Today I am sharing my thoughts on The Rat Stone Serenade, the next book in the DCI Daley series by Denzil Meyrick as I continue the series catch up. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
It’s December, and the Shannon family are returning home to their clifftop mansion near Kinloch for their annual AGM. Shannon International is one of the world’s biggest private companies, with tendrils reaching around the globe in computing, banking and mineral resourcing, and it has brought untold wealth and privilege to the family. However, a century ago Archibald Shannon stole the land upon which he built their home – and his descendants have been cursed ever since.
When heavy snow cuts off Kintyre, DCI Jim Daley and DS Brian Scott are assigned to protect their illustrious visitors. As an ancient society emerges from the blizzards, and its creation, the Rat Stone, reveals grisly secrets, ghosts of the past come to haunt the Shannons. As the curse decrees, death is coming – but for whom and from what?
Dark, chilling, eerie, and laced with a surprising amount of emotion, Rat Stone Serenade by Denzil Meyrick is a book that commands your attention from the start and then keeps the reader well and truly hooked. I loved the sense of foreboding that permeated every page, the tension and threat, sometimes overt and sometimes just a hint of it weaving in and out of the shadows. This is a story that began a hundred years earlier, one of family feuds, ancient orders and corruption that will see Daley and co face one of their deadliest showdowns yet, and ended in a way which certainly left me reeling.
This book really did tick all the boxes for me. Taking the focus a little away from the main town of Kinloch, it was very much focused around the Shannon family and their assorted businesses, whilst still bringing readers back to the rich and varied history of the area so very much grounded in the kind of familial clashes which have littered history for centuries. A kind of clan war if you like but enriched for the modern times, where revenge is less about burning down villages and more about corporate espionage and takeovers. Denzil Meyrick has managed to bring all of this to life perfectly, showing readers a family who it is very hard to feel any sympathy for, despite all that happened in the past, taking us along as voyuer as we wait to see if everyone involved gets their just desserts. Add into that a very incendiary situation and the kind of ritualised killings at the eponymous ‘rat stone’ that satisfy the most superstitious of souls, and this makes for a truly brilliant read.
As ever, the central characters in this book, Daley, Scott, even Mary Dunn and new Chief Superintendent Carrie Symington, all bring a blend of challenge, gravitas, and more importantly, humour, to the story. I love the camaraderie between Daley and Scott, the friendship that has just strengthened over the course of the books. Scott is on fine form once again, his sarcasm and loose command of the English, or better stated, Scottish language, always one to raise a smile. Daley is, as ever, the more serious of the two, but there are scenes in which the strength of his emotions are made clear and he continues to grow on me as a character. Far from perfect, highly principled but a brilliant fictional copper who is often pushed to the very limits. Definitely something you can say about this book.
Another cracking instalment in the series, which is jam packed full of mystery, suspense, shadowy characters and double dealing. It’s the kind of read that takes you to the edge of the seat, and pokes at every emotion. And that ending … Never one to take it easy on his characters Mr Meyrick, that’s for sure. Definitely recommended.
About the Author
Denzil Meyrick was educated in Argyll, then after studying politics, joined Strathclyde Police, serving in Glasgow. After being injured and developing back problems, he entered the business world, and has operated in many diverse roles, including director of a large engineering company and distillery manager, as well as owning a number of his own companies, such as a public bar and sales and marketing company. Denzil has also worked as a freelance journalist in both print and on radio.