I'll Keep You Safe by Peter May
All she can hear is the ringing in her ears. A high-pitched tinnitus drowning out all other sounds. The chaos around her has no real form. Flaming fragments from the blast still falling from the night sky, bodies lying on the concrete. The shadows of figures fleeing the flames extend towards her across the square, flickering like monochrome images on a screen.
She can make out the skeleton of the car beyond the blaze, imagining that she sees the silhouettes of the driver and passenger still strapped in their seats. But how could anyone have survived such an explosion intact?
I'll Keep You Safe is Peter May's newest book, published just this spring and it's a standalone. Set in both Paris and the Isle of Lewis, it tells the story of a couple, Niamh (wife) and Ruairidh (husband), who are struggling a bit and then one is killed. I listened to this one on audio and Peter Forbes provided most of the narration, with Anna Murray relating the development of the relationship over the years from Niamh's perspective. Both narrators did an excellent job. There was a lot of information about the fashion industry and the making of tweed cloth. That was mostly interesting, but my favorite parts were when the setting was Lewis and the wonderful descriptions of the landscape, the weather, the villages, and the people. Detective Sergeant George Gunn makes an appearance again as he assists the French Detective in her investigation.
OK, let me say that even though Peter May is a favorite author of mine, this book was not my favorite. There were parts that I loved - the setting, the descriptions of Niamh and Ruairidh's history together since childhood. However, other parts were not as pleasing to me. And there was a twist at the end that I saw coming very clearly. That being said, I definitely do not want to discourage anyone from trying this book. It's good, just not his best, in my opinion. I'll be watching for what comes next and hoping beyond hope that the location will once again be The Outer Hebrides.
Friends since childhood, and lovers and business partners as adults, Niamh and Ruairidh are owners of a small Hebridean company, Ranish Tweed, that weaves its own very special version of Harris Tweed. Although it's a small company, their fabrics have become internationally sought-after as a niche brand in the world of fashion and haute couture.
But the threads of their relationship are beginning to fray. As they prepare for an important showing at the Première Vision fabric fair, held in Paris every year, Niamh accuses Ruairidh of having an affair with Irina, a Russian fashion designer they work with--a fight that ends with Ruairidh storming off and getting into Irina's car. Moments later, Niamh watches in horror as the car containing her life partner explodes in a ball of flame.
With Niamh a prime suspect in the murder, the Parisian police hound her even after she returns to Harris to bury the pitiful remains of her lover and business partner. Amid the grief and struggles that follow, she begins to suspect that things are not what they seem; and when there is an attempt on her life, she becomes convinced that what looked like a terrorist attack on her lover might be something more personal by far . . .