When he first saw her coming down the steps, Sime was gripped by a feeling of unease. He knew her. He was sure he had seen her before. She was covered with blood, her husband’s blood, and her eyes had dark shadows beneath them. Still she was lovely, and Sime felt a shiver run down his spine. There’s been a murder on Entry Island, an English speaking island, populated by fewer than a hundred people. It is the first murder ever on this tiny islet off the coast of Quebec. Sime Mackenzie has been added to the investigative team because he speaks English fluently, unlike the rest of the detectives. It should be an open and shut case. Of course the wife did it. The surviving spouse is always the one who did it. But Sime isn’t so sure.
The story shifts from the 19th century on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides to the present on the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with beautiful descriptive passages of both places. Peter May is skilled at placing the reader in the middle of the environment, and I did enjoy the atmosphere of the book. I was less happy with the overall plot. It seemed a bit too contrived for my taste, but I liked his Lewis trilogy so very much perhaps I was expecting too much.
eGalley review Publication date 9.8.15