"The Lewis Man", by Peter May

The Lewis Man - Peter  May

Book #2, in The Lewis Trilogy

This second episode takes place sometime after the end of “The Blackhouse”. Finn MacLeod has returned to his emotional home on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and plans to restore his parents’ derelict house but before getting to the task, he finds himself embroiled in a murder case. The body of a man buried in a peat bog since the late 1950s….George Gunn, a constable on the island who worked with him before, hope to identify the victim and solve the case.

DNA shows the victim to be related to Tormond MacDonald but the poor man has dementia questioning him proof to be a challenge but he is the clue to solving the mystery. The author depicts Tormond movingly, in which past and present is very confused. But questioning him triggers memories back to his childhood and recounting his youth is the heart of this wonderful yet heartbreaking story. 

Back and forth the narrative alternates between the old man memories and the present day where Finn is searching for the identity of the dead man as well as re-establishing old relationships. The story is very well told, with great sense of atmosphere and place but take your map out Finn travels up and down the islands and his journey crosses beautiful scenery: beaches, wild cliffs and unforgiving weather.

Once again Mr. May weaves his wonderful magic as the story unfolds in vivid details. The story is completely absorbing, I was immersed in this drama from the get-go and I soon felt like a hidden spectator witnessing events as they unfolded, so into it I felt. The characterization is outstanding.

This is a gripping story told by a master storyteller and one of my new found authors I will read more of.