Thursday, December 22, 2016

ARC Review: Coffin Road by Peter May

Coffin Road
Author: Peter May
Publication: Quercus (October 4, 2016)

Description: In his latest mystery set in Scotland and the Outer Hebrides, award-winning author Peter May spins a tale about three disparate cases that may or may not be linked...

On the remote Isle of Harris in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a man washes up on a deserted beach, hypothermic and completely disoriented. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his condition is a map of the island showing a desolate, ancient path called the Coffin Road. With a sense of dread and no clear idea what lies at the other end, he knows he must follow the trail if he has any hope of discovering his identity.

Meanwhile, homicide detective George Gunn makes the rough ocean crossing to a remote, sea-battered lighthouse on a rock in the northern Atlantic, twenty miles west of the Outer Hebrides, to investigate a brutal murder. Despite its isolation, the tiny island has seen its share of tragedy: more than a century earlier, three lighthouse keepers disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. And now there is a new tragedy, and Gunn must figure out what happened.

At the same time, a teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her father's death. Two years after the discovery of the pioneering scientist's suicide note, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that her father would willingly abandon her. And the more she discovers about the nature of his research, the more she suspects that suicide had nothing to do with it.

My Thoughts: COFFIN ROAD was an interesting mystery that gradually unfolded its story. It begins with a man coming back to his house after some sort of trauma that has caused him to lose his memory of self. He remembers daily things but doesn't remember anything about who he is and what his past contains.

The second focus character is Karen Fleming who is a rebellious teenage girl still reeling from the suicide of her father two years previous. She decides to track down some of his colleagues and learns much about him that she had never known. She also learns that he may not actually have committed suicide. He may have chosen to disappear instead.

The third focus character is Detective Sergeant George Gunn who is in charge of a murder investigation. A man's body has been discovered on an otherwise uninhabited island. Gunn needs to find out who the man is and who killed him. He uncovers are nameless man as a suspect but isn't helped much by him since he has no memory and feels that he might have actually murdered the man.

As the three stories come together we find a ruthless agribusiness willing to do anything to protect its profits even to the point of murder and a dedicated scientist determined to get his research published in order to protect the environment and human life.

There was a lot of description of the landscape and the weather which seemed almost another character. I found myself wondering what was going on for a good part of this story. The mystery was slow-building and slow-paced for most of the book.

This is the first book I have read by this author. I feel sure that his fans will welcome this newest mystery.

Favorite Quote:
Nothing, absolutely nothing since I found myself washed up semiconscious, on the Traigh Losgaintir, has made sense. My memory loss. My failure to find a single clue to my identity, beyond my name, even in my own home. My affair with Sally. The book on the Flannan Isles mystery that I am not writing. Beehives on the coffin road. My missing boat. Now someone trying to kill me. And someone else stepping in to save me. The weight of it all is very nearly crushing.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.

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