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Thursday, February 01, 2018

May's Newest Not My Favorite, But Still Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Ruairdh Macfarlane proposes investing in tweed, his wife balks.  After all, what do the two of them know about fabric?  Will they be able to survive if they sink their life savings into a small, Hebridean textile business?  Niamh has a background in business and marketing, but she still thinks her husband's idea is crazy.  Against all odds, the duo create a successful company.  When their unique take on Harris Tweed catches the attention of bigwigs in the fashion world, it looks like their dreams of fame and fortune are finally coming true.

Although Niamh and Ruairdh have been friends since childhood and spouses for a decade, their solid bond seems to be cracking.  While on an important business trip to Paris, Niamh accuses Ruairdh of cheating on her with Irinia Vetrov, a married Russian fashion designer.  Furious, he stomps out of their hotel room.  She spies him climbing into Irina's car, which explodes only moments later, killing them both.  A shocked Niamh soon finds herself the prime suspect in her husband's murder.  The only way to clear her name is to find out what really happened.

Even in the Macfarlane's remote home in the Hebrides, Niamh becomes the target of someone bent on doing her harm.  Why did her husband die?  And who is trying to kill her now?  

I'm a big fan of Peter May's novels, especially those set in the moody, broody Hebrides.  He has a way of making the locale come alive for me in all its stark, striking glory.  A lot of I'll Keep You Safe (available March 6, 2018), May's newest thriller, takes place off-island, which is maybe why I didn't like it quite as much as some of his others.  It also felt more graphic.  Its format differs from May's previous novels, which made for an interesting contrast.  I did enjoy delving into the characters' back stories, although I realized that, like a true Hebridean, I'm leery of outlanders and prefer an all-local cast.  Still and all, I'll Keep You Safe is a tense page turner that definitely kept my attention.  While I saw the killer coming, there was at least one twist that caught me by surprise.  His newest isn't my favorite, but I still love May and will read anything he writes, especially if it's set in the always-fascinating Hebrides.

(Readalikes:  Other books by Peter May; also those by Ann Cleeves)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, sexual content, and depictions of illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of I'll Keep You Safe from the generous folks at Quercus.  Thank you!

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