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The Lewis Man: Book Two of the Lewis Trilogy

The Lewis Man: Book Two of the Lewis Trilogy [Kindle Edition]

Peter May
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,404 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'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 Times. 'well worth reading' The Sunday Times.

'as good as its superb predecessor, The Blackhouse ... this is 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' Guardian.

'The depiction of the island atmosphere is as impressive as the action' The Sunday Telegraph.

'The book is gritty in a fine way ... a delight: bringing people and place alive in equal measure' Shots Mag.

'a hymn in praise of the beauties of the islands and miseries of their weather' Scotsman.

'as gripping as its predecessor ... well written, rendering almost visible the Hebridean landscapes, seascapes and customs' Literary Review.

'The Lewis Man, Peter May's sequel to last year's bestseller The Blackhouse is even more impressive than its predecessor' Big Issue Scotland. 'His landscape is authentic and, while what happens in the dark tales are things one hopes would be foreign, they become all too believable as they stream from his sharp pen' Northern Times.

'An exciting, page-turning thriller' Press Association. 'May skilfully combines pathos and the themes of identity, lost love and family ties to create an exciting, page turning thriller' Sheffield Star.

'May's thriller is gripping, atmospheric and educational' Mail on Sunday. 'a page-turning thriller' Norwich Evening News. 'Not only was this book a really good thriller, it also shed light on the trials of living with dementia and the effects on both the sufferer and their family' Stirling Observer.

Product Description


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.


But this islander, Tormod Macdonald - now an elderly man suffering from dementia - has always claimed to be an only child.


When Tormod's family approach Fin Macleod for help, Fin feels duty-bound to solve the mystery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 716 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (22 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857382209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857382207
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,404 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:

- the internationally best-selling Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;
- the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;
- the critically-acclaimed Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France;
and several standalone books, the latest of which is Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK).

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
212 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The past casts long shadows... 1 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
With this second part of his Lewis trilogy (the first being The Blackhouse), Peter May has again shown that he is up there in the top rank of the current crop of Scottish crime writers.

When a preserved body is discovered in a peat bog, DNA testing shows that the victim is related to Tormod Macdonald, the father of Marsaili, Fin Macleod's childhood love. Fin has now left the police force in Edinburgh and returned to Lewis to restore his parents' house and soon gets sucked into the investigation. Tormod is suffering from dementia and although he still has flashes of memory about the events of his youth he is unable to tell the story of what happened in words. However, the reader is allowed into Tormod's mind and through a combination of his fragmentary recollections and Fin's investigations a grim and moving picture gradually develops of Tormod's childhood experiences first in an orphanage and then shipped as a 'homer' to a family in the islands. May's story-telling skills bring this shameful and little known part of Scotland's recent past vividly to life. And again, as in the first novel in the series, the long shadows of the past loom threateningly over the present day.

As always, May's research is meticulous and the picture he creates has an air of complete authenticity. For me, the Lewis novels are shaping up to be his best - it seems he has an affinity with the life and natural world of the islands which makes his descriptive writing compelling. His recurring characters are likeable and their story is further developed in this book. May's handling of Tormod's difficult childhood and present dementia is sensitive and sympathetic.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved The Blackhouse, first book in the series. But I did wonder how the compelling past/present intertwining of the main character's story could be continued in the sequel.

Let me tell you, it can - and how. The Lewis Man is even better than the first book. A very poignant story, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing (and guessing wrong). A fascinating insight into the mind as we grow older and the tolerance required of those around us as we age. A cracking yarn. An involving murder mystery. Events you can believe in, happening to characters you actually care about. (I believe I may even have shed a little tear at one point. Unless it was just something in my eye).

Not for nothing does this book claim its rightful place in 2012's top 10 best selling hardback works of fiction. Buy it, read it. Buy and read the first one too. And when they both finally fall from your numb fingers (because you REALLY won't be able to put either of them down), hopefully it will only be a short wait for The Chess Men, the final of the series.

(Oh, and if you've just been introduced to Peter May by this series, you might like to check out his Enzo Files books and China thrillers too.)
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving and haunting - not (just) a thriller 22 Jan 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a total surprise. It starts out a mystery story, it soon becomes a search to identify who perpetrated a murder from half a century ago, and it's at times over-decorated with passages of scenic description. None of these features are the point, and it's unexpectedly moving for quite different reasons.

Running throughout are retrospect chapters, the unspoken silent reminiscences of an elderly man, father of the detective's childhood sweetheart. He is connected, so DNA tests have established, to the body of a murdered man found preserved in a bog. Is he the killer? Or rather, was he the killer? Now he's suffering from dementia and can barely communicate.

What's remarkable is the extent to which this man is shown to think and to feel, and how he does in his way connect to his immediate world, even while unable to communicate that connection. He feels pain, hurt, pleasure, joy. And all this is rendered simply, cleanly, in prose of total plainness, nothing fancy, and is extraordinarily moving because it stays so plain. Usually it's been film that's given us portraits of the incapacities that can accompany degeneration of the mind - "Iris", for instance, gave us a visual portrait of Iris Murdoch in her last years that was a heart-breaking contrast with how she once had been. What's moving here, though, is something more: Peter May's Lewis Man is still lucid in his thoughts and his recollections while clumsy and helpless as he tries to communicate to the world he inhabits, to the point of unwittingly alienating his wife and many of the well-meaning people who attempt to care for him. It's very Scottish, this capacity to make words and feelings so moving by dint of not exaggerating and not decorating, and opting instead for what appears unemotional plainness.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Gripping 9 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful writer feel the cold wind and the spray in your face, feel the isolation and be absorbed in the tale love the story and the way its told. I shall read all this authors books but will love his Scottish Island tales best.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Some months after the end of The Blackhouse, Finn MacLeod is winding up his life in Edinburgh - his marriage, his job as a police detective - and returns to his emotional home, the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. He plans to restore his parents' derelict croft house while living in a tent - pretty brave, considering the Scottish island climate.

Before getting very far in his task, Finn becomes embroiled in a murder case. The body of a man has been found buried in a peat bog. The victim has been killed, probably in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Finn is consulted by George Gunn, the constable on the island who worked with him on a previous case - the two men hope to find the victim's identity, and hence solve the crime, before specialist reinforcements arrive from the mainland and take over. At first, the task seems relatively simple, because a DNA test reveals that the victim is related to Tormond MacDonald, the father of Finn's childhood sweetheart Marsaili. (That's three coincidences so far, as Tormond was the only man on the island who did not request his DNA sample to be destroyed after the collection made in The Blackhouse.)

Finn cannot make progress, though, because the old man has dementia and is degenerating rapidly. Finn's gentle questioning of him throws up some clues, but not many. The author depicts Tormond very movingly, in particular his fractured internal life, in which past and present are confused. Something about Finn and Marsaili's enquiries triggers the old man's memories, and for much of the book we learn of his childhood. These sections of the book require the reader to suspend belief in the set-up in order to enjoy them, as they are written as if by an articulate, logical person and not convincing as a first-person narrative.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read!
I was thoroughly enjoyed The Black House, with its mysterious Scottish setting. The Lewis Man is equally enthralling. Peter May is a talented writer of thrillers and mysteries. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Nola238
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, absorbing and unforgiving in its honesty
A brilliantly fitting sequel to The Blackhouse. a complicated plot kept tight by May's ownership of language and words. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jane Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars Islands Mystery
Elegantly written and the story unfolds rather cleverly with flashbacks to earlier times and surprises for the reader. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Francesca Forsyth
4.0 out of 5 stars Lewis Man
Peter May is a masterful storyteller. His characters are beautifully drawn and I would now love to visit Lewis. I particularly liked his portrayal of Alzheimer's. Read more
Published 5 days ago by MRS S I UPTON
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lewis Man
Got a bit confused reading this story - when I didn't keep on reading but picked it up after a few days had to go back to see what I was reading about. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Irene Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Read this one first by mistake and that made following some of the references to earlier book a bit confusing. However the story was good and the plot excellent.
Published 10 days ago by alex mcintyre
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read in a long time
Thanks to Richard Osman from pointless for the recommendation to read the Lewis Trilogy. Have started The Enzo files now and these are like Dan Brown with the forensics. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Kim Deabill
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous read
The best of the trilogy. Poignant story of Catholic orphans in Edinburgh interwoven with the present day adventure. A really good read.
Published 14 days ago by A. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars a jolly good read
Fascinating - will look forward to more from this author after I have completed this trilogy. The setting is novel and interesting
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 down, can't wait for number 3
If anything, I enjoyed this even more than The Black House. So atmospheric, so descriptive but also gripping and unputdownable. Can't wait to read The Chessmen.
Published 17 days ago by Abi Curtis
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