Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Blackhouse

The first in a trilogy of crime novels, The Blackhouse takes the reader to the remote Scottish island of Lewis, where a grisly murder has been committed. Forensics show the case is similar to one in Edinburgh so Detective Inspector Fin McLeod is flown in to compare notes.

It’s Fin’s first case back on the job after the accidental death of his little boy, his marriage is falling apart and there’s nothing to keep him in Edinburgh. But Lewis is home to a different set of memories, as this is Fin’s boyhood home, and he hasn’t been back since his teens.

The Blackhouse describes on the one hand a murder investigation, but it also tells the story of Fin’s childhood, and in particular his relationships with his best friend, Artair and his first true-love, Marsaili. The murder victim is the old school bully, a seriously nasty piece of work, so there is no shortage of motives and suspects.  The plot builds to a thrilling climax on the atmospheric setting of An Sgeir, a rocky outcrop home to hundreds of gannets.

Fin is an engaging character – he has been through the mill himself, which makes him interesting, and his maverick inclination to ignore his superiors means you know he will get at the heart of the crime. There is certainly a lot more to be milled here, and it is great to know there are two more novels in the Lewis series.

Posted by JAM

Catalogue Link: The Blackhouse

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