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MisterHobgoblin

Peter May
The Lewis Man

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Like Peter May's previous novel The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man tells a pretty loose murder mystery with a much bigger back story of the hard life on the islands. In this case, the story revolves around a corpse that has lain buried in peat for 50 years or more and the circumstances which caused the body to be there.

 

Leading the investigation, we have Fin Macleod, former Edinburgh police detective who is now between jobs on the island of his childhood - Lewis. The narrative takes up where the Blackhouse left off, and we revisit many of the same characters. The island remains the star of the show - and anyone who has ever lived there will tell you that the weather and the landscape matter. Lewis is not suburbia.

 

There are some scenes which take place in an ambiguous location which later resolves itself into Edinburgh, but until the location becomes clear the story is somewhat confusing. When it does resolve itself, the murder mystery starts to become clear. In this sense, it is a bit of a non-mystery. It's really a novel about people and place.

 

Unfortunately, like The Blackhouse, the novel is let down by a racy, pacy ending that is incongruous with the island surroundings. It didn't need it: the story was strong enough on its own merits. Nevertheless, this comes late enough that it doesn't really take away from the real human story that is being told.

 

****0

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I just finished this book and liked it better even than the first one.  I agree that the ending was a bit much, but not as much too much as the ending of the first book.  I particularly liked the idea of the old people who just seem "well...old," but may have had much more exciting lives than we think looking at them now.  

 

Now of course I want to go visit as soon as possible, but maybe not during midge season.

 

I would normally have gone on to the third book, but Mr. HG's review has made me decide not to.  The things he objects to I would find objectionable, too.  

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I just finished this book and liked it better even than the first one.  I agree that the ending was a bit much, but not as much too much as the ending of the first book.  I particularly liked the idea of the old people who just seem "well...old," but may have had much more exciting lives than we think looking at them now.  

 

Now of course I want to go visit as soon as possible, but maybe not during midge season.

 

I would normally have gone on to the third book, but Mr. HG's review has made me decide not to.  The things he objects to I would find objectionable, too.

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I have this one waiting on kindle once I get through several others. Liked The Blackhouse so will probably like this one.

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I have just finished this and I really liked it, a lot better than the first one.

I like the fact that relationships were less easily resolved than in the first book. It all seemed a bit more real in that respect. And I found a tear in my eye at the end.

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I have just finished this and like others here thought this was a better novel than the first one. I especially like the handling of the character with dementia. This seemed very believable and brought a different element to a crime novel. It also proved that good crime novels don't need to be all about blood and guts and the molestation of women. 

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