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Entry Island

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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 by the wife.
But homicide detective Sime Mackenzie 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.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published December 26, 2013

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Peter May

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 965 reviews
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
July 15, 2016
Detective Sime Mackenzie finds himself on a murder case on Entry Island, a tiny isle in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The suspect, a newly-widowed woman named Kirsty, seems oddly familiar to Sime. What is their connection? And can Sime survive in the same unit as his ex-wife long enough to find out?

I got this from Netgalley.

Entry Island was my first Peter May book and won't be the last. The book started a little slow for me at first but several things gripped me. I really liked Sime as a lead character. An insomniac cop whose life is falling apart? Sign me up! I also really liked the Entry Island setting. The thing that really grabbed me, however, was the book's structure. I loved the way things in Sime's ancestor's journal paralleled events in the main story.

The mystery wasn't all that mysterious but it wasn't the main focus anyway. Entry Island is very much a character driven book rather than a straight up mystery. The setting does a lot to set the tone, as does Sime's slowly disintegrating mental state.

It was nearly orgasmic when the connections starting coming together at the end. The last 30% was very hard to put down. Peter May has some serious writing chops. Even though I need another series to follow like I need a hole in my head, I'd read more stories about Sime Mackenzie.

So which Peter May book should I try next? Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday .
2,050 reviews2,105 followers
June 2, 2021
EXCERPT: When the plane began its final descent towards Havre de Maisons, it banked left and Sime saw the storm clouds accumulating in the south-west. And as it swung around for landing, he caught a glimpse once more of Entry Island standing sentinel at the far end of the bay. A dark, featureless shadow waiting for him in the grey, pre-storm light. He had thought, just a matter of days ago, that he had seen the last of it. But now he was back. To try to resolve what seemed like an insoluble mystery. To right what he believed to be a miscarriage of justice. Something that, in all likelihood, would lose him his job.

ABOUT 'ENTRY ISLAND': When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim's wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her - even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime's conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.

MY THOUGHTS: Entry Island criss-crosses between a small island on Canada's Eastern Seaboard and the Hebrides in a mystery that spans the centuries.

The plot is complex and fascinating. A murder occurs on a small isolated island with a population of only 100 people. How hard could it be to solve? The only suspect, Kirsty, the murdered man's estranged wife, triggers a strange response in Sime, and thus begins the story of two islands in two times, two mysteries, and a love story that spans two centuries.

May, as always, writes vividly, painting pictures of his characters, the landscapes in which they dwell, and the little known but very real Highland Clearances. He is master of the claustrophobic and isolated island setting, of depicting the very special characters that choose to live there.

May had my heart pounding in places, and had me in tears in others. He wrung every conceivable emotion from me as I read Entry Island. He both thrilled me, and appalled me. He taught me of a period in history that I had known nothing about. He entertained me, superbly.

Thank you Peter May. I will continue to buy every book that you write. And will, no doubt, continue to feel that frisson of excitement as I open the cover of each for the first time.



I: @authorpetermay @riverrun_books

T: @authorpetermay @riverrunbooks

#fivestarread #crime #detectivefiction #contemporaryfiction #historicalfiction #murdermystery #mystery #thriller

QUOTES: 'A light wind blew high clouds across an inky sky, stars like jewels set in ebony. An almost full moon came and went in washes of colourless silver light. The air was filled with the sound of the ocean, the slow steady breath of eternity.'

'We sow the seeds of our own destruction without ever realizing it.'

THE AUTHOR: Peter May was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in France. As well as being a prolific and award winning writer, he has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of Entry Island written by Peter May and published by Riverrun, a division of Quercus. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,324 reviews2,145 followers
June 24, 2018
This is a long book but it is good value as in it there are two stories for the price of one. One story is an excellent and very readable mystery. The other is a piece of historical fiction told as the main character's dreams.

Peter May writes well and he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to the Hebrides, both geographically and historically. I could feel the rain and the cold and the tossing of the ferry as it crossed from the mainland to the island. I was totally engrossed in the drama of Sime's marriage break up and the murder mystery. Sadly this meant that for me the historical parts were an intrusion and I tended to skim them especially towards the end. In my defence the parallels we were supposed to draw from them were totally overdrawn and a little silly.

I am still giving Entry Island four stars for the quality of the writing and the mystery which was very well done.
Profile Image for Mª Carmen.
630 reviews
August 1, 2022
Me declaré rendida admiradora de Peter May tras la lectura de su trilogía de la isla de Lewis. "Entry Island", si bien no llega a la altura de los otros tres libros, contiene todo aquello que me gustó entonces y me ha vuelto a cautivar.

Dice la sinopsis:
"Entry Island es la primera isla que se encuentran los navíos que acceden al golfo de San Lorenzo. Azotado por el viento y bañado por las aguas heladas, el minúsculo pedrusco apenas alberga a una centena de habitantes que viven de la pesca; gente curtida y tenaz, acostumbrada a soportar la rudeza de los elementos y las situaciones más extremas. Excepto el asesinato.
Cuando la persona más rica de la isla, un comerciante de langostas llamado James Cowell, aparece muerta, el desconcierto se apodera de la pequeña comunidad, y pronto todas las sospechas recaen en Kirsty, la esposa de la víctima. Asignado a la investigación del crimen, acude desde Montreal el detective Sime Mackenzie, a quien el cambio de aires se le antoja saludable en un momento crítico de su vida en el que se siente acuciado por la soledad y la mala conciencia".

Mis impresiones

"Entry Island" no es una novela policíaca al estilo convencional. Aquellos lectores que se acerquen a ella esperando eso se van a llevar una decepción. En este libro lo importante no es tanto la investigación, que dicho sea de paso es bastante floja, sino el resto de los elementos que pone en juego.

Nos encontramos con una trama que se desarrolla en dos planos temporales. Por un lado tenemos al detective Sime Mackenzie, asignado a la investigación del asesinato de James Cowell. Por otro la historia de otro Sime, antepasado el primero, que, en la segunda mitad del siglo XIX, emigró a Canadá desde las Hébridas exteriores en Escocia. La historia del Sime del pasado y cómo se entrelaza con las circunstancias presentes, constituyen la auténtica trama de esta novela.

La vida del Sime escocés, atrapa sin remedio. Los hechos ficticios tienen como marco otros acontecimientos históricos, que sí son reales. Conocida es la hambruna de la patata que asoló Escocia e Irlanda y llevó a muchos de sus habitantes a emigrar de forma voluntaria a EEUU y Canadá. Menos conocida es la emigración forzosa a la que se vieron abocados muchos escoceses de las tierras altas. Expulsados de las tierras en las que vivieron durante generaciones, los "lairds", los embarcaron a la fuerza y con lo puesto con destino a Canadá.

La ambientación es muy buena, tanto la que desarrolla en Escocia en el pasado como la de las islas de la Magdalena en el presente. May sabe transmitir a sus lectores y crear atmósferas.
Los brezos, la ausencia de árboles, el frío, la niebla, la lluvia del paisaje de las Hébridas, así como lo opresivo de las durísimas condiciones de vida, es algo que se siente. Igualmente visualizamos los paisajes canadienses, tan distintos y por supuesto las islas de la Magdalena en el golfo de San Lorenzo. Magnífica en estas últimas.

Los personajes son otro punto fuerte del libro. Es fácil empatizar con el Sime del pasado, con su fortaleza, su coraje y su humanidad. Es un personaje potente que ensombrece al resto del elenco de esta trama. El Sime del presente es harina de otro costal. Bien dibujado, sí, un tanto repelente también, aunque evoluciona a mejor a medida que transcurre la acción.
Me ha gustado el personaje secundario de Michael, así como ese epílogo en el que nos cuentan lo que pasó con él.

¿Mi pero?

La investigación del asesinato es lo más flojo de la novela. No tiene mucha entidad en sí y el quién y el porqué son predecibles desde muy pronto. Entiendo que es el marco de fondo, pero desmerece del resto y es una pena.

En conclusión, una novela policíaca muy poco convencional, en la que la investigación y resolución del caso son un telón de fondo y con la que Peter May me ha vuelto a conquistar. Recomendable.
Profile Image for Elisabeth.
1,730 reviews
June 30, 2014
I was really disappointed in this one - I had so enjoyed Peter May's Lewis trilogy, and this is his first book since that one. But I found myself skimming, not finding the characters or plot believable at all. The book jumps back and forth between the two stories (one present-day in Quebec, the other in the 1800s in the Hebrides) which I just found awkward. And the linkage of the two stories - as the fulfillment of a promise made two centuries ago - was just too romance-y for me. (I should have been warned by the slogan on the front cover..."where destiny waits.")
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,227 reviews2,731 followers
July 3, 2016
When homicide detective Sime Mackenzie was informed he was to be part of a team of eight heading to Entry Island off the coast of Quebec to investigate the murder of a prominent member of the community, his only concern was that his ex-wife was also to be part of the team. Sime had been suffering with chronic insomnia since she left him – this would be the first time he had seen and worked with her since she walked out on him.

The small island was home to approximately one hundred inhabitants; each person knew the other and with no law there, they generally sorted any problems out amongst themselves. But this murder needed more – a wealthy businessman, James Cowell moved back and forth between his home on Entry Island and the mainland. Now with his wife, Kirsty covered in his blood and telling of an intruder, Sime’s team were sceptical – their obvious conclusion was that Kirsty was his killer…

But Sime had the strangest feeling that he had met Kirsty before; though this was impossible, it messed with his mind, turning it into an obsession. As the evidence mounted, Sime’s vivid dreams in the little he slept took him back to the words his granny had read him as a child – his Scottish ancestors featured predominantly. But what was it to do with the murder? And why was Kirsty dominating his mind?

Entry Island by Peter May is an intricately woven tale of murder and mystery; the long ago past and how it affects the future; and destiny. A fascinating plot, the characters are great – the pace is fast and the book difficult to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and have no hesitation in recommending Entry Island highly.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,081 reviews619 followers
March 31, 2016
There’s been a murder on Entry Island, a small piece of land in the Gulf of St Lawrence, 850 miles from the Canadian mainland. It’s off the east coast of the French Canadian Magdalen Islands, but the inhabitants are English speakers. So small is the island (3 km long and 2 km wide) that it only has about one hundred inhabitants. Shouldn’t to to hard to work out who did the killing, then. Sime Mackenzie is dispatched with a team from the Québec Sureté, based in Montreal, to investigate the crime.

There’s an extra spice to the investigative team dynamic in that one of the officers is Sime’s estranged wife. We’ll learn more about that as the book progresses. And as you’d expect, this crime is not as easy to wrap as had been predicted. The prime suspect is the murdered man’s wife – the cool Kirsty Cowell, to whom Sime immediately feels connected. His initial impression upon meeting her is that he knows her. But this is not possible as Kirsty has never left the island and Sime has never set foot here before.

Running parallel to this story is the tale of crofters who fall victim to the clearance of settlements carried out in the 19th Century on the Hebridean islands of Lewis and Harris. The details of the fate of the islanders comes to Sime in his dreams and stem from diaries from one of his ancestors that were read to him by his grandmother as a boy. I learnt quite a bit of history from this account. I hadn’t known that the potato famine of that time (prevalent in Ireland, of course) had extended to these islands and had no idea that the type of clearances detailed here had taken place; essentially the land owner decides he wants to have his property vacated so he has the inhabitants rounded up and shipped off to Canada. Tidy! This is actually grim reading but very well told and probably more gripping than the modern day murder story.

The whole thing eventually knits together to make sense and all loose ends are tied up. My only gripe is that when the truth about the murder is eventually told I found it unsatisfactory – it just didn’t work for me. But that aside, it’s pretty satisfying stuff: it’s well paced and highly atmospheric. Sime is a good, angst ridden front man and the telling of the two stories works really well. I like May’s style and I might well be persuaded to pick up another of his books in the not too distant future.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,028 reviews373 followers
October 29, 2020
Uma Lição de História

Numa ilha bem pequenina (com 2 kms de largura e 3 de comprimento), lar de pouco mais duma centena de almas, todos se conhecem e ninguém tranca portas!

Soa a Paraíso?!

Bem... até podia, mas... (desde Adão e Eva que há sempre um “mas” perturbador que aparece e estraga tudo)... pela Lei da Criação, Céu e Inferno são vizinhos próximos que se visitam mutuamente — logo, até num potencial Éden, o crime pode acontecer e acontece:

O habitante mais abastado da ilha foi apunhalado até à morte!


A investigação irá conduzir-nos a uma história paralela que ocorreu durante os séculos XVIII e XIX e que a História baptizou como Highland Clearances. Este fenómeno político consistiu na perseguição e expulsão dos Highlanders, tendo muitos deles sido expedidos para o Novo Mundo, viajando (alguns acorrentados) em navios de carga. Correspondendo às expectativas, muitos não sobreviviam à viagem!...

Enfim... mais crimes que ficaram na História velados sob um nome pomposo, e que Peter May fez questão em retirar do esquecimento! O autor refere, inclusivamente, que este capitulo vergonhoso da História das Ilhas Britânicas, foi excluído dos programas escolares, como se nunca tivesse acontecido:


Mais que um thriller, A Ilha da Entrada é uma lição de História! ❤️🌟🌟🌟🌟❤️
Profile Image for Fictionophile .
1,062 reviews339 followers
June 7, 2017
Outstanding novel! Part modern day crime thriller, part love story, part historical fiction. Loved it.

Part present day crime novel, and part historical novel "Entry Island" is set alternately in the present day on the Magdalen islands, and hundreds of years ago in the Hebrides. Peter May has written a memorable novel that will resonate for many years to come. He writes with visceral empathy of island people and their often insular way of living.

There has been a brutal murder on Entry Island.  Sime MacKenzie (pronounced Sheem) has been appended to the investigative team and travels to the island.  One of the team members, the forensic expert, is his ex-wife Marie-Ange, so there is more than a little personal tension present.  The break-up of his marriage has taken a harsh toll on Sime and he now suffers from debilitating insomnia as a result.

"He felt almost ghostlike, insubstantial,
lost somewhere in a life gone wrong."

James Cowell, one of the islands most wealthy residents has been stabbed to death in his home.  His wife is the main suspect. When Sime first meets Kirsty Cowell he immediately feels a connection with her even though he has never met her before... then, through the course of the interview, she tells Sime that she has a pendant that is identical to the signet ring he is wearing. A ring that was passed on to him from his father.

"The blood is strong" 

Strangely, after meeting Kirsty, Sime begins to have vivid dreams of his ancestral heritage in the Hebrides, Scotland. Although he only sleeps one or two hours per night, his dreams are portrayals of the diaries which his grandmother read to him as a child.  They portrayed a devastating time in which the Highland clearances robbed the crofters of their livelihood and everything they possessed.  The brutality and unceasing hardship of life during this time was poignantly described by the author. Interestingly, the protagonist of these dreams/stories was also named Sime (Gaelic for Simon) and was his great-great-great grandfather.

Entry Island is home to just over one hundred persons and is just two kilometres wide and three kilometres long.  With such a small population, where everyone knows everyone else, it is not deemed necessary to lock doors. Evidence is scarce, but what there is of it points toward Kirsty Cowell as the murderer. Sime finds himself wanting to believe her protestations of innocence.

Then a local man goes missing.  Norman Morrison is 35 years old, yet has the mental age of about 12 years.  He lives with his mother on Entry Island and went to school with Kirsty Cowell.  Ever since then he has been a bit obsessed with Kirsty.  Could the missing man have some connection with Cowell's murder?

"The air was filled with the sound of the ocean,
the slow steady breath of eternity."

Sime's continuing dreams about his ancestors color how he views Kirsty and he finds that he has lost all objectivity. He fears that his feelings about her will jeopardize his career. Then while guarding the suspect overnight on Entry Island, Sime goes out for a walk and is attacked. His attacker is much as Kirsty described her husband's murderer...

Cowell's main competitor on the island also has a twofold motive for the murder. With Cowell gone he would benefit financially AND his wife was having an affair with Cowell.

Beautiful prose, a strong sense of place, and human empathy colour this novel. It is a perfect blend of modern crime thriller, historical fiction, and gothic love story. It is a story of fate, how our ancestors influence our present, and the continuity of family.  A novel of avarice, unimaginable hardship, promises kept, and finally, destiny.

 "Entry Island" is an outstanding novel that I highly recommend.

My thanks to the publisher (Hachette/Quercus U.S.) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Rob.
511 reviews120 followers
August 28, 2021
Stand alone murder mystery/historical fiction published 2014

An incredible 5 stars.

This was just superb. An intriguing murder mystery in Canada in the here and now dovetailed with a historical fiction concerning the Highland clearances in the mid 1800’s

Like most of the covers from Peter May’s tales of the Hebridean Islands the backdrops are dark and foreboding. This tale opens in Entry Island in St Lawrence Bay, Canada. An Island harsh and unforgiving as any island found in Scotland.

A wealthy business man has been murdered and the prime suspect is his wife.
The mainland detectives arrive on the island and set about finding out what happened.
One of the officers, Sime Mackenzie, is put in charge of interviewing the prime suspect, the wife of the murdered man. As soon as Sime sees the lady in question, Kirsty Cowell, he can’t suppress the feeling that he knows this woman but from where and when eludes him.

Sime Mackenzie is a man with more than a few problems not least of all insomnia and a broken marriage.
Sleep is never easy for Sime but when he does sleep his dreams are vivid in the extreme.
As a child his granny used to read him and his sister the journals of his long dead great great grandfather and of late these stories have taken over his dreams.

150 years separate these two events and yet without the High Clearances 150 years ago the murder today would never have happened.

Watching this story unravel was a mesmerising experience.

Highly recommended
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,028 reviews373 followers
March 17, 2021
History in Disguise

Can you picture an island 2 kilometers wide and 3 kilometers long?
Tiny, isn’t it?!
That sweet island is shared by a lil over one hundred people who live there like in a gigantic home cos no one cares to lock their doors. They all know each other and live like a large family!
Sounds like paradise?!
Well... since heaven and hell seem to be close neighbors, even in a potential eden like this, a man has been stabbed to death!


The investigation will guide us to a distant past - a background story, which, if you care to click the link at the end of this review, is the reason why this novel came to life!

In most of Peter May novels, Past is a ghost character — it’s always there, disturbing people’s lives, haunting and shaping the Present...
In this particular book, the remote events really happened — in fact, “Entry Island” is a piece of History in disguise:

Profile Image for Sue.
1,272 reviews549 followers
June 29, 2017
Peter May approaches the mystery/crime novel from a different perspective in this outing. Sime (pronounced Seem and Gaelic for Simon) Mackenzie, a Canadian Surete inspector of Scots origin, is one of a team of officers investigating a murder on small Entry Island, the only island of English speakers in the Magdalen Islands, on the St. Lawrence River. Here there are ties to the Scottish settlers of the 19th century, very strong ties, to person and old tales. Sime, a bilingual officer sent with a team from Montreal, a team where he is somewhat of an outsider, has the same heritage as these islanders which leads to some of the plot tensions.

The murder victim is a wealthy man, James Cowell, found dead in his own mansion-like home. His wife seeks help, covered in his blood. She has a tale of a man who broke in to their home, killing her husband, but as in all mystery tales, the plot is not simple and Sime additionally has some very strange reactions once he meets Kirsty Cowell, the wife. He is coming off a failed marriage and a string of sleepless nights which worry him (and others). And after meeting Kirsty, he is now having what seem like waking dreams of the past, a past in Scotland during the lean famine years.

I enjoy May's writing. His descriptions of nature and people are wonderful to read. His Lewis Trilogy is a favorite of mine. But here with Entry Island, I had a problem with the union of the two story lines. Yes they did ultimately meet, but for me the reading was at time a bit tortured. The strength was in the contemporary story while the historical sections, while interesting, sometimes felt intrusive.

I will continue to read May because he is so skilled but this is not my favorite.


A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
October 30, 2015

Gus am bris an latha agus
an teich na sgàilean

(Until the day breaks and the
shadows flee away)
- Song of Solomon 4:6

Description: When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim's wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her - even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime's conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.

Opening: It is evident from the way the stones are set into the slope of the hill that industrious hands once toiled to make this pathway.

Before looking specifically at this read I must tell you that this was the third book in a row that included an online dating strand.

Want You Dead by Peter James
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
Entry Island by Peter May.

Just for interest, each of those three relationships ends in tears and am in no hurry to read another with this trope.

Entry Island is a dual-timelined affair of history repeating itself and that in itself will tell you that the story strands were a little contrived. I enjoyed the trip and the pages turned themselves.

3* Entry Island (standalone)

3*The Blackhouse
5* The Lewis Man
4* The Chessmen

Profile Image for Mark.
1,372 reviews91 followers
June 29, 2015
Montreal based and English speaking detective Sime Mackenzie gets added to a special investigative police team that gets flown out to an island where a murder took place.
The inhabitants of the island are English speaking and are all not very unhappy with the demise of the victim of the murder. The victims wife is the most obvious suspect.

The second part of the book is about Mackenzies heritage and how his family lived on the Outer Hebrides and how through the Highland clearings they ended up in Canada. An black chapter in Scottish history and a dark page as well in Canada's history concerning the arrival of "colonists".

Both story lines are connected and make up for a decent puzzle of the detective variety and yet at the same time a story of doomed love and life.

A very well written book that really makes you live through its leading character Mackenzie. A very surprising book that I really enjoyed.

I am still looking for a copy of the Blackhouse before starting on the Lewis trilogy, the 2nd and 3rd are already in my possession. This book convinced me of Peter Mays skill as a writer.
Profile Image for Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling.
1,141 reviews119 followers
February 11, 2016
A great read.

My View:
Meticulously researched, a strong sense of place in dual time zones and setting – Peter May writes desolate, isolated communities with passion and realism; you will be able to visualise yourself here, be able to hear the gale force winds, feel the intensity of the storms and climb the unspoilt rugged landscape. You will feel the desolation and the isolation – the perfect setting for a murder and a mystery or two.

But this is more than a murder /mystery, this is also a beautiful love story and a history lesson. Peter May is a writer that continually surprises me with the depth of his research, his talent for painting a visual landscape with mere words and for capturing the essence of a community and it history. Versatile is his middle name.
Profile Image for Paul.
888 reviews71 followers
January 16, 2014
Stunning Canadian Murder Mystery

Peter May has used and interesting use of Scottish history of the Highland Clearances of the nineteenth century on modern day murder in Canada. The blend of the historic and the modern at first seem unrelated but as the story builds one is able to see the story coming full circle and that an historic promise of forebears is finally delivered by an investigating detective to the wife of the victim. Who committed the murder? Well you will have to read the book to find that out yourself and there is a wonderful twist that I had not seen coming when the reveal happens.

Detective Sime McKenzie is an English speaking detective in the Montreal Police department and one of those who is completely bilingual, he also happens to be an insomniac. It is not until his captain sends him with a French speaking homicide team to investigate a murder on Entry Island the only English speaking island amongst an archipelago of French speaking islands that the two competing stories really do start to merge together.

For some unknown reason he feels drawn to the murder victims wife Kirsty who he is sure he knows or at least has seen somewhere before. The homicide team really do want to get away from the islands as quickly as they possibly can and it really is through the tenacity of Sime that the murder is solved and the historical and present stories entwine into one.

This for a murder mystery book is actually an enchanting read and I never thought I would say that about any crime novel but it is and it is a great read at the same time.
Profile Image for Maria.
934 reviews104 followers
February 9, 2017
Apesar de não pertencer à trilogia de Lewis, e já estar à espera que seja publicado o terceiro e último livro da mesma, fiquei muito curiosa com este novo livro de Peter May.
Embora independente, A Ilha da Entrada aborda novamente a vida nas diversas ilhas escocesas e na história das mesmas. E a maior parte dos acontecimentos é real.

Sime Mackenzie, detective em Montreal, é chamado para investigar um caso de assassinato em Entry Island. Aparentemente trata-se de um caso passional, e a viúva é a principal suspeita. Naquela remota ilha não existe policia, e os habitantes tendem, por norma, a deixar as casas abertas, dada a tranquilidade da zona. O certo é que uma pessoa foi brutalmente assassinada e a companheira da vítima também não ficou em muito bom estado.

Mal interroga Kirsty, Sime sente que a conhece de qualquer lado, embora a jovem viúva não se lembre dele e praticamente nunca tenha saído daquele local.

Tudo isto vai mexer com Sime, que se encontra fragilizado com o fim do seu casamento. A somar a isso, terá de trabalhar com a sua ex-mulher, que também foi destacada para o caso. Com vários fantasmas do passado por resolver, Sime mostra-se um detective bastante inseguro e fragilizado, que vai cometendo alguns erros ao longo da investigação. Mas, a investigação, apesar de ser o mote para o livro, não é a parte mais importante do mesmo.

Opinião completa em: http://marcadordelivros.blogspot.pt/2...

Profile Image for Kathy.
3,424 reviews190 followers
May 12, 2022
A very satisfying book that covers a lot of ground and multiple generations. There is police work/culture, family history of immigrants from Scotland and Ireland, island life, the horrors of being thrown off that island toward unknown fates in Canada and feats of bravery and courage that shine down through the ages.
May is a favorite author.
It's a nice big fat book and can be purchased for just 99 cents from Amazon for the kindle.
Profile Image for Raven.
730 reviews210 followers
January 13, 2014
Following the sucessful and highly enjoyable Hebridean trilogy comprising The Black House, The Lewis Man and The Chessmen, Peter May returns with a new standalone, which again reflects the strength of his storytelling and the precision of his building of atmosphere and location. Using a split narrative, May carefully weaves the themes of time and history into an interlocking plot, comprising of real life historical events and a contemporary murder mystery…

I don’t usually read other reviews of a book that I am planning to review myself, but I was very interested to see other’s perceptions of the effectiveness of the dual storyline at play. The central character of the piece, disillusioned Montreal detective Sime Mackenzie, an interloper through his nationality, Scottish and a man set apart from his work colleagues both socially and professionally, is used as the conduit for both aspects of the story- a modern police procedural influenced by the events of the past. As Mackenzie seeks to unravel the possible mariticide of an influential island dwelling businessman, he becomes more than a little involved with the chief suspect, and therein slowly unfolds the possible historical connection between himself and the accused. May begins to reveal the history of Mackenzie’s forebears through a series of diaries and dreams, tapped into by Mackenzie’s sleepless nights in the wake of his marriage break-up, charting the enforced immigration, in the same way as the more well-documented Irish exile, sparked by the illegal foreclosure and clearance of Highland farms many years previously. This is where the real strength of the story lies for me, not only in the sheer interest that these people’s struggle raises up in the reader’s consciousness, but the fact that it gives full vent to May’s undoubted prowess in the depiction and merging of location and history, so evident in his previous Hebridean trilogy.

I was totally immersed in the troubles of Mackenzie’s predecessors, making the harsh journey to Canada, and the obstacles awaiting them in establishing new lives abroad. I found the gradual unfolding of this slice of history totally engaging throughout, that the more contemporary aspect of the book was as just a small interuption in what I perceive as the more important and well drawn facet of the story, depicting a cruel and unnecessary fate of decent folk at the hands of the English oppressor. It was beautifully rendered due to the strength of May’s control of the portrayal of these events, which strike an emotive chord with reader. Other reviewers prefer the contemporary storyline, but I just found it a little drawn out and the ending a little hackneyed, as much as May’s sense of setting breathed life and interest into this plot. Indeed, I found Mackenzie and his infatuation with the victim’s wife more than a little irritating, but appreciate that this was the key to May’s central remit of the resonance of the past in our contemporary existence. Overall a satisfying read, with the historical aspect of the novel in particular coming to the fore.
Profile Image for Ian.
231 reviews2 followers
February 13, 2014
After the excellent Lewis trilogy I was somewhat disappointed with this latest novel from Peter May. There are two linked stories here, but I felt the combination of historical romance and modern police procedural made rather uncomfortable bedfellows. When reading it I rushed through the older story as I wanted to get into the current murder investigation. However once I finished it was the story of the Highland clearances and the doomed love affair between a laird’s daughter and a crofter’s son that stayed with me. The modern day investigation was unsatisfying, relying on police incompetence to drag the story out and the conclusion is contrived and far from satisfying.
Profile Image for Morana Mazor.
373 reviews74 followers
October 1, 2018
Odličan krimić uz puno povijesti i to one koja se ne spominje često (barem ja nisam baš upoznata); nasilno "čišćenje" dijelova Škotske (19st.) od strane veleposjednika koji su siromašne farmere tjerala sa zemlje na kojoj su generacijama živjeli kako bi mogli npr. uzgajati ovce. Ljudima su palili domove i ukrcavali ih na brodove na kojima su u neljudskim uvjetima plovili u (nenaseljeni) Novi svijet ..Tako je počelo npr. naseljavanje Kanade.
Profile Image for Richard.
1,821 reviews151 followers
October 12, 2014
This is an epic tale of a modern crime that has it's roots in the history of Scotland and the Highland Clearances. From the moment the lead detective shes the only witness to the crime; convinced he has met her before you know you have stepped into an usual novel. Indeed the author brilliantly brings the past to life as he expands on the detective's family history while he tries to solve the murder of a rich businessman whose wife seems the only suspect.

The characters are fresh and totally believable both in the modern crime thriller and the historical saga of a peolpe turned off their land and forced into emigration.

The discription of life aboard the ship sailing to the promised land of North America brought me to thining about modern day refugees often fleeing for their lives and taking great risks to survive the journey and initial quarantine.

The novel is full of relationships, sometimes broken and disfunctional and promises made where fate steps in to thwart. Sometimes how life and the propects for your descendents may turn on one man's descision or courage of another person.

It brings history to life and shows great respect to a shared past of many who fled famine and brutality. But at its centre there is a crime mystery to thrill and delight.

Peter May is a wonderful storyteller; his descriptions add depth and texture to his narrative. This is a story written with great passion and sensitivity and is a story you will love and enjoy long after the final page if read.
Profile Image for Jane.
1,564 reviews177 followers
March 3, 2017
Held my interest all through; I highly recommend this one. This was a mystery-cum-historical novel with two parallel subplots that fed off each other: one--did a wealthy woman, Kirsty Cowell, murder her husband? Two--recollections, dreams and the actual diaries of the protagonist's great-great-great grandfather, son of a crofter on the Hebrides, who suffered through potato famine, forced clearance of settlements, finally coming to Canada. Story takes place on a small island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sime Mackenzie, the hero and a policeman from the mainland, feels somehow he's met the woman before and digs more deeply into the crime than the other police on his team. Kirsty and Sime have some kind of family connection.

At times I had to suspend my belief.
Well written and enthralling with vivid, realistic descriptions of the Hebrides in the 19th century sections.
Profile Image for Tanja Berg.
1,909 reviews438 followers
December 25, 2014
Rating 2.4* out of 5. This book was a huge disappointment from start to finish. The present day storyline - murder of an estranged husband on a lonely island - ties together with a love story from the Scottish highlands in the 19th century. It is contrived beyond belief. I can't even find it in me to review this book properly. I had such high hopes for Peter May, I am also listening to the first book of the Lewis Island trilogy and loving it. "Entry Island" however, is much too farfetched. Read it at your own peril.
Profile Image for Cathy Cole.
2,057 reviews60 followers
January 4, 2014
Entry Island is a terrific blending of two story lines: the classic murder investigation in Canada, and the Highland Clearances on the Isle of Lewis in the 18th century. Both are so well written that I couldn't tell you which is the stronger, but I can say that the scenes on the Isle of Lewis are beautiful, brutal, and heartstopping. May has always been a skilled storyteller, but since he's begun writing of the Outer Hebrides, it's as though his heart and his emotions are flowing right onto the page. (His Lewis Trilogy is not to be missed!)

The two story lines run side-by-side, and events gradually converge without any obvious signs of how they're coming together. Sime is the perfect conflicted detective and part of an investigative team that includes his ex-wife-- a very uncomfortable and painful situation. May skillfully creates tension with his two main characters. While Mackenzie is a man the reader wants to support completely, the object of his obsession is clearly not as trustworthy to us as she is to the detective.

The marvelous sensory feast of place (both Scotland and Canada), a strong and intriguing main character, two vivid plot lines... part mystery, part historical novel, part romance... Entry Island is a powerful novel that should not be missed.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,931 reviews438 followers
April 5, 2021

'Entry Island' by Peter May, while it is a modern murder mystery published in 2014, is even more interesting because of a historical novella the author wrote and included inside of the book! In alternating chapters the author has inserted a story of settlers from Scotland who were forcibly relocated to Canada, an event called The Clearances. It's an awful tale of English cruelty against the people of Scotland.

I have copied the cover blurb as it is accurate:

"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 Montreal.

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."

Detective Sime Mackenzie speaks French and English. Most inhabitants of the islands east of Quebec are French speakers. But the few people who still live on Entry Island speak English. Sime is one of the few police officers who speaks both languages fluently, otherwise he might not have been one of the team of detectives sent to investigate. He is in the middle of a divorce which he is not handling well. Marie-Ange, his ex, is also investigating the murder.

When Sime meets the murder victim's wife, Kirsty Cowell, he has such a strong reaction the rest of the team wonders if Sime and Kirsty know each other. Sime knows he has seen her face before but he can't place her at all. Kirsty is the prime suspect of her husband's murder, so it also becomes more uncomfortable when Sime feels she is innocent in spite of all of the circumstantial evidence against her. He is the only officer he believes Kirsty innocent. Can he find any evidence which will clear her?

'Entry Island' also tells of a past historical event in Scotland that eventually links detective Sime to Kirsty. Ok, it's a bit of a stretch in the plot, but interesting history anyway. In any case, the book is well-written.

I don't understand why, but oddly 'Entry Island' reminded me of the novel Rebecca, possibly because both books are mysteries, and maybe because 'Entry Island' is a touch gothic. There are a few other similarities of plot, I think.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
3,391 reviews582 followers
March 8, 2017
3 stars for the back story, the present story, the placements and the writing style.

The present day characterizations were poorer than the historical factors of the ancestors in Scotland and their expulsion by the laird off their lands of heritage.

Sime, who is the detective, has insomnia and all the past centuries' factors which lead to present situation are stated in "dream sequences" of his hour or 1/2 hour a night sleep pattern.

It is very long. Overlong because of all the redundancies for investigation for the same 4 or 5 characters in the present, over and over again. And also because of a modern period under plot for a missing man, who is developmentally disabled and who also lives on the island (Entry Island) that is the scene of the murder. Of course, and for some time, he is considered as a possible suspect for the first murder.

The scenes are stormy. The tension becomes nearly nil in the middle of the book. I did finish it, but the last 1/3rd was heavy going. My enjoyment factor became a 2 star. Sime, himself?? He's awfully naive for a police detective, and just my opinion, his history and his physical essence/description- they don't feel fleshed out at all. I felt like I knew the teen age ancestor more than I knew him.

I did guess the right character being the murderer. But this is more about the historical fiction aspect than it is at all about the crimes in the present, IMHO.

If you have high interest in the potato famine, English expulsion of Scots from their land when they deemed it was more highly advantageous to promote sheep than tenants. Or if you are interested in the Gaelic or French or English sections for settlements within the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence- you will like this more than I. Especially if you have a ken for the "seer" or "sight" aside or two.

But I have to add, that this is my last Peter May Sime series. They are too long for too little. And the repetition is off putting.
Profile Image for Nigel.
849 reviews98 followers
October 7, 2017
I've had this one around for a while now and finally got around to it. I enjoyed the Black House series by May but seem to recall another standalone book left me less impressed. I really enjoyed this one. There are two strands here. One is historical and relates to the Highland clearances, the other is about a modern day murder in Canada and one of the policemen investigating it.

As with the Black House books this is not really a simple crime read. There is a crime and it is investigated. However this is about ancestry and relationships for me and it works well. Good characters, atmospheric writing and well paced. It kept me engaged - another of the author's books seems likely 😀
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,977 reviews1,988 followers
May 1, 2021
A weird hybrid of romance and historical fiction, with very little suspense but some strong characters. I wanted to love it; I liked it a lot, but found myself moving slowly through it. Author May's The Blackhouse had the same issues for me. I won't sprain things to get his books, but will read them when I find them on super sales and there's a group read.
Profile Image for Jenny.
1,756 reviews59 followers
January 30, 2018
Entry Island is about how you should not give up you never know what is in store for you. Detective Sime Mackenzie was having trouble coping after his wife left him. After another sleepless night, Detective Sime Mackenzie was called into work to take part in the murder investigation of James Cowell on Entry Island due to his linguistic background. However, Detective Sime Mackenzie did not realise how this case will affect him. The readers of Entry Island will continue to follow the twist and turns into the investigation into the death of James Cowell.

Wow, another great book from Peter May. Entry Island was a fantastic book to read. I was unable to stop reading Entry Island until I finished the last page. The way Peter May provided the twist and turns in his plot of Entry Island ensured that the real killer was a surprise to me. I love Peter May portrayal of his characters especially Sime Mackenzie. I also, like that Peter May ensure that his readers had closure in regards to Michael. Peter May does a great job of entwining the fictional characters and plot around the historical facts of the Highland Clearances and migration to Canada.

The readers of Entry Island will learn about Quebec law enforcement procedures. Also, the readers of Entry Island will learn about insomnia and how it affects the suffers.

I recommend this book.
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