landscape; there’s a richness to his language that enhances the story he is telling.
Set in Montreal, Sime Mackenzie is a detective with a Hebridean heritage, an insomnia problem and as if lack of sleep were not enough, he’s working alongside his ex-wife.
There are two interlinked stories here – one set in the time of the clearances and involving Sime’s ancestors and the present day Sime investing the murder of a wealthy islander on Entry Island – the place where those driven out of their homes in Scotland, first landed on their way to French Canada. It is a bleak place with a 100 or so inhabitants, and a place where islanders don’t bother locking their doors due to its isolation.
Prime suspect is his widow, Kirsty. From the first moment Sime meets Kirsty he is drawn to her. He can’t help but feel that somehow he knows her.
As the investigation gets underway, the two interlinked stories drive the troubled Sime to get to the truth of what happened and resolve not only the murder but also an old story that was long in the waiting for its conclusion.
The story itself is not overly strong and requires something of a suspension of disbelief, but the writing is strong and hauntingly evocative. Certainly worth reading.