• The Chessmen: The Lewis Trilogy

  • By: Peter May
  • Narrated by: Peter Forbes
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (451 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times raved, "Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." Among the many honors received, The Blackhouse, the first novel in May's acclaimed Lewis trilogy, won the Barry and Crime Thriller Hound awards.

Now, with The Chessmen, Peter May gives us a dramatic conclusion to his award-winning Lewis trilogy.

Living again of the Isle of Lewis, the ex-detective inspector Fin McLeod is working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate, Fin encounters elusive poacher and former childhood friend Whistler Macaskill.

But while Fin catches up with Whistler, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon - a "bog burst" - that spontaneously drains a loch of its water, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side.

Both men immediately know that they will find inside: the body of Roddy Mackenzie, a friend whose flight disappeared more than 17 years before. But when Whistler's face appears to register something other than shock, an icy chill of apprehension overtakes Fin. What secret has Whistler been hiding from him and everyone else on the island? Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future.

©2015 Peter May (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This intriguing story alternates between the present, the past, and the distant past, skillfully introducing all of the characters and motives that will play an integral part in the solution of the mysteries. It is powerfully written, both in the descriptions of the barren landscape and the complicated and constantly changing relationships of the primary people involved." ( Mystery Scene Magazine)
"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times)
"Poetic...the atmosphere is altogether magical." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Chessmen: The Lewis Trilogy

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  • Overall
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Fanastic-but where is the first book?

If you could sum up The Chessmen: The Lewis Trilogy in three words, what would they be?

I have only red 2 books in the trilogy because audible, inexplicably, only has 2 and 3 in English. The first book is only available if German (WTH?). That said, the 2 books I have read are utterly engaging and impossible to stop listening to. You will be okay not listening to the first book and diving right into book 2.

What did you like best about this story?

The mosaic of past and present coming together.

What does Peter Forbes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

EVERYTHING!!! You heart breaks right along with each and every character. A masterpiece.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

If you have known anyone with dementia, it will make you sad during those parts of the book.

Any additional comments?

WHERE IS BOOK NUMBER 1? Why do you only have it in German??

7 people found this helpful

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What a fantastic trilogy

Chessmen was well worth the wait. Peter May writes so you feel like you are on the island and that you have known the characters all your life. He interweaves the childhoods of his characters with their "present day" adult lives allowing you to feel like these are people you grew up with. He is a fantastic story teller. The characters are flawed and yet likeable. Very worth the time to listen. I could not tun it off. Will listen to all three books again

3 people found this helpful

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Best of the series

My favorite of the three. The story still switched from present to past. The narration was still pretty well perfect to my ears. The difference was the story. I found it much more interesting. And surprising.

2 people found this helpful

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I can't resist a Peter May book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Peter May tells a wonderful story and the descriptions of the locations are so vivid. His characters and plots are always intriguing. I liked the Enzo files and wish he would write more of them. Hope there wiil be more of the Lewis stories, too. Peter Forbes and Simon Vance are fine readers for these books.

2 people found this helpful

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A little too generous with the 5 star reviews

I enjoyed listening because the narrator was very good. This audio book reminded me of a Sean Duffy Novel a bit.

My negative on this book would not only be that it went back in forth in time quite a bit - But it went back and forth during different time periods > Forwards and backwards. Not well scripted in my opinion.

The story was okay. I could lean between a 3 and 4 stars overall but there is no 3 and a half - So this is the fairest I can be.

J

1 person found this helpful

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The Chessmen

Yet another excellent book. The continuing story of a group of Shetland Island men , from children into adulthood. this is the 3rd book in the series. I could not stop listening. The reader is terrific. I certainly would recommend this writer to anyone who enjoys mystery thrillers.

1 person found this helpful

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I Loved this trilogy.

Peter May did a wonderful job writing this trilogy. Finally I got all of the answers I needed.

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Wonderful but bleak

The whole trilogy is marvelous storytelling. His use of traveling back and forth in time to fill in the back story is great. My only complaint is it’s bleak outlook on life. The narrator does a great job too.

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Nordic noir in the Hebrides

Tightly plotted, beautifully written, with characters that breathe and live and stay on your mind. One must begin with the first ' the Black House ' and go through the trilogy in order.

Peter May's descriptions of the land and seascapes are rich and painterly. I smelled the seaweed and peat smoke. Some people have said this trilogy is ' dark, depressing ' - there's some very dark material and much of the less appetizing aspects of human nature is explored. However, there are so many moments of love and courage that balance out the ledger. As well as humor !

The narrator is excellent, doing a great job on women's voices without the nasal affectations by which many otherwise fine narrations can be marred. I was never in doubt when different characters were speaking - again without excessive use of growling or whining to try and distinguish between them.

I really loved these books and look forward to exploring May's other work. I will definitely listen to these again and recommend them most heartily !

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An other gem by Peter May

By itself this would probably be four stars, but as part of a trilogy It garners five. Reading May gives you thick insight into the lived experiences of his characters and shows how good literature enables one’s emotive experiences to grasp human truths that serve to evaluate human actions within their cultural contexts. It also shows the tensions involved in moral evaluation and moral decision making in the thick of life. May does this with an aesthetically pleasing story with appropriate twists and turns. Read the trilogy.