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Peter May (1) (1951–)

Teoksen The Blackhouse tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on Peter May.

37+ teosta 10,253 jäsentä 523 arvostelua 15 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä


Tekijän teokset

The Blackhouse (2009) 1,898 kappaletta, 131 arvostelua
The Lewis Man (2011) 1,223 kappaletta, 74 arvostelua
The Chessmen (2013) 971 kappaletta, 53 arvostelua
Coffin Road (2016) 559 kappaletta, 33 arvostelua
Entry Island (2013) 536 kappaletta, 32 arvostelua
Poikkeuksellisia ihmisiä (2006) 513 kappaletta, 25 arvostelua
The Firemaker (1999) 376 kappaletta, 25 arvostelua
Kriitikko (2007) 319 kappaletta, 12 arvostelua
I'll Keep You Safe (2017) 309 kappaletta, 7 arvostelua
Runaway (2015) 303 kappaletta, 13 arvostelua
Freeze Frame (2010) 282 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua
Blacklight Blue (2008) 281 kappaletta, 11 arvostelua
Lockdown (2020) 274 kappaletta, 9 arvostelua
The Fourth Sacrifice (1999) 263 kappaletta, 10 arvostelua
Blowback (2011) 252 kappaletta, 10 arvostelua
Cast Iron (2017) 250 kappaletta, 9 arvostelua
The Killing Room (2000) 235 kappaletta, 9 arvostelua
Chinese Whispers (2004) 188 kappaletta, 8 arvostelua
The Runner (2003) 183 kappaletta, 7 arvostelua
Snakehead (2009) 173 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
The Man with No Face (1981) 160 kappaletta, 6 arvostelua
The Night Gate (2021) 153 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
A Silent Death (2020) 144 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
A Winter Grave (2023) 141 kappaletta, 5 arvostelua
Hebrides (2013) 85 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The Noble Path (1992) 57 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
Virtually Dead (2010) 45 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
The Ghost Marriage (2010) 22 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The Reporter (1978) 3 kappaletta
Enzo Files Set (1-6) (2021) 1 kappale
The Black Loch (2024) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla


Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Edinburgh College of Commerce
Hally, Janice (spouse)
David Higham



Chat, Book Discussion - Coffin Road by Peter May (toukokuu 2017)


I imagine this book was shelved in the Crime section in many bookstores when it appeared. But it transcends that genre, in which a detective has to discover whodunnit. In The Blackhouse, the puzzle is more complex, and there are several discoveries in the course of the narrative, resulting in the final reveal, in which the detective uncovers a long-suppressed truth about himself.

The detective, Fin McLeod of the Edinburgh force, is foundering when the book opens. His eight-year-old boy had been killed in a hit-and-run four weeks earlier. His wife feels emotionally abandoned. He’s been on bereavement leave since the tragedy, but his supervisor is getting impatient. It’s no secret that Fin is trying for a degree from Open University; his commitment to remaining in police work seems minimal. We’re told it offers “his only means of escape.” From what, we ask, then learn as the story unfolds that escape has been Fin’s constant quest.

As the story unfolds, we learn that Fin’s troubles go further back. The catalyst to reveal this is a murder on his home island, Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. The Holmes crime database, used by the UK police to track possible serial killers, suggests sending him to the scene since he had led the investigation of an unsolved murder in Edinburgh with some similarities.

He resists the assignment. His memories of home are unpleasant (although it turns out that it’s what he doesn’t remember that is the real kicker). As a youth, he was impatient to leave and never return. He’s sent nonetheless on the assumption that his local knowledge would give him an edge. But from the moment he touches down in Stornoway, he’s aware that he has become an outsider in the eyes of those he knew, which is how he feels as well. He comments more than once how much he has changed in the years since he left, and the island hasn’t. The second time he said it, I wondered if it was not the other way around.

It doesn’t make it any easier that the victim was in school with him, a bully who made Fin’s life, and the lives of many others, miserable. Only one person mourned his passing, a surprise, given an incident from their school years. This, by the way, was a nice touch, suggesting that the victim had been seen one-dimensionally — scapegoated, even.

The book alternates between chapters that narrate the surface story in the story’s present, narrated in the third person, and chapters that recount past incidents in Fin’s childhood and youth, told in the first person. The cumulative effect is that Fin’s final summer on Lewis, appropriately, contains two initiations —sex and participation in an annual hunting rite to a rocky outcrop fifty miles out to sea. That expedition goes wrong, and leaves Fin’s passage to adulthood stunted.

The Blackhouse grew on me as I read. It begins with a prologue reminiscent of a stereotypical opening of an NCIS episode (cue theme music and credits). The opening chapter was flawed by a long-time television scriptwriter’s habit of using dialogue to inform the audience. Later, the author puts words in his characters’s mouths that don’t seem like something they would say.

There was also a disconnect between the descriptions of the island and what I experienced when I visited Lewis. Much was recognizable, but the adjectives used were uniformly negative. A helpful reminder that the setting of a story is part of the fiction, even if it bears the same name as a place on the map. I came to understand that May’s word choices offered a window into Fin’s spirit. Similar use of uniformly negative adjectives came in any mention of God or the church in Fin’s recollection (even the wooden pews are “unforgiving”) until he recalls the congregation singing Psalms in Gaelic.

The weather is part of the landscape. Nearly every chapter opens with a description of wind and rain, sun and moon. On real-life Lewis, too, one is indeed more conscious of the ever-changing weather, but in the Lewis of the story, it becomes one more malevolent force weighing on Fin.

The first hint that this return to the island might be working a change on Fin is on a drive to Uig, the southern tip of the island, which he calls “some of the bleakest, most beautiful country anywhere on earth.” Significantly, the next chapter begins “in those days,” the first explicit indication that these first-person memories are in the past. And in the chapter after that, Fin tells his namesake, Finnleigh, “You might not think so now, but this is a magical place. . . . The thing is, you don’t appreciate it until you’ve been away.”

The author uses many doublets in his plot, such as sons and incidents of falling. Most effectively, there are two trips to the rock, An Sgeir, for the atavistic annual hunt for gugas, fledgling gannets. Significantly, twelve men go. While there, they not only slaughter them (a reminiscence of lambs) but communally share in eating the first they catch (the rest are taken back to Lewis; what was once a desperately needed food source is now a delicacy). Some make the trip yearly, but even once is enough to transform you into one who has been to the rock.

The first of the two trips, Fin’s abortive initiation, marks the end of his closest childhood friendship. The second, eighteen years later, with its echo of the binding of Isaac, involves Fin as the thirteenth man, who has to surmount dangerous obstacles (an ordeal by water) to reach the rock in time to prevent a human sacrifice. By succeeding, after coming to the self-knowledge long repressed, Fin is left as the book closes with a flicker of hope that he might finally have matured. On the other hand, this is the first time in hundreds of years that not a single guga is brought back. What does that bode for their tradition-bound community?
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
HenrySt123 | 130 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 26, 2024 |
I've read about 10 books by Peter May but this is in a different class from the Lewis Trilogy and the Enzo Files. First of all, It is pretty much guaranteed to be a stand alone. Secondly, May transports us more than twenty-five years into the future and it's certainly not a pretty picture. Nevertheless, I found it quite compelling.

Climate change has wrought its effects everywhere across the earth but for the purposes of this book set in Scotland it is the halting of the Gulf Stream (caused by the extreme melting of ice sheets) that is felt the most. Without the ameliorating effect of the Gulf Stream Scotland is much colder and is subject to extreme snow and ice storms. Addie, a meteorologist tasked with maintaining an array of instruments on Scottish mountains, discovers a man entombed in an ice cave while on her duties. The corpse is that of journalist George Younger who disappeared about 3 months previously. Veteran police detective Cameron Brodie from Glasgow is asked to investigate the death. At first he refuses but then he is given bad news by his doctor and he decides to go. He and pathologist Sita Roy are flown by a drone helicopter north to Kinlochleven area. They almost didn't make it as a fierce ice storm hits the area before they land but the helicopter manages to make it down safely. Then they have to make their way to the nearby hotel on foot in a near whiteout. And that's just the start of their travails. It seems that whoever was responsible for the journalist's death is equally determined they won't get back to headquarters with any evidence. While trying to remain alive and solve the murder Brodie is also determined to patch up things with his daughter. Yes, his daughter lives in this remote area and she is Addie, the person who discovered the body. She is also married to the local cop. Brodie hasn't seen her since his wife's funeral. His wife committed suicide and Addie interpreted her suicide note to mean that Brodie had been having an affair. That wasn't the case and now he wants to clear up the circumstances surrounding his wife's death. So, Brodie has his work cut out for him and for a man facing his own mortality he finds he has more reasons for living than he has had in a long time.

The picture painted by May of the effects of climate change on Scotland and particularly Glasgow is depressing. Much of the city has been submerged by the rising ocean and it seems like it is always raining. Nevertheless, Glasgow is called home by numerous climate refugees whose own countries and cities are absolutely uninhabitable. I wish I thought that May was scare-mongering but I don't think he is. The inhabitants of earth have to take dramatic action or this will be our reality.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
gypsysmom | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2024 |
Merkitty asiattomaksi
LLonaVahine | 32 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2024 |
50 omicidi
Merkitty asiattomaksi
LLonaVahine | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2024 |



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Associated Authors

Peter Forbes Narrator
David Wilson Photographer
Mark Ferguson Afterword
Charles Hind Contributor
Bunny Williams Afterword
Matthew Wells Contributor
Basile Baudez Contributor
Ariane Bataille Translator, Traduction
Simon Vance Narrator
Ninna Brenøe Translator
Linda Kaprová Translator
Anke Kreutzer Translator
Chiara Ujka Translator
eklundmats Narrator
David Nathan Narrator
Leif Jacobsen Translator
Silvia Morawetz Translator
Anna Mioni Translator
Sabine Schilasky Translator
Filip Drlík Translator, Narrator
brolinaringsa Translator
Steve Worsley Narrator
Stina De Graaf Translator
A. Mioni Translator
Toni Hill Translator
Stina de Graaf Translator
Anlaug Lia Translator
Carlos Fortea Translator
Raymond Turvey Cartographer
Åsa Brolin Translator
Filip Drlík Translator
James Adams Narrator
Jessica Hallén Translator
Anna Murray Narrator
Roxana Olteanu Translator
Irene Goes Translator
Kees Van Weele Translator
Carla Palmieri Translator
Anne Jongeling Translator
Ivar Nergaard Narrator
buremichal Narrator
André Sellier Translator


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