Had similar sentiment as lbeast and D_Kyle while reading the book. The first third of the novel reminded me of James Burke’s “The Jealous Kind 2016” which was more a time piece about teenage infatuations and hormones than murder. However, once past the romance bit, the rest of the story turned into a slow burn mystery, disguised behind May’s captivating prose on the island’s forbidden landscape, hard characters, unique customs particularly the Hebridean guga hunt on the rocky island An Sgeir. A great adventure thriller. On the other hand, wish readers were spared the lengthy puppy love "bit" early on ... though at the end, that "bit" was an integral part of the story.
Note: Decided to read my first Peter May novel; thanks to Lagercrantz's 2017 "The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye" --- "He decided to treat himself to a taxi to Örebro Central Station, and on the train to Stockholm he read a novel by Peter May, a Scottish crime writer."