The Black House

2013 BooktheblackhouseThe Black House by Peter May is a superb read and indeed is much more than the traditional who-dunnit kind of thriller. The writer has an immediate and dramatic style which makes good use of shifting time frames, taking the reader right into the mind of the characters.

The Rev Ruth first drew my attention to the author – the middle book of the Lewis Trilogy  was on offer in the kindle store for only 20p and she had tried it out, only to discover a page-turning read.  I decided to follow suit, but came across the other two books and took the chance of starting at the beginning. What a find, made all the more enthralling by the fact that we had lived in the Western Isles for nine years some thirty to forty years ago. The Isle of Lewis has a beauty of its own, a beauty which can sometimes be savage in its intensity, all captured in thrilling word pictures by Peter May.

The story centres round a savage murder investigated by a detective who was originally raised on the island. The people, the landscape, the weather, the harshness and beauty of island life are all vividly told, as is the ambiguity of the relationship between the people and their God. Past mysteries are explored and revealed amidst a race to prevent yet further bloodshed. An absorbing read deserving eight out of ten.

Yes – it was made special for me because of my time living and working amongst the people of Lewis. It is a work of fiction, of course, murder hardly ever happens in those remote Hebridean islands; however, the background research and stoicism characteristic of the area rings true even today.

We lived, it seemed, on the edge of the world. This typically brooding view, is from our kitchen window….

A winter view over the Minch

A winter view over the Minch

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11 Responses to The Black House

  1. John Orr says:

    Just finished that a few days ago and I’m half-way through the second one (it was the Kindle 20p offer that caught my attention). Excellent read, and I think I’m enjoying the second one even more. I didn’t want to commit to the third (as it’s full price) until I’d sussed out the others, but it’ll definitely be getting purchased soon.
    The second is a bit different – more ‘poignant’, I’d say. But, as I say, a better read (in my opinion anyway).

  2. friko says:

    I like thrillers, this sounds like a very interesting read. Books without depth and in poor English annoy me, even when they are ‘only’ thrillers.

    I am glad you left a comment, I’ve found it difficult to access your blog. I’ve put you into my own bookmarks folder now; I won’t lose you again.

  3. Ray Barnes says:

    Wow Freda what a view. It would have driven me insane in a week!
    Brooding is only one word for it. It looks like something out of the Hammer House of Horror series.

  4. freda says:

    Thanks, Friko, I have been finding it difficult to add comments to certain blogs because their security won’t accept my unusual url. So in future, please excuse me if I keep putting in who I am – a bit like the donkey in Shrek, jumping up and shouting, “It’s me! It’s me!

    Ray – Ah but you should see the view on a good day.

  5. ernestine says:

    thank you so much for sending your website.
    will be checking in.
    beautiful images…
    I wondered where
    Dalamory
    was located :)

  6. Ray says:

    I downloaded this book to my ipad kindle app a while ago. I HOPE to read it soon!!!
    Nice review!:)

  7. Ray says:

    I downloaded this book to my ipad kindle app a while ago. I HOPE to read it soon!!!
    Nice review!:) Started a new blog and am encouraging John!!!

  8. RevRuth says:

    I’m in the middle of the third one and enjoying it muchly.

  9. Dianne says:

    Great Review. I read one of Peter May’s books years ago, but forgot which one. Love the brooding thrillers. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I need a friend when it comes to the WW stuff. Dianne

  10. Anne says:

    I’m going to get it for my Kindle. Thanks.

  11. Kat says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I’m always looking for a good read. And what a great picture!

    So glad you stopped by my blog. It’s nice to “meet” you! :)

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