The Isle of Lewis is the most remote, harshly beautiful place in Scotland, where the difficulty of existence seems outweighed only by people’s fear of God. But older, pagan values lurk beneath the veneer of faith, the primal yearning for blood and revenge.
When a brutal murder on the island bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. But since he himself was raised on Lewis, the investigation also represents a journey home and into his past.
Each year the island’s men perform the hunting of the gugas, a savage custom no longer necessary for survival, but which they cling to even more fiercely in the face of the demands of modern morality. For Fin the hunt recalls a horrific tragedy, which after all this time may have begun to demand another sacrifice.
The Blackhouse is a crime novel of rare power and vision. Peter May has crafted a page-turning murder mystery that explores the darkness in our souls, and just how difficult it is to escape the past.
©2012 Peter May (P)2014 Quercus
“A writer I’d follow to the ends of the earth . . . intricately plotted." (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review)
“The Blackhouse shines with intrigue and superb plotting.” (Carol Memmet, USA Today)
“Order, read, and pass it on! May brings the story to a breathtaking conclusion with an astonishing twist at the end. Compare to Simon Beckett's Written in Bone for locale and Tana French for tone.” (Teresa L. Jacobsen, Library Journal, Starred Review)
“A gripping plot, pitch-perfect characterization, and an appropriately bleak setting drive this outstanding series debut.” (Connie Fletcher, Booklist, Starred Review)
“Abundant local color . . . matches Macleod’s tormented emotional landscape. The struggles of such multidimensional characters . . . add depth.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“A chilling setting for a gripping novel . . . impressive writing.” (Marcel Berlins, The Times)
“A thriller with an intensity that never slackens, chilling and igneous at the same time, like the great country that serves as its setting. A masterpiece indeed.” (L'Humanité)
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I was excited to see this first book of the Lewis Trilogy because I had heard so much about these stories from the media and friends over the past few years. I listened in one sitting as the story was so interesting and the description of the Lewis Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland was so poetic and atmospheric. The harsh landscape, wind and weather affects the residents tremendously. The younger population are looking to escape to anywhere off that island. The narrator did a fantastic job with the speed of the story and beautiful pronunciation of all the unique words.
I enjoyed this book a great deal, but have some reservations as far as recommending to others. You will find it to be a great story as long as you are OK with these parts of the book:
-- The story is very dark, almost crushing. Even now as I write this review, I am aware that my mood is so melancholy. I need to make sure my next listening choice is up-lifting.
-- The investigation of two similar murders, one in Edinburgh and one on Lewis Island, are somewhat incidental to the main story of detective Fin McLeod’s previous life on the island. Yet, in the end, that back-story allows for the many twists and turns and resolution to work. May is a genius writer at pulling several threads together to make sense.
-- Of the two May books I have read, I have found his books are so irresistible from the beginning up to the point where the resolution of the story is told. May has to use too many “just in time” revelations and coincidences to make the ending work. I hope that is not a trend for the rest of his books.
-- The description of the gugga hunt was a hard listen at times. Whew!
I will definitely plan to finish the trilogy, but need some time between each book. That is a good thing since the other two audio books are not available by Audible yet.
The story was riviting The performance
Totally unique story
The perfect voice
Do not want to give any of it away
I enjoyed the story but was greatly disappointed to learn that this is an abridged version even though Audible has it listed as Unabridged. The actual book is over 400 pages and thus should be around 12 hours of audio rather than 6.5. Through my book club I learned that significant plot lines were missing along with fantastic descriptions of the Scotland landscape.
I enjoyed the mystery and twists in this story. The setting and geographical uniqueness were especially interesting. The narrator was excellent.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content