What I enjoy most about Peter May’s writing is the way he manages to move the reader right into the landscape he is describing. He also knows exactly how to portray the mindset of an islander.
There is a flair of melodrama to the genealogy side of the story. Perhaps a tad too much.
The love story is sweet and gives the author liberty to bring an important part of history into the book.
The evacuation of Scottish tenants by their landlords, from quite a few of the Isles. Many of them ended up on ships sailing for Canada, and having to go via Entry Island before entering the country.
Entry Island was used to quarantine the sick and contagious immigrants arriving via ship. Many thousands didn’t survive and were buried in mass graves on the island.
May also references the potato famine, pointing out the important fact that not only the Irish, also the Scottish fell foul of this particular period in history. It is little wonder there was a mass exodus from both Ireland and Scotland to other continents.
I thought the mixture of police procedure, genealogy, romance and fate didn’t gel as well as it could have in the story. The ill-fated love connecting in the future via descendants was a little overdone, as were some of the aspects of the first Sime’s tales.
The despair, darkness and marital woes of the 21st century Sime makes up for the imbalance between the two story-lines. Despite these hiccups, May is certainly an author worth reading.
I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss.