Letters of Mass Construction

The Blackhouse by Peter May

Finding a new author you enjoy reading is always worthy of a happy dance. Finding one whose stories are set in Scotland is justification for dropping to the ground and busting out my mad break dancing skills. Okay, the break dancing isn’t true but everything else is. For years Ian Rankin has sat proudly at the top of my favorite mystery writers’ list. Rankin’s Scotland is a place I could visit again and again.

Now, I am not going to get crazy here and say Peter May is right there with Rankin yet. One book does not make a long steady career of greatness but it was a damn good book. Set in the Isle of Lewis, this is the first book in the Lewis trilogy. The first half of the book is good. The second half of the book is incredible. As in, I know I should be sleeping because I have to work tomorrow but screw it I need to finish, incredible.

The story follows Fin Macleod back to his small hometown to investigate if a murder there is connected to one he is investigating in Edinburgh. The story weaves the current investigation with flashbacks of his troubled childhood. Both stories are powerful but the flashbacks really pack an emotional punch and give the story the momentum and power which will keep you reading well into the night.

Peter May knows how to write people. I believe Fin’s torment. Even more impressive is how May uses the setting to push the story forward. I cared about Fin. I wanted to know more about the Isle of Lewis. I am overjoyed there are two more books for me to read. For me this is a must buy for mystery readers who are fans of Ian Rankin or Tana French. Go pick it up and make sure you have cleared a day to read it. You are not going to want to stop.

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This book was an advance reading copy provided by Quercus Books (US)

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