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  • Location: Entry Island

Entry Island

Entry Island

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Entry Island or I’Ile d’entrée, in French  – just of the Eastern coast of  Quebec province in Canada is small island with a BIG story to tell…

  • ISBN: 978-1782062202
  • Genre: Crime, Mystery

What you need to know before your trail

Montreal detective Sime Mackenzie, is a bit of a loner amongst his colleagues – he is certainly different as with his Scottish heritage for one, he is seen as different too.

He’s called upon to help with the possible murder of a business man who lived on the island. Sime is a man on a mission as he wants nothing more than to make a journey of many many miles northeast to Entry Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

The victim’s widow is the obvious suspect – but this causes problems from the start for Sime since he is sure he knows her personally and what’s more, he starts to have feelings for her he’s not sure that he should have.

Travel Guide

The book has a very strong sense of place – Take the ferry across to Entry Island and or sometimes there is a plane in winter. There is often an ice bridge which forms in the winter months allowing for snowmobile access.

Peter May is the master artist with his paintbrush poised when it comes to evoking the setting of his novels –

“A crescent of silver sand curls away towards the cemetery and the standing stones on the rise”

The full effect is quite akin to looking through an old film camera and seeing the darkened vignette of history sweep across the screen at regular intervals. And there is a linguistic thrill to this too (which we love here at the booktrail)

The murder took place on I’Ile d’entrée, Sime. Between known to its inhabitants as Entry Island. The Madelinots are French-speaking for the most part, but on Entry they speak only English.

There are many descriptions of how Sime’s ancestors used to live in the Scottish Highlands before they moved to Canada during the Highland Clearances in the 19th century. This is a part of history we knew little of but which left us with a big impression.

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer:

The novel is one of present and past and its during the past that the settings really shine. The Highland Clearances were a dark and violent period of history  – where landlords ejected crofters from the land at will and with some force and made sure they disappeared in any way possible. Those interested in Scottish history but knowing nothing of this time, it was quite an eye opener and after finishing the novel I headed straight to Google and read more on the subject.

This is not to say that the contemporary part of the novel is not as striking as its historical partner – certainly the setting is as dark and mysterious as an Island just off Quebec in Canada would suggest.

The chillingly brilliant and evocative writing of Peter May is as evocative of anything we’ve ever read here. Where the past and the present merge and the detective has to sort out the truth from what history tells him.

Entry Island is a very interesting fusion of crime thriller, detective/police procedural and romantic historical fiction. Two settings, two time periods and one hell of a novel.

Entry Island is a fascinating place – at times  dark and where time passes slowly yet lighter in tone in others with a huge sense of foreboding all the way through. The prose reflects this brilliantly and the pace more than matches what is happening in the novel as a whole. The tension as Sime becomes more and more obsessed not to mention drawn into the whole affair of clearing Kirsty’s name, then the pace racks up a notch on the thriller scale. And it doesn’t hold back.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Twitter: @authorpetermay

Facebook: /petermayauthor

Web: petermay.co.uk

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