Entry Island by Peter May #BookReview #FridayReads

A detective is haunted by the feeling he knows his murder suspect – despite the fact they have never met.


When Detective Sime Mackenzie is sent from Montreal to investigate a murder on the remote Entry Island, 850 miles from the Canadian mainland, he leaves behind him a life of sleeplessness and regret.


But what had initially seemed an open-and-shut case takes on a disturbing dimension when he meets the prime suspect, the victim’s wife, and is convinced that he knows her – even though they have never met.

And when his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant Scottish past in another century, this murder in the Gulf of St. Lawrence leads him down a path he could never have foreseen, forcing him to face a conflict between his professional duty and his personal destiny.

My Review

Sime Mackenzie is a lonely man. Since the breakup of his marriage, he has suffered sleep deprivation and regret. Now he has been assigned to a new investigation team sent to the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of the St Lawrence. As the only native English speaker amongst the other French speaking members of the Canadian team he leads interrogations, but the rest of the team are wary of him, especially as the crime scene investigator is his estranged wife Marie-Ange.

In parallel to the mysterious murder case are Sime’s dreams of the Highland Clearance which involved his Scottish ancestor. This alternating story is distressing but informative and for me it was the investigation and Sime’s mental breakdown which I found more compelling. The isolation of the close-knit community on Entry Island reflects the township on the coast of the Isle of Lewis and Harris where another Sime Mackenzie once lived.

I very much enjoyed Peter May’s Lewis trilogy so this book appealed to me but reading the novel, it was the nature of life in Canada and its history which caught my interest most. The story is fascinating on many levels, but it takes time to reach the satisfactory conclusion.

Entry Island on Amazon UK

My Review of The Black House by Peter May

Nothing to Hide (Constance Fairchild #2) by James Oswald #BookReview

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.

Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has everything to lose . . .

My Review

Con Fairchild has done her best not to mention her wealthy family in her everyday life as a Detective Constable, but her major role in exposing the crimes of the famous and powerful Roger Villiers has exposed her to the tabloid press who delight in writing about her privileged childhood and taking photos of her at the worst times.

Still suspended from duties, her discovery of a horribly injured young man near to her home means that DCI Ed Bain reluctantly involves her in a new nationwide investigation. Con’s compulsion to act like a Dr Who heroine mean that she frequently finds herself in trouble and she adopts a disguise in order to avoid the media.

Spending time in Edinburgh, it is a delight to read of her meetings with Madame Rose and members of Tony McLean’s team (from James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series) Back home in London she works closely with DC Karen Eve and despite their very different backgrounds they come to trust and like each other.

There is more than a hint of the supernatural in Con’s confrontations with the Church of the Coming Light and she will be lucky to escape with her life if she doesn’t avoid their charismatic leader Dr Edward Masters. Despite some amusing interludes with Con’s friends and relations, the story builds up to a terrifying conclusion and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.

Nothing to Hide on Amazon UK

My Review of No Time to Cry the first DC Constance Fairchild story

The Dark Side of Midnight (Spy Girl Book 1) by Carol Hedges #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT

Jazmin Dawson is a super-cool secret agent with hi-tech kit and a hi-octane life of crime-busting … in her dreams! In reality, Jazmin Dawson is a fourteen year old teenager, whose biggest battles are with her homework and her addiction to snacks.

But suddenly, everything changes. Jazmin’s mother works for the London branch of GID (Global Intelligence Department) an organisation responsible for tracking down individuals and groups that threaten world security. Tasked with locating a stolen dead body, she goes missing in action, and Jazmin is sent to find her.

Stepping off a plane in Prague, Jazmin finds herself at the centre of an international mystery, and with a dangerous mission: to infiltrate a rogue scientific institute.

My Review

In a changed world of the near future, Jazmin Dawson and her mother Assia are growing apart. Assia’s job with an International Security organisation often takes her away from her daughter on important missions. Jaz dreams of being a secret agent too but she also wishes her Mum would spend more time with her. But Assia has to travel abroad again following up a worrying crime. This time Jaz has to go to stay in one of the new luxury Tower cities with her uncle’s family. Uncle Ian & his wife Dee are a wealthy couple who work long hours so that they can spend plenty of money on their children. 16-year-old Clea is supposed to be looking after Jaz, but the spoilt girl is alternatively sarcastic or ignoring her.

As Assia finds herself a captive of a dangerous couple, Jaz’s life improves. She meets Tonda, a handsome, kind, young entertainer, whose friends welcome Jaz into their company. Sadly, he will soon be leaving England, but Jaz is also summoned to Prague by her mother’s colleagues hoping that she can help them to find Assia.

The story shows Jaz gradually developing skills as a crime fighter in an increasingly frightening scenario. Both Clea and Tonda have unexpected parts to play in the terrifying events and the conclusion draws the reader into seeking out the next book in the series. A recommended read for a middle grade reader who enjoys adventure with a smart, likeable heroine.

The Dark Side of Midnight on Amazon UK

My review of Carol Hedges’ latest Victorian detective story Desire & Deceit

#FlashbackFriday Books I reviewed in September over six years #BookReviews

It’s the first Friday of September and and I’m using the idea of Kerry @ Chat About Books to look back at the books I was reading in September in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015. Click on the red titles to read my reviews.


Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey


The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie


The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin


A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift


The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws


The Cunning Woman’s Cup by Sue Hewitt

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