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, DCI 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.
Format: Paperback (400 pages) Publisher: Polygon
Publication date: 2nd June 2022 Genre: Crime, Thriller
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The publication of The Death of Remembrance marks a triple celebration: ten years since DCI Daley made his first appearance (in Whisky from Small Glasses), reaching the milestone of one million copies of the series sold worldwide, and the news that DCI Daley will be coming to the TV screen in a drama series starring Game of Thrones actor, Rory McCann.
The Death of Remembrance is the tenth in the DCI Daley series and although I haven’t read any of the previous books, it turned out to be a perfect introduction to DCI Daley and his right-hand man, DS Brian Scott, as the book delves into their past alongside a contemporary storyline. There are also brief references to events in previous books.
Daley and Scott have a close but occasionally turbulent relationship. They are both ‘old school’ detectives. At one point Scott remarks to Daley, ‘Face it. Me and you – we’re relics’. And both have struggled with alcohol problems. Scott still is struggling, much to the exasperation of his wife, Ella, and to Daley who is running out of options for saving Brian from the consequences of his actions, actions which may threaten his career. Daley’s problems are closer to home. His marriage to Liz is under strain, the demands of his job means he spends too little time with his family and his lifestyle – long hours and junk food – is taking a toll on his health. The depth of characterisation is part of what made The Death of Remembrance such a compelling read for me. I also absolutely loved Hamish, the old fisherman whose instincts shouldn’t be ignored.
Other characters were equally memorable but definitely not in a good way. The sections of the book set in 1980s Glasgow transport the reader into a murky world of violence, intimidation, corruption and cruelty. We learn that the actions of the past cast a long shadow and a settling of scores is inevitable. As one character remarks, ‘The accounts must be reconciled, the books balanced’. There are some gripping and dramatic scenes towards the end of the book.
The partnership between Daley and Scott is in the tradition of great detective duos. I loved the moments of humour that acted as flashes of light amidst the darker aspects of the book. The humour is chiefly provided by Brian. The references to films and books that go over his head, and his frequent malapropisms made me chuckle. For example, when Daley reflects that although Brian is often trouble they have different strengths, Brian replies, ‘It’s that Jim and Jan thing’.
The Death of Remembrance has all the ingredients needed for a great crime thriller: a skilfully crafted plot, an authentic sense of place, moments of drama and compelling characters. I may be late to the party, but DCI Daley has acquired a new fan.
My thanks to Yasmine at Birlinn for my review copy.
In three words: Gripping, immersive, authentic
Try something similar: Poetic Justice by R.C. Bridgestock
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 in the leisure, engineering and marketing sectors. Denzil lives on Loch Lomond side with his wife, Fiona.