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The Lewis Man

By: Peter May
Narrated by: Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,588 ratings)
Regular price: £16.09
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Summary

Short-listed for Audible Sounds Crime Award

An unidentified corpse is recovered from a peat bog on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. News of the discovery soon reaches Fin Macleod. However, since swapping his life in Edinburgh for a quiet existence on Lewis, such mysteries are no longer a concern for the former detective inspector. Or so he thought. The sequel to The Blackhouse, which was selected for the WH Smith Richard and Judy Bookclub, and the second book in the Lewis trilogy. 

©2012 Quercus Publishing PLC (P)2012 Quercus Publishing PLC

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric sequel to The Blackhouse

Although this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, you'll get more from it if you listen to the first part of this trilogy of books largely set in the Outer Hebrides. Many of the characters from the first novel re-appear in the Lewis Man in which their lives are moved forward in time. As with The Blackhouse, though ostensibly a detective novel, that aspect of the narrative is just the back-drop to life stories that switch between the 1950s and the present day. There's lots of atmospheric writing about the scenery and weather (!). Along the way we learn more of how life on the islands has changed and social attitudes altered.
Peter Forbes is an excellent narrator who really brought the characters alive for me.

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Weaker than the first novel of the series

Didn't enjoy the story as much as the first book in the series. It was a little disjointed (deliberately I think) in the first half and ended up feeling very rushed in the last quarter as the author seemed to know where he wanted to end up and suddenly had to introduce many short cuts to get there as rapidly as possible.

Still a worthwhile read and a nice progression of the main character's story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • Herefordshire, UK
  • 23-07-15

Very very enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to The Lewis Man the most enjoyable?

The Lewis Man turned out to be a really gripping story. Really enjoyable story that I really couldn't put down

Who was your favorite character and why?

Some very well portrayed characters. But the young John was a very interesting character

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Great insight to the life in an orphanage many years ago. Clearly moulded some very strong personalities

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was pretty emotional at times. You can't fail but feel sorry for some of the lives young children are forced to live.

Any additional comments?

A great book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

Peter May continues to conjure up the atmosphere of the beautiful Outer Hebrides in this excellent sequel to The Blackhouse. It is a crime novel with a difference and so much more. His portrayal of the character with dementia is sympathetically and realistically drawn. There are parts which are highly emotionally charged. It is extremely cleverly written and the narration is first class. Also I was so happy about the ending. Please listen to The Blackhouse first to get the most out of this book. Can't wait for The Chess Men.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Bathgate, United Kingdom
  • 14-03-12

Can a murder mystery be beautifully written?

Beautifully written isn't usually a term I'd except to use when describing a murder mystery. This book so knowingly descibes the land and lives in the Hebrides, tenderly gives an insight into dementia whilst simulateously builds to the tension expected of it's kind. I listened to the first half on my 300 mile south and the second half on my 300 miles north again the next day. The journey melted away. What a beautifully written murder mystery!

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 30-12-16

Another excellent book set in the Hebrides

Great narration. It's a thriller but Landscape is the star brilliantly described. Interesting background to the story which is never heard of. Stand alone story but best if read 1st to understand some of the references.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story beautifully told

Performance was splendid and pulled you into the story. Different voices for the various characters makes it easy to follow along. Story was laid out beautifully, jumping between past and present, dishing out the background information at the right time and amount.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A different and richly described setting

I came to this book knowing absolutely nothing about the Scottish Islands and their culture, for that reason what I enjoyed most here was all the wonderful descriptions of the landscapes and weather etc. The story it mostly great too, although I thought the twists with the identity of the characters and the murder were a little obvious at times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy
  • GIRVAN, United Kingdom
  • 19-08-16

Superb . Engaging and involving for the listener.

I am glad I waited till I had collected all the audio books in this trilogy. Well worth the wait for both the quality of the story and narrator. Real emotional involvement in this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very good

Love the way Peter May writes- he sets the scene for the story so well

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dumbclub
  • 10-02-12

Visit the Outer Hebrides

As I listened to Peter Forbes in his wonderfully accented Scottish, describing the diverse and desolate landscape of these islands, I came upon an idea to "see" the countryside more fully. l used the Street View feature in Google Maps to "drive" around the Outer Hebrides as I listened.

By following the author's detailed descriptions of prominent physical features in the story, I easily found landmarks, settlements, and roadways. This gave me a much deeper appreciation of the setting while adding great credibility to Peter May's illustration of these places he obviously knows well.

As for the story itself, I came to admire May's device of occasionally inserting chapters written in the first person voice of the elderly Tormod Macdonald, who gives us insight into the frustration of what it must be like to live with dementia.

For valuable background of this second piece of the Lewis trilogy, I recommend listening to The Blackhouse before enjoying The Lewis Man. The third part, The Chase Men, is due out in 2013.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanne
  • 06-02-12

Simply mesmerizing

Thank you to an Audible listener whose review prompted me to listen to this wonderful book. This is my first Peter May book and I am hooked. The story is moving and works on so many levels. It is elegantly written - stitched together seamlessly like the unique patterns of the almost lost knitting arts described in the book. The characters grew on me slowly and inevitably. Like many of my favourite writers, Mr. May made it possible to feel the wind, smell the sea, and watch the play of light across the landscape. Bravo! I highly recommend this book.
On another note, I highly value the recommendations of other readers. Thank you so much for your reviews.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 30-01-12

Bring on Book #3

I have listened to most of Peter May's books published by Audible and have thoroughly enjoyed them. I rated his first book in this trilogy Blackhouse 5 stars and assumed wrongly that he couldn't get better. He did. So The Lewis Man deserves 6 out of 5. What a fantastic story! What strong characters! What incredible story telling by Peter Forbes. I am totally enthralled by the main character 'Fin' not to mention Marsaili, his childhood sweetheart and Donald Murray, Fin's wild childhood friend who turned preacher. And especially Tormod MacDonald, Marsaili's father, who is in the later stages of dementia. Most of the narrative about Tormod is written in the first person, an uncanny, insightful and tragic perspective from an older person whose memory is being robbed from him daily.
I agree fully with a quote from Bookgeeks "The Blackhouse was an extremely good book; The Lewis Man is a superb book".
One final note - it helps to have a map of the Outer Hebrides at your side as you listen to the novel, which by the way is one of the advantages of audiobooks.
The third book in this trilogy is due in the Fall of this year. I can't wait. Truly a "must listen"; well worth the money.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Saley
  • 18-01-12

Hard to stop listening to this Hebridean mystery

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lewis Man to be better than the print version?

Well read, authentic accent, particularly the voice of the old and dementing man who is central to this story.

What other book might you compare The Lewis Man to and why?

A great sequel to Peter May's other Hebridean story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The story of the children on the Dean Bridge is especially compelling.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Stayed awake all night.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice
  • 19-04-12

The sins of the fathers . . .

Any additional comments?

Continuing the story of the people of Lewis but shifting back a generation, Peter May has created another spellbinding tale filled with atmosphere, memories, regrets and new chances. Fin works to find answers to the questions surrounding a body long buried in the bog, tied to Marsali's father, Tormod. As Fin investigates his own way, we learn the story through the hazy memories of Tormod, revealed through his first person recollections. Amazingly, the author is able to weave the facinating story of Tormod's youth and simultaneously convey the sad frustration of living with dementia. I felt complete empathy with Tormod on both levels.
Moving between the past and present, there is the tension of knowing through Tormod's narrative what has happened, while knowing Fin to be tantalizingly close, but still several steps behind. It is a race to bring the nearly parallel lines to convergence in time to prevent past events from creating new tragedies in the present. Very well written and perfectly narrated, this is very highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nola
  • 23-06-12

Great plot, strong characters, excellent narrator

This is Peter May's second novel in his Lewis trilogy -- and certainly is a strong sequel to 'The BlackHouse'. This one is quite complex in the telling, with Tormod's account in first person cleverly interweaving with the third person investigation by Fin McCloud. Intriguing from the start to the final minutes!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C.
  • 22-06-12

WOW! Excellent!

If Peter May's words could be turned into a painting, he would be considered a modern day master. And, Peter Forbes' compelling narration has convinced me that this book needs to be heard as long as Mr. Forbes is narrating it.

I could see the sky, feel the rain and the wind crashing on the shore and smell the peat. I wanted to reach out to comfort Talmod MacDonald who endured such hardships in his youth, only to relive those times in his confused state of dementia at the end of his life. The main character Fin, comes across as sensitive and strong. Mr. May and Mr. Forbes portray each character in the book to perfection.

The Blackhouse was excellent and as soon as I had read it, I promptly downloaded The Lewis Man and was delighted that it is unabridged. Like other reviewers, I agree with their assessment. While The Blackhouse is great, The Lewis Man is superb. I am looking forward to Book #3. Thank you Peter May and Peter Forbes for sharing your incredible talents.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ACT1
  • 12-03-12

A good story, just a bit slow to start

I enjoyed the story and the narrator did a good job. It took a while to get into the plot with the insertions from an old man's memory but it all worked out in the end

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane Challenor
  • 10-02-15

Excellent story, perfect narration

This is the second book of Peter May's Lewis trilogy. Excellent story and perfect narration.i'm looking forward to the third book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J
  • 05-07-13

Audible, please get all Peter May's books!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Lewis Man to be better than the print version?

Not having read the print version, I don't know. However, Peter May creates such an extraordinary and complete dream in the reader's mind, I am sure it would be excellent.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lewis Man?

I could pick several which would constitute spoilers, but the one where the main character, Finn, is punched by the village reverend is a great one.

What does Peter Forbes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Peter Forbes disappears, and Scotland is completely unveiled. His narration is SO good, I barely noticed him. I just heard and saw the places and people. That's the highest compliment I can render to a reader, and I'm hard to please.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I just felt it was very very good, and it has stayed with me the way a good book does.

Any additional comments?

Like the title of my review, please get all of Peter May's Scottish stories and please get Peter Forbes to narrate more!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful