Trilogies to Treasure – Part 2 – Peter May’s Lewis trilogy

Many readers cannot commit to a lengthy series.  They find it too daunting, too time intensive.  They will often choose stand-alone novels for these reasons.  I am here to introduce you to some prime examples that bridge the gap between stand-alone and series fiction: TRILOGIES to Treasure.

My second installment in this series of blog posts showcases the work of Peter May.

Peter May’s Lewis trilogy

The covers are stunning aren’t they?

His Lewis trilogy is, as the name implies, set on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis.  Brilliant characterization and writing coupled with a setting that is second to none.

Highly recommended! hebrides-may

The trilogy features Fin Macleod, a Detective Inspector working in Edinburgh who returns to his birthplace, the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  The setting is a major factor in the stories and the author’s skillful writing transports the reader to Lewis with it’s rich culture and long history. The author has spent several years on Lewis and his personal knowledge shows in the writing.

Peter May in the Hebrides

In the first novel, “The Blackhouse”, Fin returns to Lewis in a very vulnerable state as he is in mourning for his broken marriage and for his young son who perished in a hit-and-run.  When a murder occurs on Lewis that resembles one that he is working on – his superiors send him to Lewis to aid in the investigation.  Fin has not been back to the island since he left it eighteen years ago to attend university. It turns out that the murder victim, Angel Macritchie, was a childhood nemesis of Fin, a bully who played a large part in his growing up. His return to the Isle reacquaints him with Artair, his best friend from childhood and also Marsaili Macdonald, his first love. The story is told alternating between the present with the murder investigation – and the past which slowly reveals the trauma and tragedy filled childhood days of Fin.

The second novel, “The Lewis Man”, having left behind his adult life in Edinburgh–including his wife and his career in the police force–the former Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents’ derelict cottage. His plans are interrupted when an unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog. The only clue to its identity is a DNA match to a local farmer, the now-senile Tormod Macdonald–the father of Fin’s childhood sweetheart, Marsaili–a man who has claimed throughout his life to be an only child, practically an orphan. Reluctantly drawn into the investigation, Fin uncovers deep family secrets even as he draws closer to the killer who wishes to keep them hidden.

Finally, in the third and final novel in the trilogy, “The Chess Men”, ex-Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is living on the Isle of Lewis, and working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate Fin encounters the elusive poacher and former childhood friend, and bandmate, Whistler Macaskill.  When Fin catches up with Whistler among the windswept hills of the estate, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon–a bog burst–which drains a loch of all its water in a flash, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side.  Both men immediately know what they will find inside: the body of Roddy Mackenzie, a friend whose flight disappeared more than seventeen years before. But when Whistler’s face appears to register something other than shock, an icy chill of apprehension overtakes Fin. What secret has Whistler been hiding from him, and everyone else on the island? Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future.22655718-jpg-gallery

A photo companion book for the Lewis Trilogy has been published, containing more than 200 photographs of locations in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland described in the books.  The photographs were taken by local photographer and artist, David Wilson, and they are accompanied by a narrative by Peter May.hebrides


Besides the Lewis trilogy, Peter May has written many other outstanding works which include: The Enzo Files series, The China thrillers series, and several stand-alone novels which include “Entry Island“, “Coffin Road“, “Runaway“, “Virtually dead“, “The Reporter“, and “The Noble Path“. He has also written many award-winning television screenplays.



from Wikipedia (January 10, 2017)

Peter May (1951-) is a Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and crime writer. He is the recipient of writing awards in Europe and America. The Blackhouse won the U.S. Barry Award for Crime Novel of the Year and the national literature award in France, the CEZAM Prix Litteraire. The Lewis Man won the French daily newspaper Le Télégrammes 10,000-euro Grand Prix des Lecteurs. In 2014, Entry Island won both the Deanston’s Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and the UK’s ITV Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year Award. May’s books have sold more than two million copies in the UK and several million internationally.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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10 Responses to Trilogies to Treasure – Part 2 – Peter May’s Lewis trilogy

  1. Pingback: My personal canon (the books that shaped my life) | Fictionophile

  2. Samantha says:

    I personally quite like trilogies, and this one sounds very interesting! The setting and premise look intriguing, so I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it.

    By the way, I’ve nominated you for the Mystery Blogger Award:


  3. Thanks for sharing. Your book recaps are intriguing, I will look for Peter May this year!


  4. Christine says:

    What a great post, Lynne. Peter May is an author I have been meaning to get to.


  5. FictionFan says:

    Totally agree with you about this one – May’s finest work, I believe, along with a couple of his standalones also set in the Hebrides. Great post – I hope you persuade a few more people to read these… 🙂


  6. skyecaitlin says:

    Lynne, this trilogy sounds amazing and I love the setting, covers and premise.


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