Entry Island

  • by Peter May
  • Narrated by Peter Forbes
  • 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times raved: "Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." Now Peter May takes us to a small island off the coast of Québec with an emotionally charged new mystery.
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.


What the Critics Say

"Fans of May's Lewis trilogy (The Chessmen, etc.) will welcome this solid standalone, which likewise involves crime on an isolated island.... Mackenzie's dreams of 19th century Scottish crofters (farmers) and their doomed struggle with powerful landowners, a conflict known as the Highland Clearances, which directly affected his ancestors and perhaps Kirsty's too, provide a powerful counterpoint to the present-day story line." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enjoyable once I adjusted my expectations

Peter May writes really good stories with a strong sense of time, place and character. Entry Island continues that tradition but not as consistently as his outstanding Lewis Trilogy.

Dual story lines examine a current time murder mystery and the immigration story a century earlier of the ancestors of present day characters. The historical story line is by far the more engaging, perhaps because of May’s obvious connection with the Hebredian locale. Here the story could be better described as historical fiction, but it didn’t bother me because May was able to make me care about the fate of the characters while painting a vivid backdrop of Scottish class politics that drove the mass emigrations.

The murder mystery was not as well developed, with inept and unbelievable police investigations and too many red herrings. As a police procedural it left too much to chance for credibility and the lead detective’s relationship problems made the story lose focus multiple times.

That said, I still found this book highly engaging and hard to put down. The reading by Peter Forbes was excellent because of his ability to use accents and voice inflections to give individual identities to a wide range of characters. The strength of place and character of the ancestral story more than made up for the mystery weaknesses and I can give it a solid 4 star recommendation, unless what you really want is an intense mystery/thriller.
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- Janice


This is the fourth Peter May book that I have read, and it may be my favorite, although all have been wonderful.. The history, the characters, the settings...all were amazing. I found no difficulty, as other reviewers have, keeping up with the change from present to past. The narrator is great, all of the accents seeming flawless. I found that I had to keep going to Google Earth to look up Entry Island and Lewis Island and dream about the places where the story took place. Don't miss this one!
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- Cheryl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-05-2016
  • Publisher: Quercus