I’ll Keep You Safe
Peter May
Quercus 2018
434 pages

If like some mystery novel readers you like to discover new cultures and environments, you will enjoy I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May. If you like a mystery with a tight plot and no extraneous scenes or developments. If you like an ending that does not read like a low budget mystery of the week TV series, this Peter May novel will disappoint. Kindle at Amazon: I’ll Keep You Safe

I’ll Keep You Safe has a lot going for it. It is set in the Outer Hebrides and in the world of people who make tweed for a living. Peter May uses the Gaelic names of people and places to give that extra touch of verisimilitude. Some of the cultural aspects of living in a place where everyone knows everything and everybody and resentment runs deep of for generations is also used to good effect

The premise itself is good: a couple who are independent tweed makes are the toast of the fashion world. They go to Paris to promote their product. Niamh (pronounced Neave) gets an email revealing her husband Ruairidh (Rory) is having an affair with a model. She accuses him and he leaves the hotel room angry. Neave goes after him feeling guilty only to see him get in a car with the model and the car blow up at the next intersection. The police first suspect Neave but soon find another possible suspect.

Aside from the ending right out of a Hallmark Mystery of the Week, a lot of things do not quite make sense including the fact the police are quick to let Neave go and release the remains to her.

What also does not work is the narrative is split between third person omniscient when the story is about the mystery and first person narrative when Neave talks about the years before and soon after she met Rory. These sections are rather ordinary and pointless though they do include a plot point that leads to the finale. Even that, though, stretches the imagination as it is almost obvious Peter May changed his mind about the murderer’s motivation halfway through the book.

I’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May? Meh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *