Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for A Winter Grave by Peter May. My thanks to Jess at Ransom PR for inviting me to take part in the tour and to riverrun for my review copy via NetGalley.
About the Book
A TOMB OF ICE
A young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station in Kinlochleven discovers the body of a missing man entombed in ice.
A DYING DETECTIVE
Cameron Brodie, a Glasgow detective, sets out on a hazardous journey to the isolated and ice-bound village. He has his own reasons for wanting to investigate a murder case so far from his beat.
AN AGONIZING RECKONING
Brodie must face up to the ghosts of his past and to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that his investigation threatens to expose.
Format: eARC (368 pages) Publisher: riverrun
Publication date: 19th January 2023 Genre: Crime, Thriller
Find A Winter Grave on Goodreads
Disclosure: If you buy a book via the above link, I may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops
A Winter Grave is set in Scotland but it’s not a Scotland we would recognise. The year is 2051 and Scotland has achieved independence and rejoined the European Union. However, at the same time, the effects of climate change on the world have become all too obvious. Whilst parts of the world are suffering extreme heat, prompting the migration of millions of people from Africa and Asia to Europe, great swathes of Scotland are now under water due to rising sea levels caused by the melting of the Greenland ice sheets and the country now has the climate of northern Norway.
As Brodie investigates the death of a man found frozen in the ice of a snow tunnel, it becomes clear his enemy is not just the person or persons responsible for the man’s death but the weather as well. Ferocious storms have become a frequent occurrence for the residents of Kinlochleven, resulting in power cuts and the loss of communications with the outside world for days at a time. Venturing out into a particularly violent storm, Brodie witnesses the extreme weather conditions for himself. ‘He seemed to be driving headlong into the gale. Hailstorms flew out of the darkness like sparks, deflecting off the windscreen… He could barely see the road ahead of him, hail blowing around and drifting like snow on the recently cleared tarmac.’
Alongside an absorbing and action-packed crime story, and the depiction of the potential impacts of climate change on the world, is Inspector Cameron Brodie’s deeply personal story, told through flashbacks to 2023. Brodie hasn’t long left on this earth but in the time remaining he wants to lay to rest the ghosts of the past, attempt a reconciliation and, perhaps, receive forgiveness. ‘It wasn’t until now, with his own death imminent, that he had been moved, finally, to drag all the skeletons from the closet, and lay them out to be judged.’ It’s a story of love, loss and sacrifice and I found the end of the book intensely moving.
For those who like action, there’s plenty of it and for those who like intrigue, there’s plenty of that as well. There’s even a role for future technology the prospect of which might either thrill you or appall you depending on how you feel about flying in a pilotless plane or living in a 3D printed home. Add to this a central character prepared to give his all in one last fight and you have a totally gripping crime thriller that is chilling in more ways than one. This is the first book I’ve read by Peter May but it definitely won’t be the last.
In three words: Immersive, exciting, intense
Try something similar: The Coming Darkness by Greg Mosse
About the Author
Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BBC, he quit journalism and during the high-octane fifteen years that followed, became one of Scotland’s most successful television dramatists. He created three prime-time drama series, presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland as script editor and producer, and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels.
In 2021, he was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. He has also won several literature awards in France, received the USA’s Barry Award for The Blackhouse, the first in his internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy; and in 2014 was awarded the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year award for Entry Island. Peter now lives in South-West France with his wife, writer Janice Hally. (Photo: Facebook profile)