About Peter May

Peter May is a Scot living in France.  Winner of two major French literary awards, May’s books have also won Crime Novel of the Year awards in France, Scotland, the UK, and the United States.

With more than 4 million copies of his books sold, he is best known for his acclaimed “Lewis Trilogy“, set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. His series of  six “China Thrillers” and six France-based “Enzo Files” are currently enjoying best-selling success in reprints.

His most recent works have been the standalone stories: “Entry Island“, “Runaway“, “Coffin Road“,  and “I’ll Keep You Safe“.

Peter May started his writing career as a journalist, winning a national award at the age of 21. Still in his twenties, he switched to writing drama for UK television. He created three major drama serials in the UK and has credits for scriptwriting or producing more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping shows. He quit TV in the 1990s to concentrate on his first love, writing books.

THE LEWIS TRILOGY

The opening book in “The Lewis Trilogy”, “The Blackhouse” was published first in France as “L’Ile de Chasseurs d”Oiseaux” where it won one of the world’s biggest readers’ prizes, the French Literary award the Cezam Prix Litteraire and was described in France’s “L’Humanité” as “a masterpiece”

“The Blackhouse” was published in he UK by Quercus and spent 9 weeks in the UK best seller charts.

After reading “The Blackhouse” Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times was moved to write: “Peter May is a writer I’d follow to the ends of the earth.”

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22 Responses to About Peter May

  1. Helen McGill says:

    Just reading The Blackhouse now…wonderful storytelling enhanced by clever narrative structure.
    I wait with interest to find out where you’ll go in terms of a trilogy.

    • maypeter says:

      This might come up twice, Helen. But it was difficult at first to contemplate turning a one-of into a trilogy.m but I am happy with the results, and you can judge for yourself when The Lewis Man comes out in February. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. Joan says:

    I loved each book in the trilogy – I practically read each one in a single sitting! I moved immediately onto the China thrillers, and have only Chinese Whispers left to read. I had to buy that and Firemaker kindle versions, and scoured the net for 2nd hand versions of the others as, for some reason, new books are currently unavailable. Such is my addiction to your talent, Mr. May, that I now am trying to track down copies of the Enzo Files. Not only are they out of print, they are also out of kindle! So far, I have only managed to find Freeze Frame online, and some audio versions of Dry Bones. Wish me luck in my quest. I’m delighted to hear that you are beginning a new series and that the first one will be published next year. I very much look forward to that! Thank you for the many very contented hours you have given me.

    • Hi Joan, I’m delighted you are enjoying my books. All of the China series are available on Kindle, and will come out early next year in new paperback editions. The Enzo series has never been published in the UK, but will come out later this year, both in Kindle and in paperback. I have still to write the final book in that series. Another, standalone, book “Virtually Dead”, which was published in the States, will also be made available soon in the UK. My next novel is also a standalone, not a series, and will be out next January. A photo companion book for the trilogy, called “Hebrides”, will be out in October.

  3. Joan says:

    Thanks very much for all this very useful, and very welcome information. I’m so pleased the Enzo series is finally to be published here and I really look forward to your new book early next year. I hope your muse allows you to rest a little before you begin again! I’m wondering when an enterprising producer will realise what a wonderful film Chessmen could make. In the right hands it would be terrific – so much would lend itself to great cinema. Obviously The Blackhouse would not be politically correct because of the Gulag hunt, and Lewisman perhaps needs the references to it, but Chessmen has everything for a very wide audience. Anyway, enjoy some relaxation now your manuscript has been sent!

  4. David McDowell says:

    I would love to see one or more of the books made into a film. However I would be concerned that the fixation of film with having something happen every five minutest and the format might not do justice to the wonderful books. The books transported me to a totally engrossing island world, the Black House being read in one day as a result. I have never done that before. I doubt if a film could match that feeling but I might be pleasantly surprised.

  5. Christine Parkinson says:

    mixed feelings. would love film/s but not at the expense of great story spoiled or setting compromised.

  6. Philippe says:

    Hello Peter,
    I happen first to read the 5th tome of the chinese serie and then i had to buy the whole serie -witch i read within two weeks- and now the scotisch serie.
    These books are great books! There are fascinating about China and Schottland also.
    I want now to go to these lands to see and ‘humer l’atmosphère’.
    Thanks a lot for these stories,
    And have a nice day
    Philippe from france

  7. Lil Jackson. says:

    dear Peter, so so much enjoyed your latest book,now what do I do, gone back to the Chinese thrillers. Reading Ill be there for you was lovely as we went to Lewis and Harris ,10 of us about 4 y
    ears ago, we are in the Arthur Ransome Socy. and we stayed for 5 days in Uig Lodge. what a thrill that was to see everywhere you have been.only sad we didnt have the time to get to Ness,my late mother in laws surname.before she was married. hurry up what is next??? best wishes to you, Lil Jackson., Wirral ,England.

    • Very pleased you enjoyed it, Lil. There will be a book out next January called “The Man With No Face”, and in the meantime I will be working on my next novel – don’t know what it is yet 🙂

  8. Janice mcnamara says:

    Just read you were in lewis January wish I had been there.just read trilogy stirred my genes to want to go my Morrison ansesters came from there and now I can’t settle Janice

  9. Roxanne says:

    I really enjoyed the Lewis Series, and Enzo Files, but have mixed feelings on two of the stand-alones, but the writing does draw you in. I finally have time to read through the China thrillers, and really enjoyed your intro to the series, as I could relate to each of the time periods you mentioned. I can deal with the time shifts – things happening in the late 1990s that may have been more common in the early 1990s. However, I was disappointed yesterday , while reading The Fourth Sacrifice, to come across them eating pork dumplings at a Muslim restaurant – something you’d never find, while a character stresses they wouldn’t be able to get alcohol.
    I am looking forward, however, to seeing more of China through the eyes of Margaret and LiYan.

    • Hi Roxanne, glad you’re enjoying the books. I know about the pork dumplings and can’t begin to fathom how that happened. The meal in the Muslim Quarter that I describe in the book is the meal I had there myself. It’s scheduled for correction in the next edition.

  10. Patrick McNamee says:

    Just finished reading The Lewis Man. I have a question: how did Donald know where to find Fin and Marsaili?

  11. Thomas says:

    Hi Peter just reading Coffin Road and was intrigued to see the reference to Springburn Academy and also Hillhouse Street. I went to Albert the schools name before it changed to Springburn Academy and bought my first flat in Hillhouse Street. Just wondered why you choose those to include in the novel.

  12. Christian says:

    Hello Peter. While planning a 3-week tour of the Outer Hebrides (and Skye) earlier this year, I discovered your book “Hebrides” which led to your Lewis trilogy and Coffin Road, I’ll Keep you Safe, and Entry Island. Your novels gave us tremendous insight on Hebridean history and culture which made our visit this past September ten times more interesting. I particularly appreciate how you wove the history and culture into very fine story lines all while not unnecessarily repeating the background in every novel. We spent a lot time having great conversations with the locals who were surprised to see how much we knew about the islands (many have read your books and those who hadn’t will now do so!).

    On top of that, we are native Montrealers and we’ve been to les Isles de la Madeleine (and of course the Eastern Townships) so Entry Isle was a most enjoyable bonus. My wife is French Canadian and has read all of the French versions of these books. So not only did we learn a tremendous amount about the Hebrides, but about the Scots who settled in Quebec as well.

    So a hearty thank you for your fine novels (we’ll move on to the others now). Please have a look at https://christiant.smugmug.com/Trips/Scotland/ for some of the images I came away with.

    Cheers

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