The Last Witness by Denzil Meyrick is the second book in his Detective Daley series. Now, I haven't read the first book, but didn't feel lost at all in The Last Witness. (although the first one sounds cracking good) The Last Witness is the first book in the series to be published in North America.
The series is set in Scotland. James Machie was a criminal kingpin in Glasgow. Five years ago he was assinated in the back of a transport vehicle. Then how in the world is on camera today killing those who testified against him? His former right hand man Frank MacDougall, has been in the witness protection program for the last five years. Jim Daley is stunned to find out that Frank has been living on his patch for the entire time. And that he now responsible for the safety of Frank and his family.
I liked Jim as a character, but I have to say that my favourite is his Sergeant, Brian Scott. His irreverent attitude is great fun and the perfect foil against their Superintendent, John Scott. (who's a piece of work) Daley plays peacemaker between the two.
Meyrick's dialogue is written as it would be spoken - Scottish brogue and all. I found it easy after a few pages, but some may not. There's also a fair amount of swearing and lots of drinking. Again, it fits the tone of the book, the characters and the setting. But some may be offended.
Meyrick has penned an imaginative plot, filled it with lots of action and created characters I would revisit again. He also has a dark sense of humour that mixes well with the noir feeling of The Last Witness.
Meyrick is writing what he knows, in settings, characters and plotting. "Denzil Meyrick was educated in Argyll, then after studying politics, joined the Strathclyde Police, serving in Glasgow. After being injured and developing back problems, he now works as a freelance journalist in both print and on radio. Denzil lives in Scotland." His prose absolutely have the ring of authenticity and accuracy.
And although the ending tied up things nicely, there's one or two questions about Daley's personal life that will hopefully be answered in the next book - one I'll be reading. Fans of Stuart MacBride would enjoy Meyrick's writing. Read an excerpt of The Last Witness.