Forest Lodge Library

A joint library of the Cable & Namakagon communities.

Directors Blog

Falling in Love Again

We never plan for it to happen. Even when someone says, “Hey, I think you’ll really like this guy!” we think, sure. Right. We’ll see. Sometimes we really DO! This time his name is Peter May. He was first recommended to me by Sarah Letke (now a Forest Lodge Library Staff member!) and the first title I read was THE BLACKHOUSE. I was so swept away I immediately sat down and ordered everything fairly current from Mr. May for our library. Although considered a mystery writer, his writing is so superb that it blurs the distinction between genre writing and literary fiction. His descriptions of the island landscape, the sea that surrounds it, the winds that batter it, the clouds that pass over it…make you want to visit immediately. Not live there…it sounds pretty harsh…but visit? Yes, absolutely.

THE BLACKHOUSE is the first in a series of three novels set on Lewis Island in the Hebrides and featuring Fin Macleod. Fin has taken a month away from his job with the Edinburgh police force following the tragic death of his 8 year old son, victim of a hit-and-run accident. Now, his boss insists it’s time to quit or come back to work and assigns him to assist in a murder investigation on Lewis Island, which happens to be the home that Fin has not visited since he left, eighteen years previously. His return immerses him in the language and community he left long ago and gives rise to memories of his past, many of which he’d as soon have forgotten. I loved everything about this book. The writing is wonderful. The descriptions of the landscape and the weather that is inflicted upon seem to let you see it, feel it, taste it. The story-lines, connecting Fin’s past to the current murder investigation, are skillfully managed. No one I’ve recommended this book to has expressed disappointment. In fact, most readers have, as I did myself, gone on to read the next two volumes in the trilogy as quickly as possible. I thought THE LEWIS MAN even better than THE BLACKHOUSE…and THE CHESSMEN was a satisfying read, as well. (yes, the library owns all these titles now!) I also read two “stand-alones” which I found satisfying: ENTRY ISLAND, which, while unrelated, continues to explore the history of the people of the Hebrides, and RUNAWAY, which was a kick for its reminiscences of swingin’ 60’s London in addition to being a solid crime novel. So. I have this advice for you. READ PETER MAY!