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The Chessmen by Peter May

The Chessmen (2013)

by Peter May

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6223524,283 (3.91)85
THE NEW START Fin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal game-hunting taking place on the island. THE OLD FRIEND This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill - a local poacher, Fin's teenage intimate, and possessor of a long-buried secret. THE FINAL CHAPTER But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn and Fin puts together the fractured pieces of the past, he realizes that revealing the truth could destroy the future.… (more)



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Fin Macleod is working as a head security on an estate on Lewis. He is in charge of investigating illegal game-hunting and this brings him at a collision course with an old friend of his Whistler Macaskill a local poacher. The something unexpected happens, the dead body of musician and an old friend to both Fin and Whistler is discovered in an airplane in a lake.

The first two books in this series are truly great and I've been looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy and it was great to once again return to the isle of Lewis and Fin Macleod. But I didn't find the case in this book as interesting as the last two books, the finding of dead musician and the secrets that this reveal were just not intriguing enough I think. Don't take me wrong the book was good, just the case wasn't surprising enough. But the ending did have a great big surprise that I didn't expect, but that was more to do with something relevant to the previous book.

All and all not as superb as the previous two books, still enjoyable to read and I quite liked Whistler. I do wish that Peter May will write more books about Fin Macleod even though this book is the last in the trilogy. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
The third part of the Lewis trilogy is great. It is told of today and at the same time it goes back to the past. Fin Macleod's life is taking on even more form and you understand him and his actions better and better. In this part, one becomes acquainted with his best childhood friend Whistler Macaskill. We learn that Fin and Whistler were always there for each other and went through thick and thin together. Each helped the other when in distress. In the harsh world of the Northern Scottish archipelago, such a warm and friendly friendship is worth gold. ( )
  Ameise1 | Mar 13, 2019 |
I had a couple of issues with this book, the final volume of the Lewis Trilogy, but the quality of the overall story and writing won me over. A number of flashbacks were a bit confusing, and a detailed past for Fin that was never mentioned in the first two books suggested the author didn't plan well. That Fin chose to keep information to himself throughout the investigation was unreasonable and would have got him bumped off taking the secret to the grave in many other mystery novels. However, May's characters are excellent and he describes the Hebrides so well that it's almost like being there. For that he gets credit.

The ending doesn't suggest any additional volumes but doesn't exactly close the door on the idea, leaving me with hope that I'll read about Fin and Mairsaili at some later date. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Feb 6, 2019 |
I love the Lewis Trilogy. Brooding landscapes, broodier (is that a word?) characters, especially the troubled Fin McLeod. This isn't the strongest of the three books but they're all great. ( )
  viking2917 | Jun 20, 2018 |
This very nearly got 4 stars. Up until the last few chapters it was so well written I didn't even notice how the memories of times gone by were all written in the first person, while the ongoing action is third person, giving a very intimate portrait of Fin Macleod. Endings are difficult and it didn't quite work for me - the last few chapters felt like a bit of a blood bath although now I look back there was a lot less killing than it felt like. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
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‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days

Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:

Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,

And one by one back in the Closet lays.

- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, xlix
In loving memory of wee Jennifer
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He sits at his desk, grey with fear and the weight of this momentous step which, once taken, cannot be taken back.

When Fin opened his eyes the interior of the ancient stone dwelling which had sheltered them from the storm was suffused with a strange pink light.
“Remember that beach party we had the summer before we left for university On that wee island somewhere off the coast of Great Bearnaraigh.” It had seemed idyllic. Campfires and barbecues on the beach, drinking beer and smoking dope beneath a firmament filled with bright stars shining like the hopes they’d all had for themselves. “Our whole lives ahead of us, and nothing to lose but our virginity.”
The return of all seventy-eight Lewis chessmen to their last resting place for just one day. Sixty-seven of the chess pieces were permanently housed in the British Museum in London, that repository of stolen artefacts from around the world. The remaining eleven were kept in Edinburgh, but still a long way from home.
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