In his latest novel Peter May connects a first person report about the 19th century clearances in the Outer Hebrides with a murder scene in present day Canada, on the remote Entry Island in the St Lawrence River.
He has set himself a task that needs a lot of believing on the part of his readers. As usual, he creates an almost mythical primeval scenery, both on Lewis and on this very similar island, so the cover photo is the plot wrapped up tightly.
His two timelines carry on seperately for quite some time, but as the subtitle tells you:”Destiny waits...”, yet it only does so if you are prepared to follow the blood lines for more than four generations, until they finally converge.
Like in the Lewis trilogy, May´s hero detective Sime Mackenzie is a troubled character haunted by dreams and insomnia and a troubled love. And his ancestor, whose story is told in first person, is also tortured by unfulfilled love. How very tragic!
The main suspect in the murder case Kirsty, wife of the victim, also can trace her family line back to the clearance. In the end the two lines converse, but this reader here is rather disappointed with this crude mix of history and crime.
May seems to be an ardent Scottish nationalist, nevertheless he prefers to live in sunny France, not in his beloved Scotland. So not haunted destiny for him?