The Lewis Trilogy

The Blackhouse

BlackhouseCover1

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The Isle of Lewis is the most remote, harshly beautiful place in Scotland, where the difficulty of existence seems outweighed only by people’s fear of God.
But older, pagan values lurk beneath the veneer of faith, the primal yearning for blood and revenge.

When a brutal murder on the island 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.

Each year the island’s men perform the hunting of the gugas, a savage custom no longer necessary for survival, but which they cling to even more fiercely in the face of the demands of modern morality.

For Fin the hunt recalls a horrific tragedy, which after all this time may have begun to demand another sacrifice.

The Blackhouse is a crime novel of rare power and vision.

A page-turning murder mystery that explores the darkness in our souls, and just how difficult it is to escape the past.

The Lewis Man

LewisMan copy

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A MAN WITH NO NAME
An unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog; the only clue to its identity being a DNA sibling match to a local farmer.

A MAN WITH NO MEMORY
But this islander, Tormod Macdonald – now an elderly man suffering from dementia – has always claimed to be an only child.

A MAN WITH NO CHOICE
When Tormod’s family approach Fin Macleod for help, Fin feels duty-bound to solve the mystery.

The Lewis Man is the follow-up to The Blackhouse,
which was an international bestseller in both hardback and paperback.
It is the second novel in the Lewis trilogy.

A perfectly preserved body is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis.

The male Caucasian corpse – marked by several horrific stab wounds – is initially believed by its finders to be over two-thousand years old. Until they spot the Elvis tattoo on his right arm. The body, it transpires, is not evidence of an ancient ritual killing, but of a murder committed during the latter half of the twentieth century.

Meanwhile, Fin Macleod has returned to the island of his birth. Having left his wife, his life in Edinburgh and his career in the police force, the former Detective Inspector is intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents’ derelict croft.

But when DNA tests flag a familial match between the bog body and the father of Fin’s childhood sweetheart, Marsaili Macdonald, Fin finds his homecoming more turbulent than expected. Tormod Macdonald, now an elderly man in the grip of dementia, had always claimed to be an only child without close family.

A lie, Fin will soon discover, Tormod has had very good reason to hide behind.

The Chessmen

Chessmen

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THE NEW START.

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.

THE OLD FRIEND.

This mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill – a local poacher, Fin’s teenage intimate, and possessor of a long-buried secret.

THE FINAL CHAPTER.

But when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn and Fin puts together the fractured pieces of the past, he realizes that revealing the truth could destroy the future.

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9 Responses to The Lewis Trilogy

  1. I read a lot of fiction. But seldom does a book grab and hold me like The Blackhouse. Once the story got going, I literally couldn’t put it down. On one memorable night I read straight through until midnight. Next day, I shut myself in the guest room and finished it. Then I did a couple of things I always do when a book really appeals to me: I started researching it on the Internet. And then I wrote a blog post about it.

    The murder mystery aspect of the plot was secondary to me. Far more appealing were the bleak Outer Hebrides setting and great local color. I’ve always been interested in Scottish writers and settings — the result of my years in pipe bands and many memorable Scots I met as part of that effort. The sense of place was so strong, reminding me of Tawni O’Dell’s treatment of rural western Pennsylvania in her novel Back Roads.

    Now maybe I’m just a sentimentalist, but most of all I loved the bittersweet subplot involving Fin MacLeod and his old “friend” Marsaili MacDonald. Anyone who has experienced regret, missed opportunities and the pull of past relationships will enjoy that aspect of it. In particular, the account of their first year at university rang true, reminding me so much of my own experiences. I was very happy to learn that The Lewis Man features Fin. And I hope it brings back Marsaili as well. The almost unbearable romantic tension she brought to The Blackhouse meant a lot to me.

    • I very much appreciate your comments, Sonny. I hope you will enjoy the other two books in the trilogy as much. If you haven’t already, you should look at the first post on my blog, entitled “The Girl from the Farm:. There you will find the genesis of Marsaili.

      • I read that blog post – fascinating. I’ve ordered the other two books in the trilogy from Amazon UK. Hope to see you tour the U.S. one of these days. There are stil plenty of readers here. Sad as it is that bookstores are closing, Kindle, Nook and the like have given us instant access to a huge selection. I’m spending more on books that I would have without my Kindle. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hilary Cook says:

    After travelling to Lewis for a weeks holiday, I bought The Black House on the ferry when I was homeward bound. I’m now completely hooked. Thankyou.

  3. Veronica says:

    Hello, Peter
    I can’t help writing this, because I really want to thank you for this great book , “The Blackhouse”. I’ve just finished reading it and I’m so full of emotions that I need to share my excitement.
    It is the most amazing detective story I know, so absorbing, sincere and vivid that seems to be real. Your characters, their relationships, their feelings, the tangle of their lives, everything feels veracious and deeply experienced by you.
    And the background is astonishing, though the word “background” is not precise, for it’s one of it’s most remarkable sides. I’m in love with Scotland and if there is no chance of going there, I’ll still have this experience of visiting the Isle of Lewis as if I´ve seen it with my own eyes.
    I’m Russian and reading your books in original is quite a challenge but it is worth it, don’t want to lose a word from the story. I’m so looking forward to read the rest of the trilogy.
    Thank you so much for the absolutely stunning book and the huge amount of research you must have done for it.

  4. John says:

    I’ve recently read the three books in the Lewis trilogy in a period of one week and very much enjoyed them. However, one point of detail which confused me was the police ranks of Fin Macleod and George Gunn. I couldn’t understand why George Gunn showed such deference to Fin Macleod and insisted on calling him “Sir” or “Mr Macleod”.

    In chapter 12 of “The Blackhouse”, Fin Macleod introduces himself and George Gunn to James Minto as “Detective Sergeant Finlay Macleod” and “Detective Constable George Gunn”. This surprised me as until that time I’d assumed that Fin was at least a Detective Inspector. I’ve never read a crime novel or seen a TV programme where a constable would call a sergeant “Sir”. The abbreviation “Sarge” is, I believe, the usual term a constable would use to address a sergeant.

    However, in chapters 4 and 5 of “The Lewis Man”, George Gunn is, on several occasions, referred to as “Detective Sergeant” by Professor Mulgrew. Also in “The Lewis Man”, in chapter 19, the headmistress of the school addresses Gunn as “Detective Sergeant” and Fin introduces Gunn to the man in the neighbouring croft to the Macdonalds’ croft as “Detective Sergeant George Gunn”

    In Chapter 6 of “The Chessmen”, the following paragraph appears: – “ ‘Because I’m afraid I might do him more harm than good, Mr Macleod.’ Fin had long since given up trying to get Gunn to call him by his first name. While still in the force Fin had been a Detective Inspector, superior in rank, and George was nothing if not a stickler for protocol. Even though Fin had long since quit the police. “ Chapter 23 contains a reference to “Fin had attained the rank of detective inspector himself before leaving the force”. There’s also references to Gunn as a Detective Sergeant and Macleod as a former Detective Inspector in chapter 29.

    Based on the evidence in the latter two books I’m assuming that the reference in “The Blackhouse” to Macleod being a Detective Sergeant and Gunn being a Detective Constable is an error.

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