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Coffin Road

By: Peter May
Narrated by: Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,130 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

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.

Critic reviews

"He is a terrific writer doing something different." (Mark Billingham)
"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)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable whodunnit.

Any additional comments?

This is the first book by Peter May that I have read and it was a satisfying tale of murder, amnesia and skullduggery in the world of scientific research set in the Scottish islands. It was easy to listen to and because the plot was relatively linear and uncomplicated it could be listened to in short or long chunks. The characters were believable and the narration was beautifully done. The science involved (relating to the effects of agrochemicals on honeybees) was very well and clearly explained and not at all offputting. A perfect story for long drives and days when you want to be entertained without having to work too hard.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

45 of 50 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Believable

Well plotted and researched. Plausible and topical storyline that kept me gripped throughout. Excellent characterisation and narration.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

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

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • Herefordshire, UK
  • 11-10-16

Another Peter May masterpiece...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Another great storyline, combined with such vivid portrayals of the lead characters and the wonderful sense of the remote, barren location.
This is the 4th Peter May book that I've enjoyed, and i'd rate it right up there with The Lewis Man. If time had allowed, I'd have listened to this in one go. I can't recommend it more!

What did you like best about this story?

Peter May really is a master at the crime/suspense genre.
Once again superbly narrated by Peter Forbes. I couldn't imagine anyone else reading Peter May's work..

Have you listened to any of Peter Forbes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Peter Forbes is right up there with the best narrators on Audible.
The discussion between Peter May and Peter Forbes at the end of the book was a fascinating insight into just how much work goes into such a wonderful performance.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant

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!

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing thriller.

Possibly the best yet of Peter May's Scottish crime novels, with a unique twist, encompassing current environmental issues.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • JPH
  • Hertfordshire
  • 07-04-17

Wow! What a great story.

From the very first paragraph I was hooked. Peter May is a brilliant writer & story teller. His characterisation & descriptions are superb. This is a story about a man who through a traumatic event loses his memory. You are, like him unaware if he's a victim, murderer or what? but gradually you learn there is more to him than meets the eye. The story involves bees & the scientific evidence pointing to the use of pestercides by global corporations & the effect this has on their dwindling population. It certainly opens your eyes to the current issues regarding the danger of destroying our bees & the consequences it will have to the future of our crops & planet. Having said that this was a Gripping thriller that kept my attention to the very end. Peter Forbes is a fantastic narrator he gets the voices, characterisations & accents perfectly. He is definitely the best narrator for Peter May's books. More books set in the outer hebrides please. Thoroughly recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't put the book down (turn it off)

What a fantastic writer, my first Peter May book but definitely not my last. I tried to listen to a couple of chapters a night but by the 2nd night, I couldn't put the book down (if you know what I mean), completed the story at 0550 the next morning. Peter kept you in suspense until the last few chapters and the last 2 chapters he explained the story so you understood who was who and who did what. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Vintage Peter May

Where does Coffin Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Peter's Hebridean books are excellent and this is as good as any of them.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Coffin Road?

There are many from beginning to end making this a difficult book to stop listening to. I listened to it is 2 days!

Have you listened to any of Peter Forbes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

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.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

N/A

Any additional comments?

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.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful