Exclusive to Audible! Listen to a discussion between the author and the narrator of Coffin Road at the end of this recording.
A man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named the Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him.
A detective from Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock 20 miles offshore. He does not know if he has what it takes to uncover how and why.
A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her scientist father’s suicide. Two years on, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her. She does not yet know his secret.
Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth - and the realisation that ignorance can kill us.
©2016 Peter May (P)2016 Quercus Editions Ltd.
"He is a terrific writer doing something different." (Mark Billingham)
"Wonderfully compelling." (Kate Mosse)
"From the first page I knew I was in safe hands. I knew I could trust this writer." (Sophie Hannah)
"Will have the reader relishing every tendency of description and characterization." (Independent)
"May's novels are strong on place and the wounds left by old relationships." (Sunday Times)
"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." (New York Times)
"Exceptional. May is going from strength to strength." (Daily Mail)
This book draws the reader along fast and reasonably effectively: it is a good book to pass the time. The plot at one point is quite convoluted and if I were reading rather than listening I would have been looking back a lot to earlier pages. As it was I did get a bit confused (as did other readers if internet forums are to be believed).
As I have read most of Peter May's books my expectations are calibrated: fair characterisation and prose, and a good engagement with the physical area and history surrounding the plot.
Peter Forbes does a fantastic job narrating this complex, intriguing and fascinating storyline.
One is transported to an irresistible part of the world, kept on the edge of their seat throughout and enlightened by how we are destroying our environment. I couldn't put it down!
"Ancient and Modern In Perfect Harmony!"
Peter May is an extremely clever man. He once again sets his book amid the rugged beauty of the Hebridean landscape capturing its harsh beauty with highly evocative description. He brings these remote islands alive with a vividness and stark reality that genuinely fires the imagination. His characters are given similar depth and respect, both those from the islands and those from the modern world of the mainland.
Into this background he brings a thoroughly modern story and he sheds light on issues that genuine deserve to be in the spotlight far more than they are. I won’t mention what they are as the slow process of retrieving them from the main protagonist’s shattered memory is a thoroughly enjoyable part of following the plot. It’s a gripping story and as you’d suspect from May involves relationships as well as the key issues at hand.
My main concern before I read the book was that the plot was going to rest heavily on amnesia which has often proved an awkward device in the wrong hands. Fortunately In this case it works very well and one of the highlights of the book for me was the very human way in which our man reacts initially to his unusual situation and tries to get to know himself. Throughout the plot twists nicely one way and then another before the final satisfying conclusion.
Peter Forbes is a very fitting narrator, he glides through the text helping to build the tension without ever over-dramatising. He handles both the narrative and dialogue very well making this another highly accomplished performance from him.
In brief, as you expect from the “Two Peters” this is a five star listen, well certainly in my book!
I think Peter May is a wonderful writer and I picked this up after hugely enjoying the Lewis Trilogy. While I enjoyed Coffin Road, I felt it didn't have the utterly compelling pace of the earlier novels, but it was still very, very good.
I think the characterisation also lacked the depth that characters from his earlier novels have enjoyed.
Peter May's singular talent is to make living, breathing people and, while this is several leagues ahead of his contemporaries, it isn't entirely up to his usual standard of riveting excellence.
However, like me, if you love Peter May's Lewis Trilogy, you will like this.
Well plotted and researched. Plausible and topical storyline that kept me gripped throughout. Excellent characterisation and narration.
"Every Peter May book is enjoyable."
I have enjoyed Coffin Road as much as all Peter May's books that I have read. It is a thriller and beautifully written. Very good scenic descriptions I could have been standing there and seeing it for real. Carry on Peter you are great. Peter you read it so well and made it wonderful to listen to. I trust that I will hear your lovely accent in more books especially Peter May's books. Thank you both very much
On par with The Blackhouse which is high praise. Peter May's sense of place makes you long to visit Lewis and Harris and discover the real places where the novel is set. Perhaps the most compelling character in Coffin Road is the landscape itself. The novel is well crafted with a very contemporary theme played out against an ancient landscape a device that works brilliantly. This is not part of the Lewis trilogy but you do feel back in that world with a tiny nod to Finn McCleod and dear George Gunn still plodding on at Stornoway Police headquarters. An exciting listen with great narration by Peter Forbes. A five star recommendation!
Like the author’s Lewis Trilogy this accomplished mystery/crime novel is set in the Outer Hebrides and powerfully evokes the atmosphere of the islands as a backdrop to the gripping story of a man washed up on the shore of Harris unable to remember who he is or anything about his past. I admit to an antipathy to stories that rely on amnesia: a disorder that seems more prevalent in fiction than in reality. However unrealistic it does provide the basis for an intriguing story that certainly kept me listening. Gradually the story reveals sculduggery by a multinational chemical company which didn’t surprise me in the least!
I had to grit my teeth during a section involving a psychiatrist who, after only one session with the amnestic man, whose memories spanned only the preceding two days, was supposedly able to make a comprehensive personality assessment and diagnosis of the cause of his amnesia: utter tosh. Also one has to suspend disbelief over extraordinary exploits of a 17 year old girl travelling all over the place in search of her missing father. Despite these misgivings I did enjoy the book.
The narrator is excellent.
I really enjoyed this latest Peter May book, thoroughly gripping, read in one day.
I do like Peter Force's narration, he has a lovely tone to his voice and works the characters really well. Quite an involved plot, with twists and turns. Very well worth reading.
"Vintage Peter May"
Peter's Hebridean books are excellent and this is as good as any of them.
There are many from beginning to end making this a difficult book to stop listening to. I listened to it is 2 days!
Narration is a big part of the story telling and Peter Forbes is excellent with subtle changes of accent for different characters. A joy to listen to.
This classic Peter May, a brilliant story with superb description of the setting. Previous books caused me to visit Lewis and Harris and loved it. This has whetted my appetite for another trip there.
"A message disguised as a thriller."
Chasing this dragon stings like bee.
The cause is good and important, but to disguise it as the problem of the week book is not fair to readers, I know Peter May has written before about genetic manipulation of food in a thriller, but it felt less mechanical and more character driven because the lives of the characters were invested in the problem, here it all feels like a conspiracy theory where all the pieces are made to fit with a sledge hammer.
The locations is not as important as in the Lewis trilogy, but used because it worked with the Lewis books, this would be a good script but as a novel it felt rushed and concerned with the message more than the story.
Not his best but still good if you need a Peter May fix.
Possibly the best yet of Peter May's Scottish crime novels, with a unique twist, encompassing current environmental issues.
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