Coffin Road

Peter May (The Blackhouse) returns to the Outer Hebrides setting of his mesmerizing Lewis trilogy in the standalone thriller Coffin Road. The Hebrides are rugged land that take on a life of their own in May's skilled hands, and one morning their churning ocean spits a man onto the beach after taking his memory. With few clues at his disposal, he needs to figure out who he is, what he's doing on the Isle of Harris, and who doesn't want him doing it.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a troubled young girl searches for the cause of her father's suicide and a detective investigates a bludgeoned body found at a remote lighthouse station. Soon the amnesiac, the detective and the teenager are caught up in high-stakes mysteries fraught with the potential for violence with a fascinating environmental issue at their core.

May is second to none when it comes to sense of place. He writes landscape so artfully even paragraphs-long descriptions don't detract from the pace of the action: "And now I am aware of the wind. Tugging at my clothes, sending myriad grains of sand in a veil of whisper-thin gauze across the beach in currents and eddies, like water." May's lyrical prose brings full color to the scenery, and the narrative intrigues from start to finish as the three arcs intertwine and race to a final showdown. Coffin Road is an atmospheric thriller that delves into issues of identity, sacrifice and the greater good. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

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