Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Black House - a book review

The Black House
by Peter May

This book caught my eye as I was waiting for a flight to a Kazakhstan, a police whodunit based on the Hebridean Island of Lewis.

I have a strong affection for Lewis and Harris having visited with my parents as a child and twice as an adult including a cycle trip down the Hebridean chain about 30 years ago. These distant islands have a haunting, barren beauty, pummeled by endless Atlantic storms breeding a hardy and insular people.

Against this atmospheric backdrop the story follows a well worn path: Boy leaves home / island, drifts along (becoming a policeman in this case). A strange turn of events cause him to return to his roots to investigate a copycat murder in his home village. In the course of solving the murder he also unearths startling new revelations about himself and his peer group, things which should probably have been left alone.

Finally the history and present day merge with events starting to repeat themselves culminating in a savage and dramatic conclusion.

OK, so the story line isn't entirely original but which ones are? Its a real page turner so if your taste if for crime fiction and / or the Scottish islands this is the book for you. I was gripped through to the end and was left wanting more.

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