Peter May author of The Lewis
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Peter May author of The Lewis

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Coffin Road by Peter May


After an explosive opening in Paris Peter May's new thriller sees a return to the Hebrides...

I'll Keep You Safe by Peter May
Buy now with
from the Book Depository


Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns that Ruairidh is having an affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.


Niamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder – and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.


As one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs.


if you had killed someone

you would remember
wouldn't you?

out in January 2016 in UK

"a terrific novel with well-developed characters, a clever plot with a fascinating scientific issue at its core...
It is hard to imagine that many thrillers in 2016 will be better than this."
Sydney Morning Herald
(read the entire review)

coffin road
click here to order from Amazon

click here to buy with FREE WORLWIDE DELIVERY from The Book Depository

A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive and borderline hypothermic. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road. He does not know where it will lead him, but filled with dread, fear and uncertainty he knows he must follow it.

A detective crosses rough Atlantic seas to a remote rock twenty miles west of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. With a sense of foreboding he steps ashore where three lighthouse keepers disappeared more than a century before - a mystery that remains unsolved. But now there is a new mystery - a man found bludgeoned to death on that same rock, and DS George Gunn must find out who did it and why.

A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her father's death. Two years after the discovery of the pioneering scientist's suicide note, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would wilfully abandon her. And the more she discovers about the nature of his research, the more she suspects that others were behind his disappearance. Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth - and the realisation that ignorance can kill us.

"a truly outstanding novel.
Peter May is one of the most accomplished novelists writing today.
Each time we read his latest book we label it as his best yet, and we make no apology in doing so again.
The author has become a master of misdirection,
and the ways in which the strands of the book entwine confound the reader's expectations right to the very end."
Undiscovered Scotland
(read the entire review)

audio exceprt of Coffin Roadclick here to listen to an excerpt from the audio book read by Peter Forbes

Video of Coffin Road song VIDEOS

The Darkside Owls specially written "Gone but not Forgotten" inspired by Coffin Road

official trailer for COFFIN ROAD

Peter's own research video of The Real Coffin Road


Click below to read articles by Peter about Coffin Road:

Peter reveals why he chose the real-life Coffin Road as the inspiration for his latest book

Peter writes about the Isle of Harris as the location for his new book Coffin Road


Coffin Road UK Tour


Waterstones, Deansgate
Thursday 14th January 7pm


Glasgow - centre

The  Mitchell Library, North St, Glasgow G3 7DN
Monday 18th January 1pm
Book Online -
Or buy tickets from box office on 0141 353 8000


Glasgow - Newton Mearns

Waterstones, The Avenue Shopping Centre
Monday 18th January 7pm



The Ironworks
Tuesday 19th January at 7pm



Edinburgh Central Library,
Wed 20 Jan 2016, 7pm



Thursday 21st January 7pm



Blackwell’s Oxford
Monday, January 25th at 7pm
Tickets: call 01865 333623 for more information or email



London - Piccadilly
Tuesday 26th January 6.30pm



"May conjures a clever, twisty eco-thriller... while making the atmospheric most of his isolated locations"
The Guardian
(click to read the full review)


"an excellent thriller"
Shots Magazine
(click to read the full review)


Runaway by Peter May
FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING from The Book Depository
order RUNAWAY now - available Jan 2015

"The book is beautifully written, funny and poignant, and very different from any I have previously read by the versatile Peter May"
Literary Review

"lacerating narrative"
"As much a disquisition on friendship and the fragility of dreams as it is a thriller"
Financial Times

"a terrific read suffused with nostalgia and the burden of long suppressed guilt"
The Sunday Times

The decision of five teenage boys to leave their homes in Glasgow in 1965 and head for London is led by Jack Mackay when he is expelled from school. His friends need little incentive to run away from abusive families and dead end jobs to pursue fame and fortune as a band.  However, the boys find the reality to be devastatingly different from their dreams, and within less than eight weeks of their departure, just three of them return home, their lives irrevocably damaged.
Fifty years later, in 2015, a brutal murder takes place in London and the three men, who are now in their sixties, are forced to return to the city to confront the demons which have haunted them and blighted their lives for five decades.
Runaway is a gripping crime novel spanning two cities and half a century. This extraordinary work by Peter May explores how aspirations and expectations shape us, and the pivotal yet changeable role that friendships play in our lives.

Read more about the "story behind the story" on Peter's blog, where he reveals how the inspiration for RUNAWAY came from his own experiences...

Peter May with his friend
                  Stephen in the 1960s

Peter May with friend Stephen Penn in the 1960s

Peter May with his friend Stephen in the 2015

Peter May with friend Stephen Penn in 2015

Here's the Penn and May video for RUNAWAY...

Runaway by Peter May


entry island

Deanston Scottish

Peter May wins Deanston Scottish CRIME BOOK OF
                  THE YEAR 2014!

ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club

Peter May wins ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller
                  Book Club BEST READ OF THE YEAR 2014!


"Peter May follows his superb Lewis trilogy with an equally absorbing work”
“Mackenzie’s historical quest merges rivetingly with his 21st century police work”
The Times (London, UK)
(click to read the full review)

"Entry Island is simply another outstanding novel by Peter May.
Though on second thoughts, nothing is ever simple with Peter May,
and this is not "another" novel by him:
we think it's easily his best yet."
Undiscovered Scotland
(click to read the full review)

"Told with exceptional clarity and a fine eye for the claustrophobia of island life,
it weaves a hypnotic spell as it jumps between generations and proves that
May is a writer to be cherished."
Daily Mail (UK)
(click to read the full review)
"an absorbing read from a writer at the top of his game"
Daily Express
(click to read the full review)

"Both lines weave together, as elegantly as any Celtic knot, until May ties both ends off.
The final result is a fascinating glimpse into a shameful and frequently overlooked aspect of British history."

The Independent
(click to read the full review)


entry island

in a word, superlative and a book to get lost in."
Deadly Pleasures Magazine

When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise his life in the city.

Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home.

The investigation itself appears little more than a formality. The evidence points to a crime of passion: the victim's wife the vengeful culprit. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her - even though they have never met.

Haunted by this certainty his insomnia becomes punctuated by dreams of a distant past on a Scottish island 3,000 miles away. Dreams in which the widow plays a leading role. Sime's conviction becomes an obsession. And in spite of mounting evidence of her guilt he finds himself convinced of her innocence, leading to a conflict between the professonal duty he must fulfil, and the personal destiny that awaits him.
  • VIDEO - watch video interviews with Peter May talking about Entry Island.  Click here
  • AUDIO CLIPS - listen to excerpts of the Entry Island audio book. Click here
  • READ the opening of the book. Click here
  • RADIO INTERVIEWS - listen to Peter May talking about the book on the Claudia Winkleman, Clive Anderson, and Janice Forsyth radio shows. Click here

Entry Island available NOW on Kindle, click here for Kindle

click here for Kindle Amazon.COM

available now from THE BOOK DEPOSITORY
Entry Island

Buy now from The Book Depository with FREE worldwide delivery



LISTEN TO... Sime's first view of Entry Island

LISTEN TO... Sime first meeting the murder suspect, Kirsty

LISTEN TO... The clearance of an island village

LISTEN TO... Interview with witnesses

LISTEN TO... Confrontation with an islander


Click here to read the opening of the book...


Listen to Peter being interviewed on the BBC Radio shows of Janice Forsyth, Clive Anderson, and Claudia Winkleman, and talking about Entry Island.


Click below to listen to Peter's interview on Radio Scotland's The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth...


Click below to listen to Peter's interview on Radio 4's Loose Ends with Clive Anderson...

Click below to listen to Peter's interview on BBC Radio 2's Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman Part ONE...

Click below to listen to Peter's interview on BBC Radio 2's Arts Show with Claudia Winkleman Part TWO...

Reviews from other top authors from the ITV Crime Thriller Bookclub:

"From the first page I knew I was in safe hands. I knew I could trust this writer."
Sophie Hannah

"A wonderfully complex book."
Peter James

"He is a terrific writer doing something different"
Mark Billingham

"The characters were wonderfully compelling"
Kate Mosse



Crime-scene photographer Michael Kapinsky, suffering after the death of his wife, is persuaded to enter the online virtual world of Second Life to participate in a new kind of group therapy. Once there, he discovers a chilling connection between crime scenes he has attended real life, and scenes depicted in the virtual world. When he uncovers a series of killings and a financial scam that is netting the murderer millions of dollars, Michael finds that both in Second Life and in real life, someone is out to kill him.

In order to research VIRTUALLY DEAD, Peter created the avatar of Flick Faulds in Second Life and opened a Private Detective Agency.  He worked for over a year as a private eye, mastering surveillance and tailing techniques and taking on real cases for clients from all over the world.  His cases included missing persons, marital infidelity, stalking and harrassment.  He had a hundred percent record of success.

Visit the website of Flick Faulds

Watch the video trailer...


(1992 - 1996)
99-episode Gaelic television Drama Serial

Machair was a Gaelic language television drama serial.

The show made history as the first major Gaelic Language drama serial. It was produced by Scottish Television and broadcast in prime time with English subtitles.

Machair achieved a 30% audience share and made into the Top Ten in TV viewers' ratings.

"quite simply the best thing to have happened to television in Scotland for a long time"
Kenneth Roy, Scotland on Sunday


Peter May and Janice Hally's proposal to Scottish Television for a long-running drama serial set in the Outer Hebrides included not only the characters and storylines for the show, but details of the process required to find, recruit and train actors and writers most of whom would have neither professional nor amateur experience.

With the backing of Scottish Television, May and Hally undertook two years of preparatory work in the Outer Hebrides.  As well as conducting extensive research, they organised auditions and screen tests for potential actors as well as devising a 3-week writing course and workshop for potential writers for the show.  Actors and writers came from all walks of life and were persuaded to take a diversion for a while and enter the world of television drama.

Peter May and Janice Hally co-created and storylined the 99-episode story arc
and Janice went on to write scene-by-scene breakdowns for every episode.  She shared the scriptwriting of the series with Anne Marie di Mambro.  Scripts were written in English then translated into Gaelic by Gaelic writers. 

Peter led a 70-strong cast and crew to the Outer Hebrides of the Northwestern coast of Scotland to film the show entirely on location
 with John G Temple as producer of the first 13 episodes and Peter as producer from episode 14 to 99.

They shot ninety-nine episodes entirely on location on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in north-west Scotland between August 1992 and September 1996.

Machair went on air and the reviews began to come in...

'A credit to the company (Scottish Television) and a smack in the face to those of us who were doubtful'
'It is well written, captures the essential atmosphere of the Hebrides.'

'The characters are real and recognisable, and they are dealing with real and recognisable themes - land ownership, returning exiles, youthful impatience with island customs - all of which were deftly interwoven in the first episode'

Kenneth Roy, Scotland on Sunday

'Its writers are the seasoned Peter May and Janice Hally. In these hands, Machair opened with one of life's fundamental rites of passage - a funeral - and moved briskly into conflict. By the end of episode one, love, greed, power and lust - the four horsemen of soap opera - were also edging their way into the script'

Julie Davidson, TV Editor, The Herald

'Telling good tales is the secret of soap in any language'

'The feel is that of a character-driven soap with strong, and involving, storylines'

Tom Lappin, Sunday Times

'After two episodes I want to see more'

'Machair has already hooked me into its characters and stories'

'The characters and their backgrounds have been carefully thought out'

Dorothy Hobson, Media Research Consultant

'the writing was impressive, with several intriguing storylines'

West Highland Free Press

'Most viewers hooked after episode one'

Viewers' Poll, West Highland Free Press

'Well worth following'

Sunday Mail

'Glayva this show certainly is, and I'll watch it again!'

(Glayva is Gaelic for 'very good')

Ian Black, TV Critic, The Herald

'Already the characters are in place, the battle lines drawn and the enigmas hinted at - the story is being built up, as ever, layer upon layer'

Anthony Troon, TV Critic, The Scotsman

'I wrote warmly of Machair when it first started. Now I must revise my opinion. It is even better than it looked at first glance - quite simply the best thing to have happened to television in Scotland for a long time.'

Kenneth Roy, TV Critic, Scotland on Sunday

The 99 episodes not only hooked but held an audience which regularly won a 30 per cent audience share, making it into the Top Ten of programmes in Scotland. Broadcast in Gaelic with English subtitles, its success in the ratings was made all the more notable by the fact that less than 2 percent of the population of Scotland can speak Gaelic, and British audiences are notoriously antipathetic to subtitled drama.

Machair went on to win nominations for awards for production and writing from The Celtic Film Festival and Writers Guild of Great Britain.

The Noble Path (1992) Novel

Novel set in South-East Asia during the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Published by Piatkus(UK) and St Martin's Press in the UK.

The Noble Path
                              by Peter May
Innocence is a force more potent, sometimes, than evil. For it has no concept of its own power to destroy. The Noble Path is the story of two people who become its victims.

Jack Elliot is a man without a soul. A discredited British Army officer, he kills now for money. For him life is cheap - even his own. Only death comes expensive. And when Ang Yuon, a wealthy Cambodian refugee, asks him to cross from Thailand to rescue his wife and children from the Khmer Rouge, Elliot demands an extravagant fee. For this time he expects, perhaps hopes, to die. But even Elliot is unprepared for the scale of suffering inflicted on an innocent Cambodian people, or for the curse it brings him - a reason to live.

Lisa is Elliot's teenage daughter, stepping into the unknown in search of the father she has never met. Following him as far as Bangkok, she falls foul of his ruthless Thai associates. In her innocence she sees the obsequious Tuk Than as no more than a concerned friend of her father, and the beautiful, bewitching Grace as his talented protege. She does not realise that Tuk's business interests encompass girls as well as guns, and that Grace is a cunning procuress who can find any number of buyers for an innocent English girl...

In the fetid jungles of Cambodia or on the storm-tossed South China Sea, in the opulent mansions of Bangkok or in its seamy back streets, Elliot and Lisa tread the hard path of enlightenment, and head inexorably towards a final, unexpected and devastating encounter

Take The High Road (1980 - 1992) Drama Serial

        Scriptwriter/Story Editor/Script Editor

Drama Serial produced by Scottish Television. Script Editor between 1981 and 1986, and Story Editor between 1986 and 1988, when the show was at the peak of its success, being broadcast twice weekly in all ITV regions and regularly achieving afternoon audience figures in excess of six million. Between 1980 and 1992, wrote more than 200 episodes.

The Ardlamont Mystery (1985) Dramatisation

A single play dramatisation of a real-life murder produced by BBC Scotland for the BBC Network as part of a series titled MURDER NOT PROVEN.

Squadron (1982) Drama Series


Produced by BBC London for the Network, this was a drama series of ten one-hour episodes about an RAF rapid deployment squadron.

Hidden Faces (1981) Novel

A political thriller set in Brussels. Published by Piatkus (UK).

Hidden Faces by
                              Peter May

Published in the USA by St Martin's Press as
The Man with no face
                              by Peter May

There are two men on their way to Brussels from the UK: Neil Bannerman, an iconoclastic journalist on Scotland's Daily Standard whose irate editor wants him out of the way, and Kale - a professional assassin.

Expecting to find only a difficult, dreary political investigation in Belgium, Bannerman has barely settled in when tragedy strikes. His host, a fellow journalist, along with a British Cabinet Minister, are discovered dead in the Minister's elegant Brussels townhouse. Apparently they have shot each other. But the dead journalist's young autistic daughter, Tania, was hidden in a closet during the killings, and when she draws a chilling picture of a third party - a man with no face - Bannerman suddenly finds himself a reluctant participant in a desperate murder investigation.

As the facts slowly begin to emerge under Bannerman's scrutiny, he comes to suspect that the shootings may have a deep and foul link with the rotten politics that brought him to Brussels in the first place. And as Kale threatens to strike again, Bannerman begins to feel a change within himself. His jaded professionalism is combining with a growing concern for the lonely and frightened Tania, and a strong attraction for a courageous woman called Sally, to draw him out of himself and into the very heart of a profound, cold-blooded, and infinitely dangerous conspiracy.

Fallen Hero (1979) Novelisation

This was a novelisation of the Granada television series of the same name, written by Brian Finch. Published by N.E.L.(UK).

The Reporter (1978) Novel

A novel based upon characters created for the BBC television drama series, THE STANDARD. Published by Corgi (UK).

The Reporter by
                              Peter May

The headline screamed the news of the latest in a string of North Sea disasters, this one was unusual only in that nobody had died. The Government claimed they were simply unfortunate 'accidents'; but to Colin Anderson, investigative reporter for The Standard, the 'accidents' turned out to be leads to one of the biggest international sabotage stories of all time - a hell-raising exlusive that was to endanger not only his life but the life of Janis Sinclair, his attractive young research assistant who'd somehow ingratiated herself into both his work and his feelings

The Standard (1978) Drama Series

Made by BBC Scotland for the BBC Network, this was a thirteen-part drama series of one-hour episodes set in a newspaper office.

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