The Lewis Man, Peter May

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

After listening to the first two books in the Lewis Trilogy pretty much one after the other, I've done it at all the wrong time of the year. I'm a bit partial to listening to, or reading, books from cold, wet climes in the heights of our summer, and all predictions are indicating we're in for a stinking summer. Hot, dry as a chip and dangerous. So I'll be looking for some seriously cold, wet reading material - including the third book in the trilogy to come.

Aside from the climactic conditions, this is a wonderfully atmospheric series, with some seriously beautifully descriptive writing that works perfectly as an audio book. It's immersive listening, with the narrator able to enhance the atmospherics with perfect pronunciation and accent. The stories themselves are interesting - very much in the closed room vein in many ways - not surprising given the island setting, but with enough local touches to create something particularly interesting. The idea here that a body discovered in the peat could be ancient, but turns out to be more recent, is at the core of this plot. With the local customs of peat cutting and storing, the way that island life revolves around the need to survive the long-harsh winters, and the idea that even in a small community, people can drop through the cracks particularly intriguing and engaging.

The novels have had a tendency to be finished off in a bit of a flourish but that's very forgiveable when everything else about this series has been absolutely perfect. They would be good as reading material, but this is a series I'm particularly pleased to have opted for audio on. It's been a listening pleasure.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

A body is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis. The male Caucasian corpse is initially believed by its finders to be over 2000 years old, until they spot the Elvis tattoo on his right arm. The body, it transpires, is not evidence of an ancient ritual killing, but of a murder committed during the latter half of the 20th century.

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Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
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Karen Chisholm
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