Review: The Lewis Man, by Peter May


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Quercus, 2012. Paperback edition. ISBN: 978-0-85738-222-1. 420 pages. (#2 of the Lewis trilogy)

Following the events narrated in The Blackhouse (see my review here), Finn Macleod has returned to Lewis. He has divorced, after sixteen years of marriage, and has given up his job after ten years in the force. Finn is now living in a tent close to the ruins of his parents’ old farm house with the intention to rebuild it. Shortly after his return to the island where he was born, a perfectly preserved corpse of a young man was recovered from a peat bog. It was assumed at first that the body could have been hundreds of years old but the pathologist has established that the young man was murdered in the late 1950s, meaning that his killer might still be alive. A DNA testing has linked him to Tormod Macdonald, Marsaili’s father. Tormod currently suffers dementia, but he had always maintained he was an only child. Besides Marsaili, he has no other close relatives. For this reason, Finn travels, along with George Gunn, down to Seilebost in Harris to trace old Tormod Macdonald’s family. Once there, they find out that Tormod Macdonald was drowned accidentally on 18 March 1958, aged 18. Who is actually Marsaili’s father?   

‘Although they are called the Isle of Lewis and the Isle of Harris, the two are in fact one island separated by a mountain range and a narrow neck of land.’

If I very much enjoyed his previous novel, I believe that May really has surpassed himself in this second instalment of the Lewis Trilogy. His ability to create a suggestive and tense atmosphere is simply great. The challenge was difficult to assume. What else can  happen in this remote islands where one murder was committed in each century? But May has managed to be successful. The story, solid and well-constructed, captures the reader’s attention. As in his previous novel, the narrative is dual. And the characters are extremely appealing and convincing. Several are the topics covered in the book, but I am particularly impressed by the way he treats Alzheimer’s disease. It is without a doubt a wonderful book that is worth reading. Although it can be read, probably, as a standalone book, it is best when read after The Blackhouse, for a better understanding of the characters. Don’t think it will take me long to read his third book, The Chessmen.   

My rating: 5/5.

The Lewis Man has been reviewed by Amanda Gillies at Euro Crime, Maxine at Petrona, Sarah at Crimepieces, Jim Kelly at Shots and at FicitonFan’s Book Reviews, among others.

Quercus

Peter May Official Website

Map

El hombre sin pasado de Peter May

El hombre sin pasado (Peter May)

Tras los acontecimientos narrados en La isla de los cazadores de pájaros (ver mi reseña aquí), Finn Macleod ha regresado a Lewis. Se ha divorciado, después de dieciséis años de matrimonio, y ha renunciado a su puesto de trabajo después de diez años en la fuerza. Finn está viviendo en una tienda de campaña cerca de las ruinas de la antigua casa de labranza de sus padres con la intención de reconstruirla. Poco después de su regreso a la isla que le vio nacer, un cadáver perfectamente conservado de un hombre joven fue recuperado de una turbera. Se supuso en un primer momento que el cuerpo podía tener cientos de años de antigüedad, pero el patólogo ha establecido que el joven fue asesinado a finales de los 50, lo que significa que su asesino aún podría estar vivo. Una prueba de ADN lo ha vinculado a Tormod Macdonald, el padre de Marsaili. Tormod padece demencia actualmente, pero siempre había mantenido que era hijo único. Aparte de Marsaili, no tiene otros parientes cercanos. Por esta razón, Finn viaja, junto con George Gunn, a Seilebost en Harris para localizar a la familia del viejo Tormod Macdonald. Una vez allí, se enteran de que Tormod Macdonald se ahogó accidentalmente el 18 de marzo de 1958 a los 18 años de edad. ¿Quién es en realidad el padre de Marsaili?

‘Aunque se denominan la Isla de Lewis y la isla de Harris, las dos son de hecho una sola isla separadas por una cadena montañosa y una estrecha franja de tierra.’

Si me gustó mucho su novela anterior, creo que Peter May realmente se ha superado a sí mismo en esta segunda entrega de la trilogía de Lewis. Su capacidad para crear una atmósfera sugerente y tensa es simplemente genial. El reto era difícil de asumir. ¿Qué otra cosa puede pasar en este remotas islas en las que se cometió un asesinato en cada siglo? Pero May ha logrado tener éxito. La historia, sólida y bien construida, capta la atención del lector. Como en su anterior novela, la narración es dual. Y los personajes son muy atractivos y convincentes. Varios son los temas tratados en el libro, pero estoy especialmente impresionado por la forma en que trata la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Es sin duda un libro maravilloso que vale la pena leer. A pesar de que se puede leer, probablemente, como un libro independiente, es mejor si se lee después de La isla de los cazadores de pájaros, para una mejor comprensión de los personajes. No creo que tardaré mucho en leer su tercer libro, The Chessmen, todavía no disponible en castellano. 

Mi calificación: 5/5.

El hombre sin pasado ha sido reseñada por Julio en Mis queridos sabuesos.

Grijalbo

Página oficial de Peter May (en español) 

Map

11 thoughts on “Review: The Lewis Man, by Peter May

  1. Great review…and thanks for the mention! I also thought this was a real step-up from The Blackhouse, though I loved it too. The Chessmen is great as well, though now it’s been a while since I read them, it’s definitely The Lewis Man that stands out most for me.

    1. Thank you for your visit and for your comment. And for your excellent review as well. Certainly The Lewis Man is Peter May at his very best in my view as well.

  2. Nice review, probably another series I need to get into at some point and it would probably be better if I got on board early rather than leaving it until later. I have either the first or this one at home somewhere.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.