The Blackhouse, an award-winner, is book #1 in the Lewis trilogy of mystery novels by Scottish author Peter May. I liked this one. His writing style appeals to me, and the way he develops the characters is amazing in how much you realize he had revealed all along once you've finished the book. I'll be buying the next 2 in this series as soon as I can go to my local book store.
One of the episodes in the book takes place on Guy Fawkes Night.
from the back of the book:
When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis that bears similarities to a brutal killing on the mainland, Edinburgh detective and native islander Fin Macleod is dispatched to the Outer Hebrides to investigate, embarking at the same time on a voyage into his own troubled past.quotes from the book that struck me as I read:
As Fin reconnects with the people and places of his tortured childhood, the desolate but beautiful island and its ancient customs once again begin to assert their grip on his psyche. Every step toward solving the case beings Fin closer to a dangerous confrontation with the dark events of the past that shaped -and nearly destroyed- his life.
Long stretches of empty road linked bleak and exposed settlements huddled around churches of various denominations. The Church of Scotland. The United Free Church of Scotland. The Free Church of Scotland. The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) -the Wee Frees, as the free churches were universally known. Each one was a division of the one before. Each one a testimony to the inability of man to agree with man. Each one a rallying point of hatred and distrust of the other.
It's odd how people can get locked in a kind of time warp. There's a time in their lives that defines them, and they hang onto it for all the subsequent decades; the same hair, the same style of clothes, the same music, even though the world around them has changed beyond recognition.
Life went past you in a flash, like a bus on a rainy night in Ness. You had to be sure it saw you and stopped to let you on, otherwise it was gone without you, and you would be left with a miserable walk home in the wind and the wet.
The New York Times opens with this: "Peter May is a writer I’d follow to the ends of the earth — which is where he takes us in THE BLACKHOUSE". The Scotsman says, "Award-winning Glasgow-born author Peter May is no stranger to the Isle of Lewis, and it shows in every thrilling chapter of this bleak, wild, atmospheric novel." Eurocrime opens its review by exclaiming, "What a truly fantastic book this is!"