Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: The Blackhouse by Peter May

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge, from NetGalley for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

And now for a new series from the author of the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbel, and the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, set in France.

the blackhouse cover


From acclaimed author and television dramatist Peter May comes the first book in the Lewis Trilogy--a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a formidable and forbidding world where tradition rules and people adhere to ancient ways of life.

When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis that has the hallmarks of a killing he's investigating on the mainland, Edinburgh detective and native islander Fin Macleod is dispatched to see if the two deaths are connected. His return after nearly two decades not only represents a police investigation, but a voyage into his own troubled past. As Fin reconnects with the places and people of his tortured childhood, he feels the island once again asserting its grip on his psyche. And every step forward in solving the murder takes him closer to a dangerous confrontation with the tragic events of the past that shaped--and nearly destroyed--Fin's life.


Read an excerpt on the author's website!


I have Scottish ancestors from the Outer Hebrides, so I was intrigued from the minute I saw where the book was set. Then from reading the synopsis, I knew this would not be a boring book, and I was right! What sets Fin apart from detectives we usually see in police procedurals are the facts that he isn't sure he wants to be in the police force, and that he has suffered a recent major personal tragedy. Thus Fin's emotional state mirror that of the landscape he is returning to- harsh, forbidding and reluctant to give up its secrets. The story is just that- a tale of harsh secrets kept hidden, until false assumptions create a tragedy that ultimately brings them all to light. It is also a tale of return and rebirth. It is slower reading than most procedurals, as the author sets the tone and pace of the book by the the landscape and harshness of the people living on the island. It is an intriguing tale, and makes you want to read the next book to see what happens, and what decisions Finn makes next! I highly recommend it!

The trilogy continues after this book with The Lewis Man (book 2, which I'l be reviewing next month) and the Chessman (book 3)

About the Author:

Peter May is the multi award-winning author, who has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

Born and raised in Scotland, May lives in France. One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, this novel was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux, where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanit√©. His novels have a large following in France. The Lewis trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was later published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers), and went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA (winning the Barry for Best Mystery Novel in 2013).  Check out his website for more info!

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