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The Blackhouse

(Lewis Trilogy #1)

by
4.08  ·  Rating details ·  35,618 ratings  ·  3,527 reviews
A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.

A MURDER
Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.

A SECRET
Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.

A TRAP
As F
...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Quercus Books
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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 t…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)
Katherine May's writing is complex and skimming doesn't work. Every word, every sentence packs a punch...some are unexpected and I need time to breathe and dige…moreMay's writing is complex and skimming doesn't work. Every word, every sentence packs a punch...some are unexpected and I need time to breathe and digest. There are other authors who have short chapters, short sentences and are not even close to being as satisfying as Peter May.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  35,618 ratings  ·  3,527 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
“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.”

Detective Fin Macleod is sent back to the place where he was bred, born, burnished, and raised as an orphan. A murder has happened on
...more
Andrew Smith
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently read and enjoyed Peter May’s stand-alone book Entry Island, I was urged by several of my Goodreads friends to seek out his Lewis Trilogy. I also recalled that a former colleague of mine – someone who hardly ever picked up a book of any description – had read this mini-series and pronounced it the ‘best thing I’ve ever read’. Ok, it might have been the only thing he ever read, but all signs seemed to be pointing in the same direction.

So I launched myself into this book with high h
...more
Arah-Lynda
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arah-Lynda by: Andrew Smith
Shelves: i-said, paperwhite
We left on the midnight tide, diesel engines thudding as we slipped out into the bay from the relative shelter of the harbour, facing into the huge swell, waves breaking over the bow to pour in foaming rivers across the deck.   It seemed no time at all until the lights of Ness were swallowed by the night as we yawed and pitched into open seas beyond the Butt of Lewis.  The last thing to vanish was the comforting flash of the lighthouse on the clifftop at the Butt, and when that was gone there wa ...more
Jaline
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This novel is the first of a trilogy – the Lewis Trilogy. The Isle of Lewis is the largest island in the outer Hebrides. It is 683 square miles (1,770 square kilometres), has a population of less than 20,000, and was once part of The Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles.

The story within this novel is simply amazing, and beautifully written. Heart-pounding moments of man against the elements and man against man. There is a murder involved which draws our main character, CID Fin Macleod back to the
...more
Paula K (on hiatus)
The Blackhouse is the first of a trilogy written by Peter May which won The Barry Award in 2013. Set in the harsh northern region of the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, the author masterfully describes the Gaelic culture and terrain so well that you feel you are there.

Detective Inspector Fin Macleod returns to his childhood home to investigate a murder very similar to one he is working on in Edinburgh. The victim is a bully from his past that brings back many unpleasant memories some remembered and
...more
Lori
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved seeing the island through May's eyes and Fin's memories of growing up there. The writing is excellent. The murder mystery read like an overlay of an additional story and the explanation at the end was a bit of a letdown. That being said, I ordered the sequel as soon as finished this one. Rounding up 4 stars. ...more
Beverly
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phrynne
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book practically read itself it was so good. We nearly had no lunch today because I could not find a place in the text where I wanted to stop!
I loved all the descriptions of the Hebrides, somewhere I have not been but would love to see one day. The author manages to create the scene so well and it is a very fitting place to set this tale of mystery and murder.
The main character, Fin, has returned to the village where he spent his childhood and periodically through the story we revisit those
...more
Richard Derus
Rating: 3* of five, but just barely

The Publisher Says: From acclaimed author and television dramatist Peter May comes the first book in the Lewis Trilogy--a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a formidable and forbidding world where tradition rules and people adhere to ancient ways of life. When a grisly murder occurs on the Isle of Lewis that has the hallmarks of a killing he's investigating on the mainland, Edinburgh detective and native islander Fin
...more
Julie
The Black House by Peter May is a 2011 Quercus publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Isle of Lewis is a place Fin Macleod thought he would never have to visit again. But, as fate would have it a murder has been committed on the Isle of Lewis that bears a remarkable similarity to a murder case Fin is working on in Edinburgh. So, he is told to he must check out this latest murder to see if the crimes could be related.

F
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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 known 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 want to leave in the first place. Too idyllic, I prefer more these dark and rugged places with old secrets.

Fin Macleod (From the clan Macleod…sorry I'm a child of the 80s and I love the Highlander) retur
...more
Brenda
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Detective Sergeant Fin Macleod wasn’t impressed when he was told he had to go to the Isle of Lewis to investigate a grisly murder that had similarities to an Edinburgh murder he was currently investigating. Fin came from the island and hadn’t returned for eighteen years – he had no desire to return. There were too many memories –most of them bad…

With Detective Constable George Gunn as his driver and assistant while on the island, Fin found the hostile and reticent nature of the locals hadn’t cha
...more
Maria Espadinha
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Split by Past


Detective Inspector Fin Macleod was still grieving the recent death of his 8 years old son, when he was assigned to a case of murder at the Isle of Lewis.

The island was claustrophobic and he once lived there as a kid. He had not manny happy memories from Lewis and his return to the island led him straight into a dark past. Fin felt like he was two — past and present overlapped and it was hard to cope with both!...
Can you empathize?!...

Moral of the Story:
Find yourself a compulsory h
...more
Janet
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Michael
Fin is an Edinburgh detective who returns to the Lewis Island community of his origins in the Outer Hebrides because of the similar MO of a new murder to one he is working on. A man is found hung with his bowels sliced open. It turns out that the victim was the chief bully and nemesis from his childhood. His search for suspects among his many enemies forces him to deal with many painful memories from his youth, including his own failures with his first love who is now married to his former best ...more
Terence M
Audiobook - 12:45 Hours - Narrator: Steve Worsley

What a great feeling it is to finish a book and think "I really enjoyed that!".

Needless to say, I loved "The Blackhouse"; I loved the plot and storyline; I loved the descriptive writing; I loved the portrayal of the desolate and savagely beautiful Isle of Lewis in The Outer Hebrides and the harsh lives of the people who live there; and I really loved the narration by Steve Worsley.

Steve Worsley, a native of Aberdeen (an 'Aberdonian'), is an acto
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: She sees the dark shape drift out of the shadows almost at the same time she feels it. Soft and cold and heavy. She lets out an involuntary cry.

"For God's sake, Ceit!" Ulleam comes after her, frustration added now to desire and anxiety, and his feet slide away from under him, for all the world like he has stepped on ice. He lands heavily on his elbow and a pain shoots through his arm. "Shit!" The floor is wet with diesel. He feels it soaking through the seat of his trousers. It is on h
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Wow! 'The Blackhouse' by Peter May is fantastic! I LOVED this noir mystery! It is the first in the Lewis trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone.

Every main character is haunted by disappointment. None of them feel they got the life they wanted. Plus, secrets, lots of secrets. It takes a shocking murder to begin cracking characters, and old animosities, open like rotten eggs....

Thirty-seven-year old Finley Macleod has been asked to return to his hometown. His parents had lived half a mile out
...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
In this first mystery in the Lewis trilogy, we are introduced to detective inspector Fin MacLeod of Edinburgh. In the midst of a personal tragedy that is tearing his marriage apart, he is given an assignment to go to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and investigate the grisly murder of a local resident. Why involve Fin? This murder seems to be quite similar to one that occurred in Edinburgh that Fin is already handling. And he grew up on the Isle of Lewis, knows the residents as well as t ...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
Kay
"The whole truth would never leave the rock. It would stay here among the chaos of boulders and birds, whispered only in the wind."

A brilliant crime novel. The Blackhouse is my first novel by Peter May and I'm patiently waiting inline for the second book in the trilogy. The backdrop for the novel is in the remote northwestern island of Scotland, Isle of Lewis. Detective Inspector Fin MacLeod in Edinburgh, Lewis born and raised, was assigned and to return to Lewis to investigate a crime.

Bear
...more
Stuart Goodwin
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Deb Jones
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this book with no preconceived notions as to the plot, setting, etc. It was one of those books that the site recommends on the Home page based on our reading preferences. I knew it was a police procedural with an average rating slightly above 4-stars in the community and the first in a series. Yes, all the boxes checked that I was seeking, so full steam ahead I went.

Am I glad I did! This book is a soft crime drama, a police procedural, but it is so much more than that. The settin
...more
Sue
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Christine
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am slightly late (ahem!) in discovering The Lewis Trilogy, to my shame. This is the first book in the series following Fin Macleod, set in the north of Scotland. It is a murder mystery, as much as it is a human interest story. Fin’s past is as absorbing, as the hunt for the killer.

Fin Macleod goes back to the Isle of Lewis, when a murder there bears a striking similarity to his current case in Edinburgh. Fin is forced to confront the many people he left behind and to face memories. We follow t
...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019

It might have been August, but someone had a fire lit in their hearth. That rich, toasty, unmistakable smell of peat smoke carried to him on the breeze. It took him back twenty, thirty years. It was extraordinary, he thought, how much he had changed in that time, and how little things had changed in this place where he had grown up. He felt like a ghost haunting his own past, walking the streets of his childhood.

The furthest North you go, the gloomier the detective novels get, while the invest
...more
Carolyn
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Fin McLeod, a detective in Edinburgh has been sent to the Hebridean island of Lewis to investigate a brutal murder that resembles one he has been investigating in Edinburgh. Fin himself was raised on Lewis and has many memories he hasn't revisited since he left to go to University. However, when he discovers that the murdered man is an old schoolyard foe, he is drawn back into his old world as he investigates past friends and faces up to old events.

Peter May has an excellent ability to draw fine
...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
Rob
Book 1 of the Lewis trilogy first published 2009.

Eighteen years ago Fin MacLeod left the Isle of Lewis with aspirations of getting a university education in Glasgow. It didn’t take Fin long to realise that life in academia was not for him. With no real idea of where he saw his life heading Fin decided to stay on the mainland. With a lack of interesting prospects Fin became a police officer almost by default.
He is now a DI with the Edinburgh police force and currently working on a particularly gr
...more
Ellen
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy, #1) by Peter May.

This was my first novel by Peter May which won the Barry Award for Best Novel.

The story centers on the relationship between between Fin Macleod and Artair Macinnes both raised in their hometown of Crobost. The third wheel, so to speak, in their alliance is a farm girl Marsaili. Their relationship is thrown off balance and often teeters back & forth due to Marsaili.

A gruesome murder is discovered in the black house the feelings of most of the vill
...more
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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.” 15 likes
“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.” 8 likes
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