Your audiobook is waiting…

The Blackhouse

By: Peter May
Narrated by: Peter Forbes
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (245 ratings)
Regular price: $28.50
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

From acclaimed author and dramatist Peter May comes the Barry award-winning The Blackhouse, the first book in the Lewis Trilogy - a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides.  

When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis that bears similarities to a brutal killing on the mainland, Edinburgh detective and native islander Fin Macleod is dispatched to the Outer Hebrides to investigate, embarking at the same time on a voyage into his own troubled past.  

As Fin reconnects with the people and places of his tortured childhood, the desolate but beautiful island and its ancient customs once again begin to assert their grip on his psyche. Every step toward solving the case brings Fin closer to a dangerous confrontation with the dark events of the past that shaped - and nearly destroyed - his life.

©2013 Peter May (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A gripping plot, pitch-perfect characterization, and an appropriately bleak setting drive this outstanding series debut." (Connie Fletcher, Booklist, starred review)

"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'Humanite)

"Abundant local color... matches Macleod's tormented emotional landscape. The struggles of such multidimensional characters... add depth." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    150
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    129
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Miscategorized

I have no clue why this book was listed as a "police procedural", or even as a murder mystery for that matter. The mystery was almost an afterthought (and completely predictable).

That said, the character studies, the scene setting, and story of Fin's life were actually interesting and the writing is top notch. May's writing style is very engaging. I might even read the rest of the series...albeit I won't hold my breath for a mystery.

For those, like me, who prefer not to read about animal killings, be prepared to skip the bird hunt. It was grim.

The narrator was wonderful.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A tale of awakening and facing one’s deepest fears.

This was a wonderfully descriptive story of human emotion, death, and reawakening against the bleak backdrop of a remote island. Just as the island of Lewis is cut off from the rest of the world by its geography, Finn McCloud is removed from his memories and emotions until a catharsis occurs. The characters take life through the narrative and one becomes completely caught up in their inner dialogues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid writing and performance.

BUilds up to an overdramatic cliff top ending which seemed out of scale. May does such great work with character and scene and then pushes it too much

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

challenging mystery

more delightful to hear because of the sonorous Scottish accents. A mystery with many emotion laden twists and turns, weather and Scottish lore told beautifully.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This book was even better than I’d hoped. Excellent narration. I felt as if I were there. The descriptive writing didn’t bog down the story line but enhanced the listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

What a bloody miserable tale!

The story is as bleak and lonely as the island it is set on. The reading’s repetitive tone and meter is guaranteed to put you to sleep. Every sentence has the same rhythm and the paragraphs roll from one into the next without any change in tempo.
The murder is almost secondary to the resurrection of a sad childhood and a mixed-up adolescence of a policeman who doesn’t really want to be a policeman and who has been sent to the island without any real power to investigate anything.
The weather is always cold, gray and raining ... it seems that the islanders’ lives mirror their weather and their landscape... I keep waiting for the sun to break through but so far it hasn’t happened. Maybe something happy will happen in one of the next two books in the trilogy.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of this work. Stunning!

It's actually several books at once. A murder mystery, coming-of-age story, deep dive into Scottish culture on an isolated island and high adventure.

My hat's off to the author!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping novel beautifully narrated

I loved this. It was recommended to me by a friend and I fancied the audio book rather than reading and am glad I did. The narration is perfect. At times I wanted more about the crime as it engaged so much with the back story but it really worked. I can't wait to listen to the next in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I rarely give 5 stars, but this book earned them!

The Black House by Peter May stoned me to my soul. A crime novel and so much more. Gorgeous writing. Love and regret. A tale of a heart turned hard, and yet it made me cry. I am not the same person I was before this book. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric Mystery!

I really enjoyed The Blackhouse, a book with a gripping plot, multi-faceted protagonist and deeply atmospheric setting. The writing was engaging, and I felt immersed in the story, which shifted from past to present. Though the ending wasn't as spectacular as I had hoped, given the intensity of the built up, I enjoyed this book quite a bit and would read the others in the series as well. Recommended!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • avidreader
  • 01-07-19

dull and tedious

i did not enjoy this book at all. it had very litte 'detecting' and far too much reminiscing and back story. it was like hearing water running. Won't bother with this author again as I have had similar experience with some of his other work. Sorry, Peter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica Dable
  • 02-25-19

Good narrator

Good believable story line, interesting setting and good narrator. Easy to follow, but not predictable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte
  • 06-16-18

Unusual and brilliant.

Took a bit of getting into re narration and also plot but a gently intense story. You really are allowed to get to know characters and their stories. Very unusual location described really well Plot is slow and steady. Not boring tho. Good ending. Look forward to downloading next Fyn Macleod book!!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful