I’m getting close to the end of my DCI Daley catch up which makes me a little sad. This time I’ve got a review of Jeremiah’s Bell by Denzil Meyrick. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
Teenager Alison Doig disappeared from Kinloch over thirty years ago under mysterious circumstances. Her reclusive family still live in a remote part of the Kintyre peninsula, amidst rumours of wrecking, smuggling and barbaric cruelty.
Now rich American hotelier Alice Wenger has arrived in town, determined to punish those who made her suffer in the past. But someone has vowed to keep hidden sins concealed for ever.
Daley’s team must race against time to expose long-held secrets and shameful lies before there are any more victims.
I can’t lie. This book certainly wasn’t what. I was expecting. Dripping with mystery, full of moments that will have the nerves jangling, and, if you are anything like me, your face screwing up in the odd wince or too as well. Centered around the very reclusive Doig family, the story may not be necessarily fast paced, but the tension is no less present and the author has retained his ability to catch you completely unaware. Take the opening chapter to the book for instance. That’s one that will definitely stick in the memory and that comes to inform the often off kilter behaviour of some of our favourite characters. We were left on somewhat of cliffhanger in the previous book, A Breath on Dying Embers, and that chapter does not give readers all the warm and fuzzies for what lies ahead.
With Brian Scott finding himself in a somewhat elevated and not entirely comfortable position career wise, you know it’s going to be a very unusual journey that the author takes us on. And of all the characters we have been introduced to in and around Kinloch, there are perhaps none quite as unusual as the Doig clan. Living almost entirely off grid there is a very insular feel about the family and the author has done a brilliant job of bringing the unique nature of their existence to life. It’s a situation that took me a little by. surprise and yet also seemed perfectly suited to what we slowly learn about the family and their missing member – Alison Doig. It’s also a set of circumstances that will lead to some very tense and heart thumping moments, the kind that we’ve all come to expect from this series of books.
It’s fair to say that the characters are really what makes this series stand out. From the people who come into the lives of Daley and Scott just to seemingly inflict a fresh kind of criminal hell, through to the series regulars, you can always find something that you can either identify with, find entirely loathsome or, in the case of Hamish and Annie and everyone on the periphery of our favourites Detectives lives, truly come love spending time with. Denzil Meyrick has a magical way of bringing the varied casts to life and drawing me in as a reader so that I become entirely invested in each and everyone of them, however briefly they might appear in the action. This book was no different. But it is obviously Scott and Daley who really make this series pop and seeing their growth over the course of the books, and the emotional and physical toll of the cases on their lives, really makes this a series I’d highly recommend.
There are scenes that don’t make for entirely comfortable reading – it doesn’t appear to be in Denzil Meyrick’s nature to ever give anyone too easy a ride – readers included. But for all the moments of melancholy or skin crawling action and pulse pounding tension, you will find a moment or two of lightness, although I’ll be honest and say that they’re fewer in number this time around with the threat of some really monumental changes at the heart of the Kinloch Community. It adds to the uncertainty and the conflict which bubbles along throughout the course of the novel if you are looking to see any of the characters getting an easy ride, this is definitely not the book.
As ever you get a real sense of place throughout the book, be it the heart of Kinloch or the remote and disconnected world of the Doigs. The author always transports you right into the scenes, giving you such a clear picture in your head that you can almost smell the smoke of the fire or taste the whisky in Hamish’s glass. Assuming he’d ever let you near enough that is … Another absolute winner that really kept me glued to the audiobook whilst completely making my skin crawl. Loved it.
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.
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