The Lewis Man

Peter May. Quercus, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-62365-819-9

In May’s haunting second entry in the trilogy that began with 2012’s The Blackhouse, the last thing former Edinburgh cop Fin Macleod wants any part of is police work, but fate has other plans. Fin has returned to the remote Hebrides Isle of Lewis, where he grew up, to figure out his future. Meanwhile, locals cutting peat discover an almost perfectly mummified young man in a bog. The decades-old murder victim becomes Fin’s problem when DNA links it to Tormod Macdonald, the father of his childhood sweetheart, Marsaili, and grandfather to the quondam couple’s now-grown son, Fionnlagh. With the demented Tormod unable to illuminate matters (except, partially, through vivid interior monologues, a device some readers may find problematic), it falls to Fin to solve the overlapping mysteries of the victim’s identity, what happened to him, and Tormod’s possible role in his death—and, eventually, the deeper mystery of who Tormod himself really is. The fast-moving investigation sweeps Fin across the starkly beautiful Hebridean landscape into unexpected byways, back into the darker chapters of Scotland’s past, as well as his own—and smack into some very present danger. (Sept.)