by Peter May
Published by Quercus London in 2011,
Published in French as L’île des chasseurs d’oiseaux, before publication in English
A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.
A murder: Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.
A secret: something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.
A trap: As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface and soon he, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Published by Quercus London in 2012
A man with no name: an unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog ; the only clue to its identity being a DNA sibling match to a local farmer.
A man with no memory: but theislander, Tormod Macdonald – now an elderly m an suffering from dementia – has always claimed to be an only child.
A man with no choice: when Tormod’s family approach Fin Macleod for help, Fin feels duty-bound to solve the mystery.
Published by Quercus London in 2013
The new start: back living on Lewis, former detective Fin Macleod has been charged with investigating the disappearance of game from an island estate.
The old friend: this assignment will reunite him with Whistler Macaskill – a local poacher, and the custodian of a conspiracy concerning Fin’s formative years.
The final chapter: it will also open Fin’s eyes to two decades of deception :placing his legacy in doubt, and his life in danger.
A couple of decades ago I spent a few days in Ullapool. This is the closest I’ve ever been to Hebrides, looking with envy at the ferries plying between this pretty harbor city and these islands unknown to me.
When I came across The Black House in my favourite bookshop, my interest was immediately aroused. The thriller was a promise of fresh air, barren lands and larger-than-life characters.
My expectations have been more than fully met and I started a compulsive reading till the conclusion of the 3rd book.
More than cleverly plotted and gripping crime stories, the trilogy is a living tribute to the Hebridean isles and islanders. Along his investigations, Fin Macleod shows you around the breath-taking, rugged landscapes of his native land. The vivid depiction of the sceneries and the way of life of the inhabitants is teeming with details. You’ll be surprised to hear that at the turn of the 20th century, the Presbytarian church was still holding sway over the inhabitants’ lives with unforgiving power.
Justifiably many laudatory comments have already been issued on these Peter May’s outstanding stories. So I’ll just add that at the end of your reading, these islands will no longer seem such a remote and secluded place. You’ll nearly feel part of this close-knit community and maybe even dare speak a few words of Gaelic!
I truly enjoyed the plots, the writing style and the beautiful description of land and people.
I was sorry to put down the last book.