It is my absolute pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on The Death of Remembrance by Denzil Meyrick. I’d also like to wish the author a very happy publication day and many joyous celebrations as this book is the tenth full length DCI Daley and DS Scott adventure. A huge thank you to publisher Polygon who provided the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
It’s 1983, and a beat constable walks away from a bar where he knows a crime is about to be committed.
In the present, an old fisherman is found dead by the shoreline and a stranger with a mission moves into a shabby Kinloch flat.
Meanwhile, D.C.I. Jim Daley is trying to help Brian Scott stay sober, and the good people of Kinloch are still mourning the death of one of their own.
As past and present collide, Daley finds himself face to face with old friends and foes. Memories can only last as long as those who keep them, and ghosts will not be silenced.
I can’t quite believe this is book ten. And I say that as someone who came to the series very late and had a mammoth catch up read last year. I picked up on the series a couple of years ago when Mandie bought the first few books, and again when we saw Denzil Meyrick at Bute Noir a few years back. It’s exactly my kind of series – police thriller, good humour, brilliantly memorable characters and a setting that stands almost as character in it’s own right. I have mixed reading and listening to this series, including the spin off series Tales from Kinloch and all of the short stories and I have loved every last minute of it. This was no exception. I ate it up, finishing in disappointingly quick time. Disappointing for me that is – I have a long wait now for more news from Kinloch.
Now if you haven’t read this series at all (and why not?) then I would definitely recommend that you read the books in order, including the short stories, to get the full benefit of the backstory as this is the perfect tenth anniversary tale. It pulls together many threads and characters from past and present in a way that will elicit a whole gamut of emotions – from anger, to shock, to melancholy, right through to laughter and just damn fine satisfaction in the whole story. The action flits back and forth between past and present, setting up what is about to happen and giving us as readers a reminder of some of Scott and Daley’s old nemeses. It also brings back to mind one of the most shocking tragedies to befall the residents of Kinloch in any of the books, not that anyone who read book nine really needs a reminder. Still reeling.
I have really grown to love the characters of Jim Daley and Brian Scott. Both are flawed, and both bear battle scars, mentally and literally. it’s fair to say that it’s the psychological scars that are troubling Brian the most this time around, as readers of the series will understand, and he is in a really dark place at the start of the book. It adds a layer of conflict to an already tense story, and puts Brian in a tough position both professionally and personally. There is still a good amount of humour throughout the darkness, and his malapropisms continue to amuse as does a particularly awkward dinner over at the Daley’s. As for Daley, he is under pressure to help Brian, do his duty as a copper and navigate the murky waters of a troubled relationship with his wife Liz … Situation normal for him there then.
This book is so multi layered that it would be remiss of me to say too much more about the plot for fear of giving something crucial away. Needless to say, the joy is in the reading. Lots of unspoken questions finally answered and perhaps one or two very unexpected revelations through the course of the book. There is a small element of the author’s Tales from Kinloch series bleeding into this book, and the otherworldliness of Hamish and his gift of understanding, as well as a nod or two to other elements of the book that you really need to read to understand. The series are, afterall, two sides of the same coin. Set in the same locale just a few decades apart. It was a beautiful touch, one that left a smile on my face. It was a just conclusion to a certain story arc, but one which has also left a raft of new questions in its wake, the main one being – how the hell do you follow those last two books?
Intense, emotional and with the authors unique blend of humour and experience, all wrapped up in a wonderful sense of place that springs so vividly to mind you can almost feel the fog wrap itself around you as it rolls across the shore. It’s everything I didn’t know I wanted from the series and more and most definitely recommended. Can I say it’s a ‘happy’ anniversary? Yes, and no. Justice is served in a truly satisfactory and often pulse pounding way and who could ask for anything more than that?
About the Author
Denzil Meyrick was born in Glasgow and brought up in Campbeltown. After studying politics, he pursued a varied career including time spent as a police officer, freelance journalist, and director of several companies.
Beginning with Whisky from Small Glasses, then The Last Witness, Dark Suits and Sad Songs, The Rat Stone Serenade, and Well of the Winds, the DCI Daley series have all become Scottish Crime bestsellers. Whisky from Small Glasses reached #2 in the UK Kindle store in 2016.
An anthology of short stories, One Last Dram was published in late 2017.
The Daley series to date have all been number one bestselling UK audiobooks on Audible. DCI Daley #6 The Relentless Tide and #7 A Breath on Dying Embers one of the Scotsman newspaper’s books of 2018 and 2019. A Breath On Dying Embers was longlisted for the 2019 McIlvanney Prize.