The Blackhouse by Peter May

The Blackhouse by Peter May
Publisher: RiverRun
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (401 pages)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

‘One of the best regarded crime series of recent years’ Independent

A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.


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.

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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.

Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate the murder of a high school classmate.

This is my new favorite author. His writing style drew me in. He has a wonderful talent for telling a story but also delivering the back story right along with it that helps deliver more about the characters, why the character is taking a certain action or it helped in giving me a more in depth understanding as the back story is so effortlessly tied into the storyline.

The description of the town reveals that the author took time to study the location and learn about the customs of the community. Reading the author’s descriptive words I can picture many of the scenes. This is an excellent novel that I imagine captures the landscape of Isle of Lewis very well.

The book wasn’t wordy nor did it deliver unnecessary fillers. The tempo was perfect. Though Fin was there to investigate a murder, the story goes into depth about his youth and how he ended up where he is now. I can try to explain it but you may not understand until you read the story. This book is more than the suspense of solving a murder like some author’s focus on. If you prefer your crime novels to focus solely on the investigation of solving the case this is not the book for you. There is a secret which is eventually exposed and this leads to the motive for the murder. Once this secret is revealed Fin’s investigations speeds up as he starts to put the pieces together.

The story is dark and gloomy but memorable. At times I forgot about the murder investigation and ended up focused so much on Fin’s life. I didn’t favor any character over another. I felt sorry for them all. The author impressively builds the character with subtle layers and when he’s done they are hard to part with. Fin having very recently lost his 8 year old son and facing the breakdown of his marriage he carried a sadness about him. And as I read about his youth his life seemed to have lacked love and bonding. While reading I didn’t realize this but now as I reflect on the story as a whole I feel sorry for Fin. While reading I felt like the towns people, looking up to Fin and seeing him as one that got out of the town and made something of himself despite his upbringing.

I can’t wait to get started on the next installment of the series. The author’s writing is incredible storytelling that should not be missed.

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