7 February 2016

Review: COFFIN ROAD, Peter May

  • first published by Quercus 2016
  • ISBN 978-1-78429-309-3
  • 390 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (publisher)

A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named the Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him.

A detective from Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore. He does not know if he has what it takes to uncover how and why.

A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her scientist father's suicide. Two years on, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her. She does not yet know his secret.

My Take

Peter May has become, for me, one of those authors I know I will enjoy. The plots are often multi-stranded, quirky, and sometimes connected to some environmental issue. Like this one is, but you'll have to read some of the book at least to find out which issue.

Neal Maclean comes back to consciousness lying saturated on a deserted beach. His vest tells him he has been in a boat. He knows this is the Hebrides but nothing else. He staggers to his feet and makes his way to a cottage. An elderly woman addresses him by name and walks him to his own cottage. He is met by a dog that recognises him. From that point on he ransacks his cottage for clues to his identity and some neighbours help him fill in some of the details while he waits for his memory to return.

From that point on you always know that this subplot is going to connect somehow to the other two outlined in the blurb on the back of the book, but, as you expect, the path is not straightforward. You race to read on, to make the connections for yourself.

I seem to be saying it a lot lately, but this is another excellent read. Peter May is another to put on your list of authors not to be missed.

My rating: 4.9

I've also read
THE RUNNER
VIRTUALLY DEAD
FREEZE FRAME
4.7, THE BLACKHOUSE
5.0, THE LEWIS MAN
4.5, EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE
5.0, ENTRY ISLAND
4.8, RUNAWAY  

3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I couldn't agree more, Kerrie.

Katy McCoy said...

Having read a number of these books, what would you start with? I see he has several series, plus some stand-alones. I usually like to read in order but with an author like this, who has different protagonists in several series, his style and writing may be evolving and the later books may just be "better". On the other hand, I'm always looking for authors new to me and if his early books are as good, I don't want to skip them!

Just a quick thought on the review - it is so helpful when you mention whether a book is a stand alone or whether it's the first, third or tenth book in a series, and what the first one is. Thanks for your blog - great for new titles and authors!

Kerrie said...

This is a stand alone Katy so try it and see if you like the style

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