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The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy #3)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,979 Ratings  ·  979 Reviews
Fin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal game-hunting taking place on the island. This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill—a local poacher, Fin's teenage intimate, and possessor of a long-buried secret. But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn, Fin realizes that revealing the ...more
Paperback, 383 pages
Published January 3rd 2013 by Quercus Publishing Plc (first published June 1st 2012)
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Andrew Smith
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, after reading (well, listening to actually) this trio of books back-to-back I’ve reached the end. After The Blackhouse and Lewis Man introduced us to Fin MacLeod, this story completes a perfectly formed trilogy. The descriptions of the wild and remote Hebridean islands is ever present as is the all pervading influence of the church, but it’s the individual characters that rightly take centre stage here. We are introduced to quite a cast from Fin’s early years and learn a good deal more abo ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
The Lewis Chessmen are real artifacts, discovered near Uig, Lewis in 1831. There is some speculation as to their origin, but they appear to have been crafted in the 12th century, and most historians believe they were originally created in Norway.

In this book, the last of the Lewis Trilogy, replicas of the chessmen play a pivotal role in solving a murder. There is another murder that is discovered – one that occurred 16 years ago. Again, Peter May’s masterful weaving of the stories of his charact
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This completes the trilogy of murder mysteries set on Lewis Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Fin left this rural backwater 18 years before when he went to college on the mainland and subsequently became a police detective in Edinburgh. But the death of a child and the break-up of his marriage has him looking for self-repair from his roots in this remote Gaelic speaking community. In the prior book, we learned he has a special connection in the form of a son he didn’t know about being ra ...more
Tracy Harper
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I hate to say this but the concluding book in the trilogy left me somewhat disappointed. if you had removed the epilogue, and this wasn't the concluding chapter in the trilogy, I might have felt differently. I.e. if this was a series of books like the David Hewson (Nic Costa) series), I wouldn't have felt that the entire story was compromised. My main issues would be:

I do not understand why the new character of Whistler was introduced. He had never been mentioned prior to this and given the rela
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in what is an excellent trilogy. Centred around Fin Macleod, the novels have taken him from an Edinburgh DI, grieving the loss of his young son and the breakdown of his marriage back to his childhood home on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides to reconnect with his old friends and lost loves. Now resigned from the police and employed to manage security on a large estate, he is living with his childhood sweetheart and coming to terms with being a father to a son he didn't know he h ...more
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy #3) by Peter May.

My hope in writing my review is that the words, although inadequate, may reveal the depth and scope revealed so magnificently in this story by the author.

Fin MacLeod has chosen after 15 years to leave the police force. Now as ex-Detective Inspector he's returning to the Outer Hebrides, the place of his birth. The land, his past and all the faces from his past. All the unfinished business that's needs to be smoothed over...if that's possible after all
Richard Derus
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5* of five

The series is complete. My relief is genuine.

I'll find something to say in due course.


Peter May cut his storytelling teeth in Scottish television, creating two prime time drama series and script-editing a third. He is very clearly Scottish, choosing an unfamiliar and unforgiving setting for this series: The Hebrides, no less than Ann Cleeves's more famous Shetlands TV and book series, is globally known for its distilled essence of Scottishness. No
With ex-Detective Inspector Fin Macleod once again living permanently on the Isle of Lewis, it wasn’t long before he re-connected with his old childhood friend, Whistler Macaskill. The carefree days of their youth were over shadowed by the poachers in the area; Fin’s new job was to investigate the illegal activity and catch them. But the night the two were high up on the mountains in a terrible storm, was the night of what was known as a “Bog Burst” when the loch they were overlooking drained do ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I feel quite saddened to have to score it only three stars after having really enjoyed the first 2 books of the trilogy. Beautiful scenery, a very likable lead and an imaginative back story running from the previous books. However, for me there were a number of flaws:

*Whistler - for being such a good friend, he needed to have been mentioned in the earlier books
*Solas - if helping the band through Fins' school & uni years was so much a part of his life, it should also should have been mention
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Fin Macleod is working as a head security on an estate on Lewis. He is in charge of investigating illegal game-hunting and this brings him at a collision course with an old friend of his Whistler Macaskill a local poacher. The something unexpected happens, the dead body of musician and an old friend to both Fin and Whistler is discovered in an airplane in a lake.

The first two books in this series are truly great and I've been looking forward to reading the last book in the trilogy and it was gre
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Book Review

Third in The Lewis Trilogy, The Chessmen brings us to the conclusion of the trilogy. This time, the crime bears some resemblance to the The Lewis Man, in that a cold case appears to have been unearthed as a small airplane bearing the body of a murdered musician is uncovered from a Lewis Island loch (lake) some seventeen years later.

What struck me in this reading as well as the previous novels is May's dedication to the art of writing a novel. The man spent five years on the island in
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This final book of the Lewis Trilogy accomplishes a lot in bringing some closure to many, though not all, story threads begun in The Blackhouse. As was true with the first two books, while there are mysteries both old and new that require investigation, the essence of The Lewis Men is once again the location and the people of the Hebrides, most especially the Isle of Lewis,a physically lonely and lonesome spot at the western-most edge of Europe. Buffeted by the wind and water off the Atlantic, t ...more
In the final novel of The Lewis Trilogy: The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man, The Chessmen, Fin Macleod is once again employed, this time as head of security on a private estate. He is given the task of curbing the poaching of animals and of salmon, but one of the poachers is his old childhood friend Whistler. Fin will be faced with making important choices and decisions.

As with the previous novels in this trilogy, the action takes place on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides and the location is an int
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Chessmen has much of what made the first two books of this series worth reading. The wildly beautiful setting and the atmospheric overtones that accompany each scene keep it from being less than three stars, but I’m sad to report that it fell short in most other ways. It surprises me how much I dislike this book in comparison to its predecessors.

The best part of this story is also the most confounding: Fin’s friendship with Whistler. Whistler is a larger-than-life character, and the emotion
Metodi Markov
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimy, modern, uk
Отлично премерен и навременен край на серията за тайните на остров Люис. Все пак, колко кирливи ризи могат да се изкарат от толкова малко по площ и население място? :)

Фин се е завърнал на острова окончателно, но миналото му крие още загадки за разрешаване. И когато едно езеро внезапно изчезва и на дъното му лъсва потопен преди 17 години малък самолет, част от призраците стават твърде реални.

За голяма моя изненада се оказва и че е имал още един много близък приятел, за който не е споменато в пред
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, thriller
This is the 3rd book starring Fin Macleod, this time he has taken on the job of head security for the estate on his birth island. His main job is sussing out who is poaching the salmon on the island into extinction. Well rest assured we never find out in this book.
While the previous books did tell you something about the history of Isles and the various parties who played a large role in their history, this one seems to be more about Fins teenage & College years and a music-band and its role
Susan Johnson
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the last book of the Lewis trilogy and I hope the author reconsiders and writes more. I think this was the best of all. It's amazing how the strings of childhood stay with us for all of our lives. This one involves the disappearance of a member of a famous Gaelic group that Fin used to roadie for. A body in an airplane shows up when a lough mysteriously disappears.

May creates such a sense of place that I almost feel I've visited this wind swept island off the coast of Scotland. The ch
Peter Greenwell
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it
The least of the three books and I can only reiterate what other reviewers here have commented on. Most of them have it spot on.

1. Nowhere in the previous two books did we see or hear of the character called Whistler. Considering the friendship with Fin, you'd think it would've been at least touched upon. He was far too important in Fin's life to be dragged up now.

2. Same with the character of Mairead. She's the lead singer of a world famous Celtic rock band that Fin once roadied for (and known
Freda Malone
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This third and final novel in the Lewis Trilogy is the best of the 3. Fin MacLeod is once again thrust into a weird crime setting, a long lost missing plane, and a body from 15 years ago. As usual, Peter May compels us with his exceptional writing skills, his knowledge of Scotland Isles, and emotionally rich drama as well as suspense. God I love how this man writes. I am so disappointed that we won't be seeing more of Fin, or the generations of families that have been created in these wonderful ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads, mystery
No planes, trains or automobiles required - just words, well-written, and once again we're transported to the Outer Hebrides in this final installment of the Lewis Trilogy. And once again we find a dead body in the first chapter: "Time and water and bacteria had eaten away all the flesh, and the only thing holding the skeleton together were the blanched remains of tendons and tough ligaments that had not decayed in the cold-water temperatures."

The circumstances surrounding this 17-year-dead body
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The third instalment of the Lewis trilogy preceeded by ‘The Blackhouse’ and ‘The Lewis Man’ and to my mind, the most enjoyable of the series. Ex Edinburgh DI Fin MacLeod has severed ties from the mainland and his former life, and taken up permanent residence on the Isle of Lewis, working as head of security for a private estate. After the discovery of a plane and body in a drained loch, and an illegal spate of poaching, Fin is thrust into an uneasy relationship with his friend Whistler Macaskill ...more
Nicko D
Дългоочакваният финал дойде! Третата, завършваща част от поредицата на Питър Мей за остров Луис, поставя в шах и мат читателя с пешката, разплитайки и последния възел от живота и детството на Фин Маклауд. Питър Мей отново ни повлича в едно интригуващо приключение из природата и историята на Шотландия, където мъртвите оживяват, за да си разплатят старите сметки.

Читателската общност трябва да изкаже благодарност към издателство „Колибри”, което в рамките на два месеца успя да издаде една от най-по
Димитър Цолов
Въпреки криминалните нишки, привидно крепящи сюжетите на трилогията, романите от серията "Остров Луис" си бяха чиста проба книги за съзряването и за изборите, които правим всеки ден, без да знаем, че стореното от нас рано или късно ще се върне като бумеранг, за да разтърси бъдещето ни. Много, много, много ми харесаха! А в третата част се появи и рок-банда, какво повече можех да желая :) Е, щеше ми се краят да не е точно такъв, но от друга страна кой съм аз, че да съдя твореца за избора, направен ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular end to an unforgettable trilogy! All the characters ring true. The narration style is poetry at its best. I feel I have visited the Isle of Lewis thanks to the author’s descriptions. Very sorry to have finished it. I want to go back to Lewis again! Won’t you write a fourth one?

Thank you for such a wonderful trip, Mr May!
Deborah Pickstone
Carnage. Fin is obviously one of these people who attracts trouble! I'd love to think Peter May would write more of this series but he just killed off pretty much every decent character in it so I guess that's a 'no', then.

Sadly, May adds in characters who were apparently friends from boyhood but who never got a mention before, very unlikely and detracts from the series overall.

Again, with some willing suspension of disbelief on my part, May lays out the landscape enticingly and peoples it with
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, thriller, mysteries, a
A story that captures the imagination; a thrilling and at times sad read, parts of which kept me so enthralled, I was impervious to time passing. The descriptions of the Islands, the people, the inclusion of the tragic tale of the Iolaire in 1919; all of this the author weaves around a mystery thriller. It is a compelling read. I hope the author reconsiders and resurrects Fin and the other authentic characters he has created in his Lewis books.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a good series.....sad to see it end. It was a joy to read.

Part three starts with the discovery of a body in a plane after a "bog burst" (Can that really happen?). Fin is part of this discovery and leads back into a great tale regarding his time As a road manager for a band. Like the other two parts of this series, lots of flashbacks in time and great storytelling.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, read-2013
An excellent third book in the trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am only sorry it's finished. I will look out for more books by this author. I love his style and really couldn't put the book down once I got into the story. I almost felt that I lived among the characters!
Joanne Sheppard
Apr 14, 2013 rated it liked it
The Chessmen is the final novel in Peter May’s crime trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis, in Scotland’s remote Western Isles. I found the first instalment, The Blackhouse, interesting and atmospheric but flawed in terms of character development, but thought book two, The Lewis Man, was excellent.

Unfortunately I think The Chessmen is by far the weakest of the three. In its favour, it does have many of the features that attracted me to its predecessors, including sharply accurate descriptions of the
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, series, scotland
I read the entire Lewis Trilogy but Peter May this month and I'm sad to leave Lewis Island and Fin McLeod behind. May does what you always hope that a mystery writer will do, develop characters which are multi-dimensional, create an evocative setting and tell a great story with an intricate mystery. Each of the books of the trilogy are excellent in and of themselves, but combined together the were powerful.

As with so many protagonist Fin McLeod is both damaged and dynamic. Fin is strong man deal
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Play Book Tag: The Chess Men by Peter May - 4 stars 3 10 May 30, 2016 02:54PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Chessmen by Peter May 1 10 Jul 19, 2015 09:04PM  
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“The drive down to Uig passed in a painful blur. Great fat raindrops spat on his windscreen like tears spilled for the dead.” 0 likes
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