Peter May

Peter May was a Scottish Young Journalist of the Year in 1973 and has gone on to become one of Scotland’s most successful television dramatists, with more than 1000 writing credits in fifteen years, as well as being the author of an acclaimed series of novels set in China.

He created two major BBC TV series, The Standard and Squadron, and in the 1980s was storyliner and script editor on Take the High Road, a period in which the popular drama serial achieved record audience figures. In the 1990s, he created and produced the much-praised Gaelic drama serial, Machair. The subtitled series regularly achieved a 33% audience share in Scotland where only 2% of the population are Gaelic speakers.

The first of his China thrillers, The Firemaker, was published in 1999. The ground-breaking series features a Beijing detective and an American pathologist. To research the books, May travelled annually to China, where he gained unprecedented access to the Chinese police. The Firemaker was followed by The Fourth Sacrifice (2000), The Killing Room (2000), Snakehead (2001), The Runner (2003) and Chinese Whispers (2004).

May then wrote a series featuring Enzo McLeod, who specializes in unsolvable murders, but he has now begun a new series, published by Quercus, set on the Isle of Lewis.  In May’s novel, The Blackhouse, Fin Macleod returns from Edinburgh to uncover what lurks beneath the God-fearing surface of his home village.  In October 2011, it won France’s biggest readers’ prize, the Cezam Priz Litteraire Inter-CE.

Author photo © Domi Photographe