Back to books! The Blackhouse by Peter May.

« Une heure de lecture est le souverain remède contre les dégoûts de la vie. »

( Montesquieu)

“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”

( Montesquieu)

 Reading has become essential to keep a cool head when things heat up!!!  A week before the killing of Charlie Hebdo’s caricaturists, I had started reading the Blackhouse by  novelist Peter May, a novel which is part I of The  Lewis trilogy. 

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As I was virtually walking along the windswept paths on the island of Lewis in the Hebrides, terror struck in Paris, leaving us all stunned and dazed.

I didn’t open  the novel for a complete week before being able to go back to it. Moreover I was approaching a writer I didn’t know anything about.  After reading Ken Follett’s light prose, I was letting myself into something much more descriptive and sometimes a bit boring but … wait! 

After  reading about 100  pages,  The Hebrides made me fall in their nets, especially during the guga hunt on a hostile and rugged island off  Lewis coast called An Sgeir  in the novel ( English name: Sular Sgeir). A guga is the Gaelic name of  a gannet, a beautiful seabird which used to be hunted (“harvested”) for their tasty flesh  in the Hebrides.   A traditional  primal hunt passed down from generation to generation and sending goosebumps down your spine! 

By the way, I forgot to point out that book is a suspense thriller and its magic works! The detective, Fin,  in charge of a gory murder on the island was born and bred on Lewis Island before escaping to Glasgow  and Edinburgh to look for a better life. While looking for clues to identify the murderer, he finds out that the murder is related to his boyhood and young adult life on the island, having to face up his past.

An exhilarating book in the wilderness of the sea! 

” Out here, with a monstrous sea smashing itself over the rocks around them,  Fin had never felt less in control. It was a raw confrontation with nature at its most powerful, and he seemed tiny and insignificant by comparison … He could hear the sea snapping and slurping at the rock, as if it were trying to devour it…His lifejacket seemed ludicrously flimsy. If he fell in the water, it would probably keep him afloat long enough for the sea to tear him apart on the rock.”

Will Fin get out of this inferno and solve his murder case? 

 Let’s see if book II of the Trilogy, The Lewis Man,  will keep up the pace of supense.