Thursday, April 17, 2014

Entry Island-Peter May

Entry Island-Peter May

the facts
satisfaction: side/up
pages: 544
gender: M
nationality: UK
year: 2013
novel

When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants – the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim's wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

I found this such a fascinating use of the history of the Highland Clearances. The novel was two stories in one really: the story of a man fleeing the Clearances and the modern murder case.

I personally preferred the historical fiction. The details and action were much more vividly imagined and I was drawn in. The modern murder investigation was alright-I didn't resent it being in the novel but nor did I particularly end up caring very much. The conclusion seemed a bit too obvious (not to say that I knew who the killer was) from the start and I could guess at the coming culmination. Maybe I liked the historical fiction aspect because the historical Sime was much more open-ended in terms of conclusion. That really showed well May can write.

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