The Chessmen, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


THE NAIL-BITING FINAL CHAPTER IN THE LEWIS TRILOGY, FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF COFFIN ROAD.THE NEW STARTFin Macleod, now head of security on a privately owned Lewis estate, is charged with investigating a spate of illegal game-hunting taking place on the island.

THE OLD FRIENDThis mission reunites him with Whistler Macaskill - a local poacher, Fin's teenage intimate, and possessor of a long-buried secret.

THE FINAL CHAPTERBut when this reunion takes a violent, sinister turn and Fin puts together the fractured pieces of the past, he realizes that revealing the truth could destroy the future.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780857382252

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

The atmospheric setting of the Outer Hebrides, the characters, and the story kept me glued to the page. If setting is important to you, Peter May's Lewis trilogy is tailor-made for you. The Isle of Lewis should be listed in the cast of characters, and May always seems able to find something about it that will illuminate and set the mood. In The Chessmen, it's the frightening and eery bog burst. As the water drains out of the loch, secrets are uncovered, and Macleod will have his hands full with one secret after another throughout the book.The Lewis trilogy has dealt with other secrets, and this final book is no exception. It's as if Macleod has to clear everything up from his past before he can really make a fresh start. (Just as we do in real life.) Here the secrets revolve around his late teens and early twenties when he was a roadie for an up-and-coming Celtic rock band. Whistler Macaskill was a member of the band, and his life has also been shadowed with secrets that will have an effect on his young daughter Anna Bheag ("wee Anna").It's fascinating to see how the lives of all the various characters mesh together, and how each secret has made a lasting mark on them. The entire book is a feast, but the highlight for me was Fin's speech before the church board at the end. It was filled with truth, it was emotional, and it was oh so right. I would've cheered when Macleod was finished, but the lump in my throat was too big.You could probably read The Chessmen as a standalone without too much difficulty, but I wouldn't advise it. The entire trilogy is a reading experience that should not be missed.

Review by

I couldn't wait to get my hands on the last of the Lewis Trilogy. I hope there will be more. There should be as I think there are some loose ends that did not get sorted out. Once again this book goes back and forth in time using the characters from the previous 2 books. The island, and the people who live there are center stage.

Review by

Fin Macleod is fully settled back in his childhood home on the isle of Lewis. He is now working as head of security on the estate of a wealthy landowner. His work, which consists mainly of stopping poachers, brings him into conflict with Whistler, a friend from his childhood. When a natural phenomenon drains a nearby loch, the two discover a small plane which had been owned by musician and friend, Roddy McKenzie, and which had disappeared some two decades earlier. Inside the cockpit, they find a corpse and clear indications that whatever happened all those years ago, it wasn’t an accident.The Chessmen is the third and final installment in author Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy and, like the first two books, it’s much more than just a simple thriller. The story alternates between Fin’s past and present. As he searches for the solution to the crime, we learn more about his relationships with the people of Lewis, his early life, and what about this isolated island at the far end of the Hebrides keeps bringing him back. Much of the story takes place off the island as we learn more about why Fin drove Marsaille away when they were at school together in Edinburgh. Like the first two novels, The Chessmen could be read as a stand-alone as each solves a mystery while giving the reader details of Fin’s past. However, The Lewis Trilogy is more than the sum of its parts: separate, each is a complex and fascinating combination of mystery, coming-of-age, and literary fiction but, together, they create a powerful and, admittedly, bleak picture of a unique environment and culture. Throughout my reading of the trilogy, I developed a strong sense of the island and the people who inhabit it and, although I was anxious to see how Fin’s story would play out, I will sorely miss them.

Review by

This last installment finds Fin employed as head of security on the XXX estate. His focus is to crack down on grand scale poaching. But before he can go after the big players, he needs to nail down his old friend Whistler who's run afoul of the landlord. They end up in a shelter high in the hills and when they get up in the morning the loch below them has emptied out and at its bottom sits an airplane that went missing decades ago, inside it a corpse that obviously did not fly there himself.<br/><br/>The last entry into the Lewis trilogy follows the same structure as the other two books: an event today triggers a revisiting of the past. In this case it's the discovery of that airplane. We learn more about Fin's history, revisit some old friends and encounter new ones. I will miss these books, their vivid sense of place, revisiting the flawed characters that have become dear to me with all their issues and the way somewhere along the ride I get emotionally engaged.<br/>

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