Back to the DCI Daley series by Denzil Meyrick and it’s time for my review of Well of the Winds. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
As the Second World War nears its end, a man is stabbed to death on the shoreline of Kinloch, in the shadow of the great warships in the harbour.
Many years later, the postman on Gairsay, a tiny island off the coast of Kintyre, discovers that the Bremner family are missing from their farm. There’s a pot on the stove and food on the table, but of the Bremners there is no sign.
When DCI Daley comes into possession of a journal written by his wartime predecessor in Kinloch, Inspector William Urquhart, he soon realises that the Isle of Gairsay has many secrets. Assisted by his indomitable deputy, DS Brian Scott, and new boss, Chief Superintendent Carrie Symington, Daley must solve a wartime murder to uncover the shocking events of the past and the present.
What I love about this series it that no matter what book you pick up, you are offered something completely different and something that is not only wildly entertaining but also a very thought provoking. Yes the characters may remain the same, give or take a few very notable events which may alter their personality and their outlook somewhat, but beyond that you’ll find a story which is unique and yet familiar all at once.
This time around DCI Daley and DS Scott find themselves caught up in an investigation which stems back over the decades, tying the community of Kinloch back to some very dark events of the past. Missing persons, wartime criminals and murder all form part of a story which is as surprising as it is shocking. Denzil Meyrick takes us back to some of the darkest periods in world history, infusing the Detectives present day investigation with a very unexpected but well maintained secret. It is a story that may shock to some degree but which is sadly believable, drawn as it is from actual history, and I really enjoyed the blend of past and present as one of Daley’s predecessors comes to have great impact upon the present day investigation.
There is a real sense of melancholy which threads through this book, perhaps more so than some of its predecessors. The story leads on from the dramatic conclusion to the previous book, and sees Daley pushed to his emotional limits in a way we have not seen before. That’s saying something as the author does love to push his characters to the edge. It puts the pressure on Scott to step in where Daley can’t, and it will take all of his joviality and humour to break through the darkness surrounding Daley. In a way it is mood that is echoed in the undertones of the investigation and the blend of the two elements, the private and the professional, is most skilfully done.
All of our favourite characters are present once more, some of them placed in great jeopardy that will stun, and worry, hard core fans of the series. We also meet Iolo Harris, a man keeping more than the odd secret himself. I liked him. He was fun. Had the measure of those around him and the more we learn of him, the easier it is to understand. He adds a lightness to the story, and perhaps brings some perspective to Daley too. It’s not all doom and gloom, the trademark dark humour and lighter community moments still there, although perhaps overshadowed by the clouds that hang around Jim Daley. He is, afterall, the heart of this series. When he suffers, we can feel it through the narrative and sometimes, no matter what happens, there will be wrong that can never truly be put right.
Haunting, memorable and truly thought provoking, this is one of my favourite books in the series so far.
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.