The Isle of Harris and the Flannan Isles: Background information when reading Coffin Road

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Coffin Road

by Peter May

Coffin Road by Peter May X
Coffin Road by Peter May
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2016, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2017, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kate Braithwaite

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Isle of Harris and the Flannan Isles

Acclaimed crime novelist Peter May is famous for a trilogy of novels set on the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides, but in his latest outing, Coffin Road, he has moved his sights south, to the harder, rockier terrain of the Isle of Harris.

Although Lewis and Harris are always referred to as if they are two separate islands, they are in fact one continuous landmass – most easily differentiated by their very different geography. Lewis is famous for its peaty soil and largely flat terrain. Harris on the other hand is much harsher, vividly displaying the volcanic and ice-age geological upheaval which shaped this part of the world.

Coffin Road May's choice of title indicates that landscape forms a vital part of the novel. Coffin Road is an actual place, if not a driveable road: it's a track that crosses the island from the rocky east coast to the more fertile, western shores. In the past when people died on the east side of the island, they couldn't be buried there because the land ...

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