Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Lewis Man by Peter May

After his son is killed in a hit-and-run traffic accident, Fin Macleod's life falls apart.   His marriage is over as it was a passionless affair held together by the love each had for their son.  He ends up quitting his job as a detective inspector as it just doesn't mean anything to him anymore.  After his divorce goes through, Fin is drawn back to the land of his youth, The island of Lewis, an island high in the Scottish sea, remote yet compelling.  He left there as a young man and returns with a need to reinvent himself again.

Fin is not sure what he will do there but decides to start by rebuilding the ancient farmstead where his parents lived their lives.  He reunites with the people from his youth, his former love Marsaili and her son Fionnlagh, now a father himself, his best friend Donald, now a pastor.  He foresees himself living a quiet life, spending his time discovering what can make a life after he has lost everything but a quiet life is not to be.

A man is discovered buried deep in the peat that makes up the soil of the island.  At first it is thought that this is one of the famous bog men that occasionally turn up, men preserved for hundreds of years in the peat.  But a tattoo on the man's arm of Elvis puts paid to that idea.  Who is this man and how did he come to lie in the soil of Lewis?  How did he die and who was responsible?  Soon Fin is drawn into the mystery as it turns out that the man is related somehow to Marsaili's father, a man now lost in the fogs of dementia.  Can he solve the mystery and bring peace to those left in his life?

This was my first book written by Peter May and I've discovered another mystery author to follow.  The setting is wonderful, reminiscent of the series Shetland.  The characters are attempting to live their lives but their presents are overshadowed by their pasts.  Fin is a great character and the reader is drawn into his life, hoping that some good can come to a life burdened by loss and regret.  This book is recommended by mystery readers.

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