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Press Release   •   Feb 16, 2018 15:18 GMT

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

Bestselling crime writer Peter May says his readers have fallen in love with the Outer Hebrides and endlessly request for him to return to the archipelago – with many taking the trip themselves.

His latest novel, I’ll Keep You Safe, sees the author back on the Isle of Lewis and weaving one of the island’s most famous exports, Harris Tweed, into a story of infidelity, murder and fashion.

VisitScotland hopes the setting of the book will boost literary tourism in the area, following on from the popularity of May’s Lewis Trilogy and Coffin Road, set on Harris, with visitors.

As an extra incentive, the national tourism organisation has teamed up with publishers Quercus to undertake joint promotional activity. This includes partnering with Natural Retreats Lews Castle, Harris Tweed Hebrides and Caledonian MacBrayne to give one lucky reader a chance to win a trip to the Outer Hebrides.

The competition can be found on the VisitScotland website and has already received more than 3,000 page views. The competition also features in stickered promotion on 5,000 copies of I’ll Keep You Safe in Tesco stores across the UK and on outdoor advertising.

The Outer Hebrides has provided a bountiful supply of creativity for Peter May. His Lewis Trilogy proved so popular with visitors that Outer Hebrides Tourism created a literary map and trail to the places featured in the books, The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man and The Chessmen.

The literary trail can be downloaded from the Outer Hebrides Tourism website, where it has had 30,000 page views.

A companion photobook, Peter May Hebrides, also includes such highlights as the beehive dwellings at Morsgail, the Bridge to Nowhere and the Iolaire Memorial.

Peter May, author of I’ll Keep You Safe, said: “The Outer Hebrides provide a unique setting for my crime novels, which help them stand out against the competition. The islands have struck a chord with readers around the world, and I am in receipt of daily contact from readers – many of whom have been moved to visit them for themselves – imploring me always to return to the Hebrides for my next book.”

Mr May added: “I always try to find a story element which is unique to the location that I am using, so that it would be impossible to set that tale elsewhere. The Outer Hebrides have provided me with several uniquely island elements for my stories – the guga hunt on the Isle of Lewis; the ‘homers’ (orphan children from mainland Scotland) sent to live with island families; the sinking of the Iolaire bringing islanders home at the end of the First World War; The Highland Clearances; and, of course, Harris Tweed for I’ll Keep You Safe.”

Alan MacKenzie, Island Manager at VisitScotland, said: “The landscape, history and people of the Outer Hebrides have been an inspiring mix for Peter May and in turn his stories have helped draw visitors from across the world to this wonderful part of Scotland.

“From the works of Sir Walter Scott, to Harry Potter and Outlander, Scotland’s stories continue to entrance our visitors. We’re delighted that Peter has once again returned to the islands in his latest work and hope more readers will be inspired to explore this novel destination.”

Ian Fordham, Chairman of Outer Hebrides Tourism which promotes the Peter May literary trail, said: “The trail helps readers experience many corners of the stunning landscapes on offer across these islands, taking in the geology, heritage and scenery of the Outer Hebrides. By following the literary trail, visitors can understand how inspirational these islands can be.”

Laura McKerrell at Quercus Books said: “We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland once again around the publication of Peter May’s latest crime novel. We know that an enormous appeal of the books for Peter’s fans is the setting in the Outer Hebrides, and working with VisitScotland means that we can bring that setting to life for the readers above and beyond the books, as well as hopefully further introduce Peter’s writing to an audience who have established interest in this beautiful part of the world.”

I’ll Keep You Safe is out now and follows the story of Niamh Macfarlane, co-owner of Ranish Tweed: a Hebridean company that weaves its own special variety of Harris cloth, which has become a sought-after brand in the world of high fashion. When Niamh learns of her husband’s affair with a Russian designer and then witnesses the pair killed by a car bomb in Paris, her life is left in ruins and she returns to the Isle of Lewis.

The Peter May literary trail can be downloaded here:

The VisitScotland competition can be found here:


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2018 Year of Young People

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