The Blackhouse by Peter May

First book in The Lewis Trilogy
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher:Quercus Books (US)
ISBN: 9781623659998
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
501 pages
My Source: Netgalley

Author’s Website

Description from author’s website:

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.
 

A page-turning murder mystery that explores the darkness in our souls,
and just how difficult it is to escape the past.

 This book has been around the blogs and I’m probably one of the last one’s to read it! But it was just released in the US by Quercus Books and I want to thank them for letting me preview this book. It was stunning!
Vivid, gorgeous descriptions of the Isle of Lewis. Wonderful sense of place. Interesting complicated relationships. The story moves flawlessly between current day and his memories of his youth on Lewis. His memories are told in first person and present day in the third person. Almost like two stories weaving in and out of each other and coming together in one superb, climatic ending I was not expecting!
This is a book that will stay with you and might possibly be my favorite book read this year! I can’t wait to get onto the next one in the series!
You just have to go to the author’s website (link above) click on The Lewis Trilogy to the left and check out all the extra’s on this series available there!
A couple quotes from the book:
‘The clouds were shredded all across the sky as they drove back to Stornoway, ragged strips of blue and black and purple-grey. The road stretched straight ahead of them, rising to the horizon and a strip of light beneath the bruising where you could see the rain falling in sheets.’
‘In his head, Fin could almost hear the singing of the Gaelic psalms. A strange, unaccompanied tribal chanting that could seem chaotic to the untrained ear. But there was something wonderfully affecting about it. Something of the land and the landscape, of the struggle for existence against overwhelming odds. Something of the people amongst whom he had grown up. Good people, most of them, finding something unique in themselves, in the way they sang their praise to the Lord, an expression of gratitude for hard lives in which they had found meaning. Just the memory of it brought him out in goose pimples.’
Excellent book.
Peggy Ann

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3 thoughts on “The Blackhouse by Peter May

  1. Great review, Peggy. I haven't read this book yet either. I would love to read it this year, but may have to wait until 2015. It is a long one. Are you doing the Read Scotland Challenge again in 2015?

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  2. Thanks Tracy. Yes I am doing it again next year. So many good books still to read and it seems to be a popular challenge. I didn't realize how long it was because I read it on Kindle app with location instead of pages. I was surprised when I saw it was a 501 page book!

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