LR#13: “The Last Witness” by Denzil Meyrick

13-MeyrickDCI Jim Daley is settling into life in a small Scottish town when he is shocked to learn that James Machie, a violent crime lord, is out for revenge against his former criminal partners. Daley is further shocked by the news that Machie’s target is living under witness protection on his own patch. But that is nothing to the shock of of discovering Machie is still alive – especially after he was shot to death five years earlier while in the back of a police ambulance and Daley himself had attended the postmortem.

This is a brisk thriller with almost movie like pacing, something interesting, exciting or violent happens on almost every page. The chapters are punchy and the characters, on the whole, are engaging. I especially liked Daley’s sidekick, DS Scott, he is possibly a stereotypical policeman – rather fond of his drink and often talks his way into trouble with his superiors- but he is well written and hard to dislike.

However, despite what I have already said, I did have to put this book down and take a brief respite from it; a break in which I started and finished two other novels.

Why?, you ask. Well, I struggled with the very strong Scottish dialect that Meyrick uses. At times the language is almost too broad to to understand and it took several rereads before I understood what the characters were saying. The strong accents certainly give the characters depth and authenticity which greatly helps the story but it took me a while to get my ear (eye?) attuned.

Having said that, after my sojourn with Stephen King, I picked this up again and fair rattled through to the gripping climax.


My Rating: 3.0* out of 5.0*


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