"The Death of Remembrance" by Denzil Meyrick is the tenth and latest in the author's series of crime thrillers featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jim Daley and his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Brian Scott. The book also marks the ten-year anniversary of the series. We've read some but not all of the earlier books in the series and found "The Death of Remembrance" to be an outstanding crime novel that managed widely separated timelines and a highly eccentric and memorable cast of characters extremely well. Not exactly a whodunnit, more a slow build of tension as you see the events in the distant past increasingly impacting on the present and try to work out what's going to happen, to whom, and why. Denzil Meyrick is a master of misdirection and there are some superb twists and turns as the book reaches its exciting climax.
You get a sense of the story from the publisher's blurb: "Glasgow, 1983, and a beat constable walks away from a bar where he knows a crime is about to be committed. It is a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. In the present, an old fisherman is found dead by Kinloch's shoreline and a stranger with a deadly 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."
Denzil Meyrick's D.C.I. Daley novels are set largely in and around Kinloch, a town on the west coast of Scotland. We've never been fans of fictional locations, believing that too much of the reader's attention tends to be diverted from the storyline by their trying to work out the real-world inspiration for the settings, or elements of them. There's no such concern with Denzil Meyrick's books. He spent his formative years in Campbeltown, near the tip of the Kintyre peninsula, and you only need a passing acquaintance with the town to realise that Kinloch is a renamed version of Campbeltown. The author has confirmed that this is a thin veil is intended to protect the town from any association that might be made with violent crime, even in fiction. He has however been quoted as saying that many of his main characters possess a "distinctively Campbeltonian view of the world'".
With no geographical diversions, you are left to enjoy a thoroughly compelling read that, to use an overworked phrase, keeps you turning the page right to the end. This is a book that deserves to be read by all lovers of Scottish crime fiction - or, indeed, of any crime fiction.