It is evident from the way the stones are set into the slope of the hill that industrious hands once toiled to make this pathway. It is overgrown now, the shallow impression of a ditch on one side. He makes his way carefully down toward the remains of the village, pursued by the oddest sense of treading in his own footsteps. And yet he has never been here.
The silhouette of a broken-down drystone wall runs along the contour of the treeless hill above him. Beyond it, he knows, a crescent of silver sand curls away toward the cemetery and the standing stones on the rise. Below him, the footings of blackhouses are barely visible among the peaty soil and the spikes of tall grasses that bend and bow in the wind. The last evidence of walls that once sheltered the families who lived and died here.
I wrote about reading this book a while back, but it was included with other short reviews. I decided to repeat my thoughts below, but also include a few more things about the book. It was really well done on audio by the wonderful Peter Forbes. Also, look below for another video (courtesy of the author's website) - Peter May discussing Entry Island.
Entry Island has two storylines - one with a current setting - a murder investigation in a small group of islands off the coast of Quebec, Canada. The other story is historical - the mid-1800's as people are forcibly moved by local gentry from the Scottish Isles to Canada. The two stories are connected loosely at the beginning and then the reader comes to understand that they are interwoven tightly. Homicide detective Sime Mackenzie is the main protagonist, along with the wife of the murder victim. The setting is incredibly vivid, both in Canada and Scotland. This author has a way of writing about the Isle of Lewis that makes the reader want to jump on a plane and go there immediately. I really, really enjoyed this book. The setting, the characters, the stories. Highly recommended.
When a murder rocks the isolated community of Entry Island, insomniac homicide detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at St. Hubert airfield bound for the small, scattered chain of Madeline Islands, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as part of an eight-officer investigation team from Montréal.
Only two kilometers wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of just more than 100 inhabitants, the wealthiest of whom has just been discovered murdered in his home. Covered in her husband's blood, the dead man's melancholy wife spins a tale for the police about a masked intruder armed with a knife.
The investigation appears to be little more than a formality--the evidence points to a crime of passion, implicating the wife. But Sime is electrified by the widow during his interview, convinced that he has met her before, even though this is clearly impossible.
Haunted by this strange certainty, Sime's insomnia is punctuated by vivid, hallucinatory dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away, dreams in which he and the widow play leading roles. Sime's conviction soon becomes an obsession. And despite mounting evidence of the woman's guilt, he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professional duty he must fulfill and the personal destiny he is increasingly sure awaits him.