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The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy) by Peter May
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The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy) (edition 2011)

by Peter May

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3652929,724 (4.14)24
Member:Amsa1959
Title:The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy)
Authors:Peter May
Info:Quercus (2011), Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Collections:Your library, Crime
Rating:*****
Tags:audio, 2013, Scotland

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The Lewis Man by Peter May

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A body is found in the peat bog on the isle of Lewis. The only clue to the body's identity is that he was related to a local farmer. But the local farmer Tormed Macdonald is a man with dementia and he has always claimed to be the only child.

It strange that the hardest reviews to write is actually for the books that I love. It's sometimes so hard to put into words how great a book is that I just want to say read it and you will see why it is so good.

The Lewis Man is such a book, just like the first book in the series; The Blackhouse. There is something so appealing with the story, the characters, the setting and of course the writing that I couldn't stop reading the book.

The case in this book is interesting, this is what I can remember the first book I have read when the suspect in a murder case has dementia and what makes the case even tougher is that the suspect is Tormod Macdonald, ex-police Fin Macleods first loves father. He may not be a police anymore,but he needs to try to find out the truth, even if it would mean hurting his relationship with Marsaili Macdonald.

It was a great read from the beginning to the end. The ending wasn't that intense as in the last book, but it was still very good and I'm looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy.

Review also posted on And Now for Something Completely Different and It's a Mad Mad World ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 21, 2015 |
A retired police officer moves back to the island he grew up on and gets pulled into identifying a body found in the peat. He ventures through old friends and lovers as he tries to identify the body and the story has lots of unsuspected developments. Mr. May does a great job of conveying how difficult life sounds on the Isle of Lewis. These are very tough people... ( )
  tinkermn | Mar 27, 2015 |
Grim story of life on Lewis and other Hebridean islands seen through the eyes of an old man with dementia. Fin Mcleod has retuned home after leaving the police in Edinburgh and finds himself embroiled in an old murder mystery after a young man's body is recovered from a peat bog. Throws a light on the cruel practice of sending mainland orphans to the islands where they were often mistreated, sometimes abused but at the very least had extremely harsh lives. ( )
  edwardsgt | Mar 15, 2015 |
The second novel in the trilogy is as good as the first one ('The Blackhouse'). It follows similar pattern - convergence of current life and events hidden in the past, bleak and depressing existence on islands north of Scotland, a mystery hidden in the past. Great writing. I think the unique feature that makes the novel a great read is the island atmosphere. The narration of part of the story by demented man is quite brilliant. ( )
  everfresh1 | Dec 29, 2014 |
This second novel of the Lewis Trilogy opens with the discovery of a body in a peat bog. Fin Macleod, a retired police detective who has returned to the Isle of Lewis, the Hebridean island of his birth, is drawn into the murder investigation when it is determined that the body has DNA links to Tormod Mackenzie, the father of Marsaili, Fin’s first love.

The book has two points of view. Part is narrated in third person, focusing on Fin; other sections are in first person with Tormod as the narrator. This latter point of view is interesting because Tormod suffers from dementia. We learn about his life from his memories of the distant past. Some of the suspense in the novel is derived from our wondering whether Fin will be able to uncover that past without Tormod’s assistance. The problem is that Tormod’s memories are formed into such clear and detailed narratives; this hardly seems believable in a person suffering from progressive dementia.

One aspect of the novel that bothered me is the lengthy descriptions of the landscape and weather. Here’s an example: “The night was filled with the whispering sound of the sea. It sighed, as if relieved by the removal of its obligation to maintain an angry demeanour. A three-quarters moon rose into the blackness above it and cast its light upon the water and the sand, a light that threw shadows and obscured truths in half-lit faces. The air was soft, and pregnant with the prospect of coming summer, a poetry in the night, carried in the shallow waves that burst like bubbling Hippocrene all along the beach’ (252). The descriptions are poetic, but when virtually every chapter includes such descriptions, they soon become tedious. The author is certainly trying to establish the beauty and desolation of the Outer Hebrides, but so many references to the weather are not necessary to do so.

It is best if one has read the first book in the trilogy, The Blackhouse, because characters from it reappear and their stories are further developed. Fin’s relationships with Marsaili and her son Fionnlagh are better understood if one knows what transpired earlier. One of the most interesting aspects of this novel is these relationships. The past weighs heavily on Tormod but it does as well in Fin’s life.

Besides the weight of the past, this book also touches in the mistreatment of children. Fin’s childhood was less than ideal and Tormod’s was even less so. The novel touches on "the homers" - children from broken homes who were relocated to foster families in the Hebrides.

The resolution relies too highly on coincidence. The number of characters who come together at the end is unbelievable. And the foreshadowing of Fin’s comment, “’I wish you hadn’t told him your dad’s name’” (279) doesn’t make the ending more credible.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series; this second one was less satisfying, but I will certainly read the third to find out how it all ends. ( )
  Schatje | Dec 10, 2014 |
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'That is wher they live:
not here and now, but where all happened once.'

From "The old fools" by Philip Larkin
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In memory of my dad
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857382209, Hardcover)

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 this islander, Tormod Macdonald - now an elderly man 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:16 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A body is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis. The male Caucasian corpse is initially believed by its finders to be over 2000 years old, until they spot the Elvis tattoo on his right arm. The body, it transpires, is not evidence of an ancient ritual killing, but of a murder committed during the latter half of the 20th century.… (more)

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