Entry Island by Peter May
Published by Quercus
14th August 2014
IF YOU FLEE FATE...When Detective Sime Mackenzie is sent from Montreal to investigate a murder on the remote Entry Island, 850 miles from the Canadian mainland, he leaves behind him a life of sleeplessness and regret.
FATE WILL FIND YOU...But what had initially seemed an open-and-shut case takes on a disturbing dimension when he meets the prime suspect, the victim's wife, and is convinced that he knows her - even though they have never met.
And when his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant Scottish past in another century, this murder in the Gulf of St. Lawrence leads him down a path he could never have foreseen, forcing him to face a conflict between his professional duty and his personal destiny.
This is another featured title from the Specsavers CrimeThriller Book Club on ITV 3 that I saw and had to read - I think you might see a theme appearing here, as I've already reviewed one title from the series so far (Before We Met), and now have all the others to read too!!!! This title is set on two fronts, on Entry Island off of the coast of Canada in the present day, and also in the Scottish Highlands, primarily the Isle of Lewis in the 1800s.
Sime Mackenzie is the detective charged with going to Entry Island to investigate the murder of a businessman - the main, and only suspect, is his wife, who claims it was a burglar who killed him. The odd thing is that Sime thinks he knows Kirsty but can't figure out how their paths could have crossed before.
Suffering from insomnia, Sime drifts off to a time when the Hebrides were being cleared by the lairds and the Scottish farm workers were forcibly shipped off to the far-reaching climes of North America, or murdered on the land they used to maintain. He recalls the stories his grandmother used to tell him about his ancestors on the island, and this is where his connection to Kirsty lies.
I have to say, I enjoyed this book. It flits back and forth but the two tales are very different. My ancestors came to Skye on Viking ships so the history of the Scottish Hebrides is one I'm interested in and I was fascinated reading about the clearings and how destructive they were, that landowners would choose sheep over people! The story on Entry Island worked equally as well, with a close community of people who are suspicious of outsiders, but knowing that there is a murderer among them. Of course, the detective also has to have his own issues, and added to Sime's insomnia is that the forensic pathologist is also his estranged ex-wife, which makes for some heated arguments at best! This is a crime novel with the benefit of a historical backdrop, and I loved being transported amongst the hills and the heather of Scotland, as well as the rocky island off of Canada, as the settings are also part of the characters too.