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Blackhouse by Peter May

Blackhouse (edition 2011)

by Peter May

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7867411,712 (3.99)90
Authors:Peter May
Info:Quercus (2011), Edition: UK airports ed, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Blackhouse by Peter May

  1. 30
    Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (wonderlake)
    wonderlake: Similar settings; Shetlands/ Hebrides
  2. 00
    Naming the Bones by Louise Welsh (tina1969)

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Showing 1-5 of 72 (next | show all)
A friend lent me this mystery because she knew I was looking for a new series. It is more action-packed than most of the mysteries I read, and I couldn't put it down. When a man is gruesomely killed on the Hebridean island of Lewis, detective Fin Macleod is sent back to his home, from which he escaped 18 years earlier, because it resembles a gruesome murder he is investigating in Glasgow. The book includes flashbacks, narrated in the first person, as Fin recalls his years on Lewis. His recollections include a childhood crush on a girl, his best friend, his horror at being selected for a centuries-old tradition of spending two weeks on a "rock island" and killing thousands of seabirds that they take home and eat, the horrors of that trip, a teenage prank gone very wrong, and a bullying child who grows up to be a man nobody likes but who it turns out has a caring side. The childhood bully is the person who was murdered, These all figure in the very convoluted plot. I have to say I figured out the person who did the murder, but I was left at a loss for why; at the end, all was revealed. May has a talent for leading the reader through the plot, foreshadowing at times, although he sometimes seems to be showing how much he knows about life on a Hebridean island (although it is mostly interesting). I will continue reading this three-volume series and maybe other mysteries by May.
1 vote rebeccanyc | Apr 13, 2016 |
Dark and atmospheric - a police procedural (sort of) set on the Isle of Lewis. DI Fin Macleod is sent back to his childhood home to investigate the murder of a childhood bully. The chapters alternate between the present day and the Macleod's past when he lived on the island. ( )
  stevebishop | Apr 2, 2016 |
Wow. Wow! WOW! What a great book! Loved how the author wove Fin's story into the murder investigation. The last third of this book had me turning pages and growling every time I was forced to set it down. I felt like I'd been on a trip overseas, like a silent witness to Fin's past and his anguish as he returned home to face his demons and search for a killer. Lots of twists and turns kept me guessing all the way to the end. I'll be reading this one again just to savor the experience! Awesome, awesome buildup and a great addition to the mystery genre! ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
Set on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. DI Fin Macleod has been sent from Edinburgh to help with the investigation of a murder on Lewis. The MO is very similar to a case the Macleod is investigating in Edinburgh but has not made much progress on. This is his first trip back to the place of his birth since leaving for university. The book goes deep into the backstory, especially Fin’s childhood relationships, some of whom are suspects. There is also a damaging experience on a remote rock in the North Atlantic that has helped shape Fin's relationships. The revelation of the killer is brought about through a journey that uncovers his repressed memories - the key is in his past. For me this was a real rollercoaster of a read - there were many surprising twists and turns. The characters are well developed, and I could really imagine the settings. I would recommend this book to anyone. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Mar 8, 2016 |
This is a very exciting entry into the Lewis Trilogy. It is the story of DI Fin Macleod and his friends from childhood and youth. Macleod is sent to the Isle of Lewis, where he was born and raised in order to solve a murder, which has similarities to a murder he treated in Edinburgh. On the island arrived, not only the investigation of the murder awaits him, but he has to deal with his past. He is not only received with open arms, but suddenly faces reticence and aggression. By the time he comes back the cause of the murder and his messed up childhood has to process painful.
It was a very gripping reading and I liked it very much. ( )
  Ameise1 | Feb 29, 2016 |
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That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
- A. E. Housman, “Blue Remembered Hills”
Tri rudan a thig gun iarraidh: an t-eagal, an t-eudach’s an gaol.
(Three things that come without asking: fear, love and jealousy.)
- Gaelic proverb
For Stephen, with whom I travelled those happy highways.
First words
They are just kids.
Marsaili and I went down to the beach at Port of Ness. We picked our way in the dark through the rocks at the south end of it, to a slab of black gneiss worn smooth by aeons, hidden away from the rest of the world by layers of rock that appeared to have been cut into giant slices, stood on end, then tipped over to lie in skewed stacks. Cliffs rose up above us to a night sky of infinite possibilities. The tide was out, but we could hear the sea breathing gently on the shore. A warm breeze rattled the sun-dried heather that grew in ragged, earthy clumps on shelves and ledges in the cliff.
...someone had a fire lit in their hearth. That rich, toasty, unmistakable smell of peat smoke carried to him on the breeze. It took him back twenty, thirty years. It was extraordinary, he thought, how much he had changed in that time, and how little things had changed in this place where he had grown up. He felt like a ghost haunting his own past, walking the streets of his childhood.
... there was an unspoken bond between them all. It was a very exclusive club whose membership extended to a mere handful of men going back over five hundred years. You only had to have been out to An Sgeir one time to qualify for membership, proving your courage and strength, and your ability to endure against the elements. Their predecessors had made the journey in open boats on mountainous seas because they had to, to survive, to feed hungry villagers. Now they went out in a trawler to bring back a delicacy much sought after by well-fed islanders. But their stay on the rock was no less hazardous, no less demanding than it had been for all those who had gone before.
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Book description
A brutal killing takes place on the isle of Lewis, Scotland — a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.


Detective Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.


Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.


As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface, and soon he, the hunter becomes the hunted.

The isle of Lewis is the most desolate and harshly beautiful place in Scotland, where the brutality of daily life is outweighed only by people's fear of God. When a bloody murder on the island bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. Since Fin himself was raised on the island, the investigation represents not only a journey home but a voyage into his past, as he attempts to rediscover the life and people he left behind.

Each year twelve island men, among them Fin's boyhood friends, sail out to a remote and treacherous rock called An Sgeir on a perilous quest to slaughter nesting seabirds. No longer necessary for survival, this rite of passage is fiercely defended against all the demands of modern morality. But for Fin the hunt harbours a horrific memory which might, after all this time, demand an even greater sacrifice.

The Blackhouse is a crime novel of rare power and vision. It is a murder mystery that explores the shadows in our souls, set in a place where the past is ever near the surface, and life blurs into myth and history.

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When a grisly murder occurs on a Scottish island, Edinburgh detective Fin Macleod must confront his past if he is ever going to discover if the killing has a connection to another one that took place on the mainland.

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