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The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy #2)
     

The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy #2)

4.5 12
by Peter May
 

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Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times raved: "Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." Among the many honors received, The Blackhouse, the first novel in May's acclaimed Lewis trilogy, won the Barry and Crime Thriller Hound awards.

In The Lewis Man, the second book of the trilogy, Fin Macleod has returned to the Isle of

Overview

Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times raved: "Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth." Among the many honors received, The Blackhouse, the first novel in May's acclaimed Lewis trilogy, won the Barry and Crime Thriller Hound awards.

In The Lewis Man, the second book of the trilogy, Fin Macleod has returned to the Isle of Lewis, the storm-tossed, wind-scoured outer Hebridean island where he was born and raised. Having left behind his adult life in Edinburgh--including his wife and his career in the police force--the former Detective Inspector is intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents' derelict cottage. His plans are interrupted when an unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog. The only clue to its identity is a DNA match to a local farmer, the now-senile Tormod Macdonald--the father of Fin's childhood sweetheart, Marsaili--a man who has claimed throughout his life to be an only child, practically an orphan. Reluctantly drawn into the investigation, Fin uncovers deep family secrets even as he draws closer to the killer who wishes to keep them hidden.

Already an international bestseller and winner of numerous awards, including France's Prix des Lecteurs du Telegramme, The Lewis Man has the lyrical verve of Ian Rankin and the gutsy risk-taking of Benjamin Black. As fascinating and forbidding as the Hebridean landscape, the book (according to The Times) "throbs with past and present passions, jealousies, suspicions and regrets; the emotional secrets of the bleak island are even deeper than its peat bog."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A 2014 Library Journal "Best Books of the Year" Pick for Mysteries

"May is superb . . . [a] moving and mysterious story."—The Toronto Star

"Haunting . . . The fast-moving investigation sweeps Fin across the starkly beautiful Hebridean landscape into unexpected byways, back into the darker chapters of Scotland's past, as well as his own-and smack into some very present danger."—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

"lives up to the high standard of [The Blackhouse] . . . Stunning."—Library Journal (Starred Review)

"As good as its superb predecessor... not only a good mystery, but also a moving and evocative portrayal of a place where the unforgiving weather is matched only by the church's harsh patronage."—Laura Wilson, The Guardian

The way May combines forensic anthropology with old-fashioned detective legwork is fascinating. Even more compelling is watching Mcleod grapple with grief and regret as he sets about restoring his life . . . another gripping installment in the Lewis trilogy."—Booklist (Starred Review)

"Giving a voice to the demented figure at the center of the mystery accelerates the gradual pace of the revelations, gives Macdonald's unwilling, and largely unwitting, return to his early days a powerful poignancy, and allows him from time to time to leap ahead of the trained investigator working the same dark field. . . you'll keep turning the pages."—Kirkus Reviews

"Every bit as excellent as The Blackhouse... Peter May weaves his wonderful magic and the story unfolds before you in vivid detail."—Amanda C M Gillies, Eurocrime

"In mood and texture, Peter May's novels, set on the Isle of Lewis, are essentially Nordic, and he bears comparison with some of the best writers from those cold desolate climes... the plot throbs with past and present passions, jealousies, suspicions and regrets; the emotional secrets of the bleak island are even deeper than its peat bog."—Marcel Berlins, The Times

"The strength and beauty of this book lies in the exploration of the relationships between people. The characters are beautifully drawn and so true to life... The plot is intricate and cleverly fitted together... I absolutely loved this second book in the series and can safely state that May is currently unveiling a cracking series."—CrimeSquad

"May is a masterful story-teller. He skillfully combines pathos and the themes of identity, lost love and family ties to create an exciting, page-turning thriller."—Laura Wurzal, The Irish Examiner

"Spell-binding... the book's a delight: bringing people and place alive in equal measure."—Jim Kelly, ShotsMag

"The depiction of the island atmosphere is as impressive as the action."—Julia Handford, The Sunday Telegraph

"Like all the best crime fiction its interest is not restricted to the investigation... the scenes set in the orphanage in the Dean Village are moving... crime novels may be primarily entertainments, but the best ones always offer something more. Fin's investigation of this long-buried crime forces him to make a reassessment of his own life."—Allan Massie, The Scotsman

"His story is moving, portraying the harsh characteristics of the times and the unforgiving Hebridean weather. The twist at the end is satisfying, and the last few paragraphs are truly touching."—Deseret News

"[THE LEWIS MAN] will send you scurrying to read the first and waiting eagerly for the final book . . . Mr. May really knows how to write thrillers. He keeps us deliciously tantalized until the very end of the book."—Arab Vistas Today

"Readers will not be able to put down The Lewis Man . . . Readers will also discover a new favorite in Peter May. From the use of Gaelic to the beautifully described scenery, readers will experience the islands of Scotland for themselves. May crafts a thrilling mystery, transporting readers to his settings with descriptive imagery."Killer Nashville

Library Journal
★ 09/01/2014
The well-preserved body of a young man, found in a peat bog on Lewis Island in the Scottish Hebrides, doesn't need carbon dating when a tattoo of Elvis Presley is found on his arm. But identifying the victim, who is found to have been murdered, is complicated when DNA reveals he was related to Tormod Macdonald, a man in his 70s who is suffering rapidly from worsening dementia. Newly retired Edinburgh police detective Fin Macleod, just returned to his native Lewis, becomes caught up in the case because Macdonald's now-widowed daughter, Marsaili, was his first love. As Macdonald's first-person narrative of his difficult youth parallels the contemporary investigation, events lead to a climax fueled by revenge. VERDICT This second entry in the Lewis trilogy (after the acclaimed Barry Award-winning The Blackhouse) lives up to the high standard of the first. May weaves a shameful practice in Scottish history into a compelling story with wonderfully drawn characters motivated by deeply held emotions. The bleakly beautiful Outer Hebrides setting adds to the mood of darkness, and the characters' reactions to Macdonald's impairment—ranging from impotent rage to loving compassion—provide a needed touch of humanity. Stunning.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857382221
Publisher:
Quercus
Publication date:
09/28/2012
Series:
Lewis Trilogy Series , #2

Meet the Author

Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BBC, he quit journalism and during the high-octane 15 years that followed, became one of Scotland's most successful television dramatists. He created three prime-time TV drama series, presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland as script editor and producer, and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels.

His passion for detailed research for his books has taken him behind the closed doors of the Chinese Police force, to the kitchen of a 3-star Michelin chef, and down the Paris catacombs; he has worked as an online private detective, was inducted as a Chevalier of the Grand Order of Gaillac wines and earned honorary membership of the Chinese Crime Writers' Association.

He has won several literature awards in France and received the USA's Barry Award for The Blackhouse, the first in his internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy.

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Lewis Man 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Arthur_Coombe More than 1 year ago
Did you like The Blackhouse? Denise Mina? You’ll enjoy this.  The second in a trilogy set in the outer Hebrides, this is a gripping read, well-written with believable characters.  Being something of a rolling stone myself, I liked the idea of an isolated, close-knit community where people are connected by family, friendships and past mistakes.  Like its predecessor, The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man has the theme of long-ago decisions touching multiple lives years later.  There’s an agreeable (to me) air of melancholy, regret and damaged lives that works well with the grim Isle of Lewis setting. I was also very glad to find the same romantic tension between Fin MacLeod and childhood sweetheart Marsaili that made The Blackhouse so enjoyable. The author has seen something of life and understands people.  To be balanced, I must say that compared to The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man seemed to lack something. It felt formulaic, and at times over-written with too many clichés – the island is “storm-lashed;” the wind “whips” characters twice in five pages; dialogue occasionally becomes unnaturally encyclopedic, reminding me of Dan Brown. Still, it’s much better written than I’ve come to expect from crime fiction, and well worth your time. 
TheLoon More than 1 year ago
I actually liked this book more than the first (The Blackhouse). The plot and story moved along and seemed believable and consistent. I do not know how one can convey the reality of dementia while at the same time "flashing back" to earlier events of his life, but the author does in fact get the job done. I fully look forward to the third book in this series.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
The next phase of Finlay (“Fin”) Macleod’s life takes place in this second novel of a trilogy that began with “The Blackhouse.” He resigns his position as an Edinburgh detective and returns to the Isle of Lewis, the largest of the Outer Hebrides Islands off the western coast of Scotland, sleeping in the rough and intending to restore his boyhood home, which has fallen to disrepair. Instead, of course, he becomes mired in another mystery when a mummified body is found in a nearby peat bog. The plot develops from two points of view. First, it is told through the muddied recollections of the father of Marsaili (Fin’s former lover), who suffers from advanced dementia. Then various aspects are told from Fin’s viewpoint. Fin becomes involved because of his past (and possibly present) relationship with Marsaili. It seems that DNA collected in an unrelated circumstance establishes a link between the corpse and Marsaili’s father. And, as Fin points out, that makes him suspect number one, dementia or no. So, before the detectives from the mainland can show up, it is up to Fin et al to find out what really happened. The second novel is as good as or better than the first one in the trilogy. It portrays the bleak terrain and ecology and horrible weather of the Outer Hebrides, and the description of the people and how they live is superb. This is an excellent mystery which is unfolded in layers which are slowly unveiled. Highly recommended by this reader, who looks forward to reading the closing novel of the trilogy.
MaraBlaise More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the Black House by this author and really enjoyed it. This second book did not disappoint. Peter May's wonder descriptions of the weather and landscape of the islands makes you feel that you are there.
MCT_Book_Club More than 1 year ago
Peter May's THE LEWIS MAN is the second book in the Lewis Island Trilogy set on the islands of Lewis and Harris, the largest in an archipelago of islands off the west coast of Scotland. The islands are made up of beautiful hilly terrain, machair (fertile grassy plains), and bogs and they stand proud, weathering the harsh north-sea winds and deep cold winters. The islanders are hardworking people and they make a living out of harvesting peat from the bogs. On one such day of hard work, the people digging in the bogs find a human body. It is initially thought to be thousands of years old because peat preserves bodies from decay, but when a modern tattoo is discovered on the arm, the police realise they have a murder investigation on their hands. DNA links the corpse to an old man, Tormod Macdonald, but Tormod, now suffering from dementia, is believed to have been an only child with no known relatives. Fin Macleod, recently retired from the Lothian & Borders CID, following the death of his son Robbie in a hit-and-run accident and his subsequent divorce, has returned to his native island and his parents’ ruined croft. He involves himself in the investigation because Tormod’s daughter, Marsaili, was his first love, and he is indeed, as we soon guess, the father of her son, Fionnlagh. And so we set on a long path of discovery into the past, following Fin Macleod in his investogation, with flashes of viewpoint into the childhood memories of Tormod. We learn of the dark history of the island's past in which Tormod and two others children cling together as orphans and support and carry each other through dark times. There are many touching scenes as they find love and courage to face the harshness of society around them. Tormod loves the islands and the seas and he hates the modern double glazing that now locks his away from the sounds of the winds that makes him feel alive. It is only nominally a crime novel in that the discovery of the body in the peat bogs sets the story going. It is more a beautifully written ode and a homage to these beautiful islands and the proud, hardy people who live on them. The language is atmospheric and nostalgic, weaving the islands' landscape and the characters' lives together into an inseparably immersed whole. Even when they leave the islands, they carry the islands as a part of themselves as Fin does, and it calls them back. The islanders understand each other instinctively in a way outsiders cannot and it is a place of healing for Fin who finds comfort there from the tragedy of his son's death and a deeper love with Marsaili and his long lost son by her. There is a rare glimpse of humour in naming the book Lewis Man, but the characters we come to love suffer terribly through their lives and the book is full of pathos. It is only in the end that they find well deserved happiness and joy. Follow this link to learn more of the islands and the books. (Note you have to scroll down and turn the 3 Scottish and BBC radio broadcasts that play simultaneously off first.) http://www.ur-web.net/PeterMayMain/lewispage.html
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent
Stevec50 More than 1 year ago
he second book by May featuring Detective Inspector Fin Macleod. Macleod decides, after the events of the first book, to leave his life in Edinburgh behind and return to his boyhood home on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. His endeavor to rebuild the home in which he was raised is interupted by the discovery of a body buried in the peat bogs. He also must deal with his feelings for his childhood sweetheart and his estranged son, who also live on the island. The story is told seperate chapters, not only as we follow Macleod in his investigation, but also remembered by an old man whose mind is slowing disappearing due to oncoming dementia. The tale of the investigation and the memories of the old man soon dovetail as we learn the fate of the young man whose body was found and his relationship to the now elderly husband & father. Certainly not the book you are looking for if you want something light. The childhood of the old man, his family and friends was not a cheery one, but one full of heartache and brutality. What I found fascinating is the true history of the 'homers' children sent from orphanages and broken homes to be basically the property of those on the island who would give them shelter, if little else. Not a happy read, but an interesting one. I'm not tempted to go back to the first novel, The Black House and the final one, The Chess Men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was totally "entranced" with this book. The descriptions of the Island and of Fins' feelings were done to perfection. I cannot wait to read the next one in the trilogy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good mystery. Just when you think you have figured it out, he goes in a new direction. Be sure to read black house first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed #1 and #2. Eagerly awaiting #3!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good