Peter May and David Wilson - Hebrides (4 stars)

Peter May and David Wilson - Hebrides

May's text takes second place to Wilson's stunning photography of the Scottish islands


It's understandable that Scottish city-dwellers, in their landscape of concrete and streetlights, can forget that they're living in a breathtakingly beautiful country. Luckily, David Wilson's photographs are here to remind us.

With images of moody skies in shades of grey and purple, hulking wrecks, dramatic beaches and the occasional patch of green, the focus is certainly on the natural rather than the domestic. When buildings do make an appearance, there's a real sadness to the images of abandoned blackhouses and run-down sheds.

Peter May's text provides an overview of the islands' history and geology. Fans of his Hebrides-set crime novels will appreciate the musings on how the islands inspired his books and scriptwriting on 1980s soap opera High Road. However, the text just isn't interesting enough, and it's hard not to be distracted by the dramatic photos. The publishers seem to recognise this, as the images dominate the pages with the text tucked around the edges. Despite the rather flimsy prose, the glorious photography is more than enough to recommend Hebrides.

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