Ghosts in the Gloaming by Denzil Meyrick

Today I am delighted, and saddened, to share my review of Ghosts In The Gloaming by Denzil Meyrick, the final book in his Tales from Kinloch series. I’ve loved getting to know the young Hamish and his skipper, Sandy Hoynes, over the course of the books and whilst I’m sad it has come to an end, I think it has been a perfect tribute. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 06 October 2022
Publisher: Polygon

About the Book

From the author of the bestselling D.C.I. Daley series comes a thrilling new tall tale from Kinloch.

It’s December 1968. Having cheated Sandy Hoynes out of a rowing race and navigation certificate when they were young, Dreich MacCallum makes an unexpected return to Kinloch.

With the Girl Maggie up on the slip awaiting urgent repairs, Hoynes takes to his bed, the memory of it all too much. When first mate Hamish persuades his skipper to get up and put the fishing boat back into the water, there are unexpected consequences that put Hoynes’ liberty and reputation at risk.

Has Dreich won the day again?

But the spirits of the past have yet to have their say. Upon whom will the winter sun set?

My Thoughts

What a perfect way to say goodbye to Sandy Hoynes. This is a tale which is most definitely all about Sandy, his life seemingly falling to ruin when a face from his past returns to Kinloch, all set to cause all manner of problems. Nothing is ever straightforward in one of old Sandy’s tales, and it’s fair to say that is most definitely the case this time around. With a blend of humour, mythology, rivalry and even tenderness, Denzil Meyrick has rounded off the series in style, brining a smile to the face and a tear to the eye.

What I have loved about this series is that not only do we get some rather fabulous characters in Sandy, Hamish and the other residents of Kinloch, notably this time around some of Sandy’s fellow fishermen, but the author has also crafted such a beautiful, mystical backdrop to the story that it captures the spirit of the sea and the community in which they all reside. There are some many beautiful flourishes, otherworldly elements that are so carefully drawn you cannot tell if they are real or simply a part of Sandy’s overactive imagination. Either way, it doesn’t really matter, as it all adds to that folklore and nautical styling that sets this series apart from the author’s other titles. It makes me want to be there, be a part of the community. To see all that Sandy and Hamish have had the fortune of seeing.

Beyond this Denzil Meyrick has managed to create a rather wonderful variance in pitch and pacing. From the frenetic opening when young Sandy pitches against his oldest rival for boating glory, the more madcap moments that sets Sandy on the run, to the quieter, reflective moments in which Sandy stops to consider his present and his future in the presence of those far wiser than him, every moment has meaning and whilst guiding us to a kind of inevitability, even if it’s still not quite what I was expecting, it makes it such a wonderful and memorable journey to join our friends on.

I will miss Sandy, but I can’t think of a better way to have said our goodbyes. Definitely recommended.

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.

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