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The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy #1)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  8,639 ratings  ·  1,274 reviews
When a brutal murder on the Isle of Lewis bears the hallmarks of a similar slaying in Edinburgh, police detective Fin Macleod is dispatched north to investigate. But since he himself was raised on Lewis, the investigation also represents a journey home and into his past.
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Quercus Books (first published 2009)
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Stephen Gray I have just finished reading this trilogy. I really loved everything about it. The story-lines, the characters, the style of writing but most of all…moreI have just finished reading this trilogy. I really loved everything about it. The story-lines, the characters, the style of writing but most of all the wonderful feel for the Hebridean Islands and Lewis in particular. You can almost taste, feel and smell these islands - it has made me want to visit again, soon! I have rarely read such amazing writing in a crime fiction book.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Janet
If you like mysteries set in remote locations in the United Kingdom, brooding weather, a tortured detective, a hostile boss, family secrets and some gritty forensic scenes, then, like me, you'll love this book.

The remote location is the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides and the weather is obligingly nasty. Fin Macleod was born and raised on the island, but left as soon as he could and has returned only once in eighteen years, for a family funeral. But now he's been assigned to work a murder
...more
Stuart Goodwin
Having finished a rather weighty feminist tome I felt the need for something lighter, pacier and so turned to the Black House. I discovered this book in a Charity Shop in Lichfield and bought it mainly because of the location, the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. You see, I have worked as a Mountain Guide for Walkabout Scotland on and off since 2006, walking, or working on, many of the Isles including Skye, Mull and Iona. Lewis I have not been to so the book was meant to plug the gap. Howeve ...more
Anna
With its ‘evil lies within’ tag on the cover and ‘the hunter becomes the hunted’ in the blurb, this book sounded right up my street, and I loved the beginning of it. The creepy remote Scottish island setting, early gruesome murder and gorily detailed post mortem reminded me of the excellent Written in Bone by Simon Beckett, and I was excited to have found another great mystery/thriller author.

Sadly though, he peaked at this point. The rest of the book fizzled out into a nothingness with far too
...more
Harry
Book Review

Categorized as mystery novel, Peter May’s The Blackhouse (#1 in The Lewis Trilogy) could just as easily fall within a coming-of-age mystery novel, or fall within what I call the “ethno-mystery” genre. Take Krueger’s Ordinary Grace, a brilliant stand-alone novel about a story of the murder of a beautiful young woman in 1961 Minnesota. The seed that drives the entire novel is this crime but Kreuger, a master craftsman of the novel, invites us to scrutinize the consequences of being unju
...more
Stephanie
The One Sentence Summary: An Edinburgh detective is called to investigate a murder in his childhood home on the Isle of Lewis and in doing so, has to confront his past.

The Meat and Potatoes: Detective Fin Macleod hasn’t been back to the Isle of Lewis, where he was raised, in years. But when the mutilated body of a murder victim is found there, bearing the same post-mortem injuries as a case he’s investigating in Edinburgh, he’s sent back to investigate any possible connections. The Lewis victim
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Magdalena
There is something alluring (at least for me) with crime novels placed on islands, especially those far up in the north, with bad weather and people that have know each other for generations. I mean it wouldn’t be the same if it would be set on a Caribbean paradise, for instance who would ever wanna leave in the first place, well if they are poor perhaps but anyway…

Fin Macleod (From the clan Macleod…sorry I’m a child of the 80’s and I love the Highlander) returns home to Isle of Lewis 18 years a
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Stephen
Really enjoyed this "murder with a difference" novel.
The crime itself became secondary to the description of island life and the clever switching between the detective's childhood on the island and the present day. All brought together very cleverly in the end with a very satisfactory ending that I hadn't predicted. Will definitely read the rest of this trilogy and in fact already have the second book. Recommended and almost a 5 star read for me.
Bruno

Quando o meu olhar incidiu numa frase impressa num autocolante vermelho colado na capa que dizia "o melhor thriller do ano!", fui impulsionado para aquirir logo este livro, sem saber o que iria encontrar.

Fui surpreendido com a limpidez da escrita e com o desenrolar do enredo todo. É muito mais do que thriller. Leva-nos ao âmago mais profundo da ilha de Lewis e do própio detetive Fin Macleod.

E o final cortou-me o fôlego!

Há muito tempo que não lia um livro tão bem escrito que me desse tanto praz
...more
Larraine
I hadn't read Peter May before. Now I know I'll read everything that he's written. This is the first in a project trilogy featuring Scottish detective Fin MacLeod. Fin is a police detective in Edinburgh who has been investigating a series of grisly murders. When a similar murder turns up in remote Lewis Island, in the Outer Hebrides, Fin is sent. The local detective isn't particularly happy to have an outside coming in. However, Fin is even more unhappy because he was born and raised on this isl ...more
Sue
Detective Fin Macleod is coming off a difficult time in his personal life when he is told by his boss that he must travel back to a place he has avoided for years, the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides, the island of his birth and where he grew up. He is being sent to assess whether a local murder may, in fact, be related to one that has been committed in Edinburgh where he has been on the force for some 16 years. They both bear marked similarities.

The Blackhouse is a mystery/police procedural but i
...more
Richard
A thoughtful murder mystery where the actual crime plays a secondary role to a wonderful novel about growing up on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. This is the first of three books and it marvelously sets the scene in this Gaelic world. Detective Fin Macleod is obliged to return to his childhood home to investigate a brutal killing that bears close similarities to a murder he is already investigating.
The ensuing investigation also serves as a re-opening of all Fin's past he hoped he had escaped, ign
...more
Jo
Utter tripe. What 6 yr old boy has a crush on a little girl? What 6 yr old girl FLIRTS with the boys in her class (ffs)? It is INCOMPREHENSIBLE that the boy and the girl wouldn't have known each other before school, living on that island. And the shock revelation is both vile and cheap, and badly written. Totally obviously written by a soap opera writer. There are good polis procedurals out there, this isn't one; nor is it an examination of returning to island life or facing demons or whatever i ...more
Greenelander
Different from the usual crime novel in its careful attention to character. I liked how the natural environment of Lewis in itself becomes a character by virtue of some excellent descriptive writing. In the end though, it all became a bit much of a muchness: the pace slowed to a stodgy crawl as May padded it out to as close to 400 pages as possible---can you hear the marketers' whips cracking?---and I was skipping vast chunks just to get it over with. Never a good sign.
Cátia Santos
Na realidade 4,5*! Só não dei as 5* porque adivinhei demasiado cedo a identidade do assassino, mas não as suas motivações.

Um livro diferente do que estava à espera porque mais do que a investigação em si, retrata o regresso do "filho pródigo", neste caso o protagonista de toda história.

Fin, um polícia amargurado por uma tragédia recente, vê-se envolvido numa investigação na sua terra natal, conhecendo a própria vítima. Desta forma, volta à ilha onde nasceu e que tentou deixar para trás, mas con
...more
Tempo de Ler
Há dois elementos que tornam A Casa Negra um livro excecional:

O primeiro é, sem dúvida, o final. Fui acompanhando a narrativa com um interesse crescente que deu lugar a pura compulsão à medida que me aproximava do fim. A conclusão, enervante e reveladora, adquire um ritmo e uma importância que me impediu de pousar o livro. Esta importância é atingida porque o autor, Peter May, consegue fazer com que nos importemos realmente com o destino de Fin e, mais tarde, pelo de outros que lhe são queridos.
...more
Harpmary
I was really looking forward to this book. The Scotland Outdoors podcast (which we listen to religiously) featured it for almost a whole episode. The descriptions and quotes from the book made it sound like deep lyrical prose, set on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it - so I bought it for my Scottish cousin at Christmas and then begged to borrow it when she was finished :-)

I should've been forewarned when my cousin had very little to say about the book - neg
...more
Michael Ridpath
This is a wonderful detective story set on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Fin, an Edinburgh detective, is sent back to Lewis where he grew up, to help investigate a murder. The investigation embroils him in the conflicts and turmoil of his own childhood.

There are a couple of things I can learn from this novel as a crime writer. Lewis and its society is evoked very cleverly. Partly this is the description of the landscape and the weather. But more it is to do with a sense of perspective
...more
Fiona
This took me two days to read, which is faster than I've read a book in a good few months, and I am conflicted. A small part of my brain is spitting feathers and going, "Boo, the ending! Boo!", but a substantially larger part of my brain is very aware that for a very long time I've wanted to go to Lewis, and this book has reminded me exactly why.

There are times when you should forget everything you've been told, ignore the blurb entirely and go right ahead and judge a book by its cover. This is
...more
Ally Atherton

The quiet and remote Isle of Lewis in Scotland is disturbed when a man is found hanging by his neck on the rafters of an old boatshed. Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate and finds himself in a private battle not only with an unknown killer but also with himself.His past and present begin to unravel and he finds that this tiny island has more than a few skeletons in its closet.

I can't believe this book has been sitting on my 'To Be Read' pile since March, I gues
...more
Vicky
The Blackhouse opens with the discovery of a mutilated body in the remote settlement of Ness, on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Elements of the killing appear similar to a recent case in Edinburgh investigated by Detective Inspector Fin Macleod, who is drafted in to advise on the case. Fin has ties to the affected community, growing up on the island then leaving it behind at seventeen.

I'd read the second installment of the trilogy, The Lewis Man (my review), before this one, so knew what to expect
...more
Jeanette
This Peter May is difficult for me to review. There are aspects of the isle of Lewis and the prime residents centered in this novel that grate on me, so my enjoyment level doesn't particularly parse with the more general reaction to the book.

If you are looking for a sober and morose conceptual environment with closed in community of secrets and resentments, then this is the mystery for you. The plot is decent and the writing top heavy with location and minutia description for the environments a
...more
George Macleod
Loved it, it kept me going right to the end. As someone whose family comes from Lewis, and as one who spent every summer on the west side growing up. I felt the writer did an excellent job of submersing you in the culture of the island. As one who reads a lot of mysteries, this was up there with the best of them, yes, even "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel " The Lewis Man". Thanks Peter May for a great read, and for taking me back to my childhood ...more
Tanja Berg
I've been so sick this Christmas holiday that I've not even been able to read for a while. When I finally was able to stay awake for any amount of time I finished listening to this. In the dark, since my light sensitiv eyes wouldn't take anything else. I needn't have worried about slumbering off.

This was surprisingly good from start to finish. There was no suspension of disbelief required, this all felt very, horribly real. Finn has just lost his 8-year old son in a hit-and-run accident. He is p
...more
Sarah
Better than expected. Quite dark, quite true to Lewis (ploddingly so in some parts), quite a rollicking story and I'm intrigued enough to want to read the next one.

Also, first book I've read in its entirety on my tiny kindle-for-android, and that went well.
Veronica
Sep 18, 2014 Veronica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Veronica by: Cynthia
Shelves: fiction, kindle
A good read. Recommended by a friend who met the author at a book signing. It's strangely similar in concept to the Dolores Redondo Baztan series I've been reading. Ostensibly a murder mystery/police procedural, it isn't really that at all. It's about a place (the Isle of Lewis) and the backstory of the main character, Fin MacLeod, is the story. So if you want a straight police procedural, you may be disappointed. I enjoyed it a lot. May's descriptions of the island and its culture are powerful ...more
Tom Greer
I've just finished reading "Blackhouse" and I've already read "The Lewis Man" but I'll discuss "Blackhouse here.

The story takes place in the Isle of Lewis in the Hebridean islands off the west coast of Scotland. A bleaker setting you couldn't imagine but if you enjoy the likes of Wallender think of the bleakness there and double it.

Peter May's writing is absolutely beautiful. There are evocative passages that are heartbreaking and this places his novels well above the rank and file of ordinary c
...more
Nikoleta
Αξίζει να αναφέρουμε ότι το «Οι κυνηγοί των Χάιλαντς» δεν είχε εύκολο δρόμο προς την έκδοση. Απορρίφθηκε από τους βρετανούς εκδότες πριν ένας Γάλλος εκδότης το διαβάσει, το αγαπήσει, και έπειτα να το μεταφράσει και να το κυκλοφορήσει στη Γαλλία. Μόνο μετά από την κυκλοφορία του στη Γαλλία εκδόθηκε και στην Αγγλία.

Αν σας αρέσουν τα μυστήρια σε απομακρυσμένες σκοτεινές περιοχές , ο μελαγχολικός καιρός, τα οικογενειακά μυστικά, αλλά και οι μη συμβατικοί ντετέκτιβ τότε, όπως και εγώ, θα αγαπήσετε αυ
...more
Maria
Um assassinato numa pacata e recatada ilha, pertencente à Escócia, faz com que Fin Macleod um filho da terra que fugiu para Edimburgo há 18 anos, volte para investigar o crime. O assassinato é em tudo semelhante a um ocorrido em Edimburgo e o detective é destacado para a investigação, já que conhece a Ilha de Lewis como ninguém.

A vítima é um antigo conhecido de Fin, mas não pelas melhores razões. Angel sempre foi um rufia a viver às margens da lei. Pelo seu aspecto de brutamontes nunca ninguém l
...more
Susan Johnson
3.5 stars

The story of a cop from Edinburgh, Fin Macleod, who returns to his home on the Island of Lewis in Scotland. A murder on the island closely resembles a case he is investigating in Edinburgh. They think his local expertise will help him solve both cases.

He has not been home in 18 years so it is a real memory walk for him. He discovers people he knew so well in childhood are so very different in adult life. As the investigation goes along, new memories unfold that will change his life fo
...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Blackhouse (The Lewis Trilogy #1) by Peter May 1 8 Jul 04, 2015 12:01PM  
location or characters? 26 141 Jun 23, 2014 07:22AM  
Kindle English My...: The Blackhouse by Peter May - December 2013 Group Read 29 34 Jan 15, 2014 01:11AM  
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Other Books in the Series

Lewis Trilogy (4 books)
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“But the one thing Fin had learned from his years in the police was that however much you believed you had them figured out, people invariably surprised you.” 6 likes
“Knew, too, that it wasn’t just Mona he wanted to run away from. It was everything. Back to a place where life had once seemed simple. A return to childhood, back to the womb. How easy it was now to ignore the fact that he had spent most of his adult life avoiding just that. Easy to forget that as a teenager nothing had seemed more important to him than leaving.” 3 likes
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