‘The Lewis Man’ by Peter May…a Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing   reviews, authors, writing reviews, authors, writingFive out of five quills    
  The Lewis Man by international best selling author, Peter May


Peter May writes in black and white.  I rarely see ‘color’ in his books….and that’s high praise. 

He plunks me down inLEWISScan the stark, forbidding Outer Hebrides, a group of islands northwest of Scotland and bared to the North Atlantic Sea.
“A sky torn and shredded by the wind.  A sky that leaks sunlight in momentary flashes to spill across dead grasses where the white tips of bog cotton dip and dive in frantic eddies of turbulent air….” ( prose at its best!)

After reading about the people settled there one wonders why they stay.  And that is at the core of why his characters are so intriguing and entertaining.  There is little soil on these rocks jutting out of the sea.  And trees for shelter and fuel?  Forget that.   But peat bogs flourish and provide fuel for heat in the oldest tradition of the Gaelic world.  When a body turns up in a bog the remains could be a month old, several decades old, and in some instances, centuries old.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m not a reviewer who fills the page with a synopsis of the story.  For me, the reader, it spoils it to be given the plot on a plate.  And true to form, I want to digress for a moment and write about the ‘homers‘ in this story.  Orphans who were carted off to strangers (for the most part); indentured servants.  Children who were taken from  Council Houses and Catholic orphanages and sent out to these islands, to stand on the train platform with a sign around their neck stating what family they should go to; waiting, hoping someone would come and get them.

I’ve written before many times about the phenomenon of countries (around the world) scraping up the unwanted children  and shipping them off to suffer beatings, starvation, rape and worse.  At the turn of the century the eastern cities here in this country sent ‘orphan trains’ to the Midwest to supply farmers with cheap labor.  The United Kingdom sent over 100,000 unwanted kids to the US and Australia as indentured servants.  My own brother and sister were ‘farmed out‘ by our mother back in the 1930’s.

Several of this book’s main characters are adults who started life as ‘homers’.  What makes May’s mysteries so fascinating is that there are several sub-plots running at the same time.  In this instance, the sub-plot is the story of these ‘homers’ and dementia in our elderly.  Once again we join detective-inspector (and native islander) Fin Macleod as he returns home  again. Of course he becomes entangled in a delicious murder.

You know I’m all about the writing.  And Peter May is a word-master and storyteller extraordinaire!

The latest in the Lewis Trilogy will be released on Monday, Sept 1.  I have had the pleasure of reading and then reviewing this outstanding mystery and highly recommend it.

Don’t Miss My Interview with Peter May starting September 6th.

Peter’s book tour in the US begins in NYC 9/2;  Boston 9/3; Minneapolis 9/4; Houston 9/6; Denver 9/8; Salt Lake City 9/9; Oakland 9/10 and Seattle 9/12 and 9/13.  For a complete schedule and more info go to http://www.ur-web.net/PeterMayMain/tour2014.htm



In addition to my twice weekly blog I also feature an interview with another author once a month. So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Peter May will be my September author.

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