I bought the latest Peter May book because it’s called ‘Coffin Roads’ and I was hoping for a story based around these ancient pathways. The pathways are thought to have been trodden by people carrying dead relatives back to their native villages to be buried. Carved stone resting places can be found along the route to enable those carrying the coffin to pause and fortify themselves with bread and ale. The pathways are thought by some to run along leys, earth energy lines. In themselves the paths are an interesting feature left in a landscape, and one that readily provides fodder for a story. In the case of this novel, sadly their name has been used as a calculated marketing ploy. It makes a great title. The coffin road in the story features only briefly and could easily have been any sheep path followed by the protagonist on his quest for an answer (no spoilers here, only grumbles.)
I expect it will be seen to be good TV material. That’s because it’s simple, two-dimensional stuff without a complex back story or much troublesome psychological delving for motivation. Unlike my favourite writer Phil Rickman who tells a great tale with plenty of depth. More about him another time no doubt.