The Lewis Man – Audio Book Review

The Lewis Trilogy #2 by Peter May
Published on June 2, 2015
Narrated by: Peter Forbes

Although a very well written mystery novel with terrific characters and rich storytelling, I struggled through parts of the story and thought very seriously about DNFing it several times.


Fin Macleod has returned to the Isle of Lewis, the storm-tossed, wind-scoured outer Hebridean island where he was born and raised. Having left behind his adult life in Edinburgh–including his wife and his career in the police force–the former Detective Inspector is intent on repairing past relationships and restoring his parents’ derelict cottage.

His plans are interrupted when an unidentified corpse is recovered from a Lewis peat bog. The only clue to its identity is a DNA match to a local farmer, the now-senile Tormod Macdonald–the father of Fin’s childhood sweetheart, Marsaili–a man who has claimed throughout his life to be an only child, practically an orphan. Reluctantly drawn into the investigation, Fin uncovers deep family secrets even as he draws closer to the killer who wishes to keep them hidden.


After reading review after review it became pretty evident that I am clearly in the minority on this one. There is no mistake that this is an excellent novel with a mystery that is difficult to unravel mainly due to the fact that the only person that might have some knowledge on the victim has dementia. The storytelling and structure of how the story unfolds was spell-binding – using Fin’s conversations with Tormod as a gateway to Tormod’s memories added a layer of complexity to the story as well as interest. I was also touched by how Fin and Tormod’s conversations could be rather humorous at times while also being very sweet as we saw how gently Fin interacted with Tormod.

My favorite part about the book is how conversations with Fin would lead to Tormod’s memories. However, when this occurred I also enjoyed the memories ending and coming back to the present. But soon the memories started taking over the story and it felt as if we would never leave the past. For me, the past started bogging down the part that I had been enjoying and I never could get that enjoyment back. In fact, I started skipping parts of the memory sections of the story just trying to get back to the present and then eventually started dreading turning the audio book back on.

Audio Book Review:

Peter May, an actor from Edinburgh University, narrated this distinctly Scottish novel. To say he was perfect for the role would be an understatement. As I listened, I marveled at the perfect pronunciations of all the names and locations, which only a native can do as they added to the atmosphere of the novel that is steeply set in Scotland’s history. I might have even tried to do a few of the pronunciations myself, but messed them up very horribly as I knew I would. Thankfully, no one was listening to me or recording me when I tried. While I didn’t fully enjoy the story if this is one that might interest you then I can definitely recommend the audio book.

Rating: 3 stars

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