The Blackhouse - Peter May I chose this book because I love mysteries set in bleak, isolated places, so a tale of grisly murder set in the cold, rainy, rocky Scottish Isles promised a ticket to my literary happy place. I was not disappointed.

Atmosphere and authenticity are key words for this book. I almost felt the dampness on my skin and the heavy mud caking on my feet reading trudging around the plot of this book. The characters refer to each other by their Gaelic names---I felt like I was given a tour of Scottish culture and history. And I loved every minute of it.

I was also very happy to find out that this is part of a series (one of several award winning detective series by this writer) and am looking forward to reading the next two installments.

Characters. Always important, maybe the most important of all. May delivers here as well. The characters were as colorful as the landscape was bleak. I was committed to seeing them through and cared about what happened.

Plotwise, it is what I believe people call a police procedural as I understand the term and it was very effective in this regard. The book was a solid 5 stars for me until the end when there was a reveal that related back to events from many years before which I found to be not credible. I hate spoilers so that is all that I will say and leave it to others to either agree or disagree.

I enjoyed it enough to purchase a return trip to Scotland to see what happens in the next installment.