Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Review of Entry Island by Peter May (Quercus, 2014)
In Entry Island, Peter May weaves together two stories, separated by almost two centuries -- a murder investigation on a remote island in the Gulf of St Lawrence and a doomed love affair on the Isle of Lewis between a crofter’s son and the daughter of the local laird. The intertwining of the stories is nicely done, providing some interesting counterpoints between the two periods and how the past intervenes in the present. Whilst the Lewis story is compelling, the present day investigation is less satisfactory, with a little too much melodrama at times, a rather contrived personal situation, a weak investigative plot that relies on the team ignoring evidence, including a second death and an attempted murder, and a resolution that didn’t ring true. Nonetheless, some of the telling is very good, producing a page-turning read, with nice historical contextualisation concerning the Highland clearances and emigration to Canada, and a strong sense of place in Scotland and Canada. The result is a story that is a little uneven, with a somewhat weak ending, but is still an engaging and entertaining read.