The Blackhouse by Peter May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like reading books that are set in/around the Highlands/Islands/West Coast of Scotland, so I was keen to start reading the first of the Lewis Trilogy.
DI Fin Macleod was born on the Isle of Lewis, but had left when he was 18. Investigating a murder in Edinburgh, he is sent back to Lewis when a man is killed in similar circumstances. However, although the murder investigation rolls along in the background, the novel is more about Fin's journey back into his past.
It took me a few days to get into it, but then I really enjoyed this novel. The chapters alternated between what was happening in the present day, and Fin's memories of his life on the island as he grew up. There was a lot of history there, which was revealed slowly, so it was a real page-turner, wanting to get to the next revelation.
I did think that Fin had had an exceptionally bleak, unhappy life, which was quite depressing. When the book begins, he is leaving for Lewis and effectively walking out on his marriage, just four weeks after his son had died. This was only referred to a handful of times throughout the rest of the novel, and I couldn't understand how Fin had seemingly come to terms with his son's death so quickly.
The killer wasn't too difficult to guess, in the end, and that part of the story was possibly a bit of an anti-climax. There was a big twist too which to be honest seemed a bit too convenient to me, as there had been no hint of it at all up until that point, as far as I was concerned.
Overall though, I did enjoy this novel. I've already got book two of the trilogy, so I'm looking forwards to reading that.
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