The Last Witness by Denzil Meyrick

The Last Witness4 Stars from me

After enjoying Whisky From Small Glasses (sounds like a great hobby as well as a title for a gritty new Scottish crime thriller!), I quickly bought The Last Witness for my reading pile.

Jim Daley is now a DCI after a bit of a slap dash promotion during the first book and his character feels more comfortable, more rounded (in several ways) and more at home in his role and his environment. I really like Jim Daley, although I still picture him in my mind as Barnaby from Midsummer, albeit a sweary Barnaby!

The story itself is great, complex in places, simple in others with another layer of threads woven in which – much like in WFSG – clearly pave the way to be continued in a future book. I think this is a great touch and is missing from a lot of books which stick with beginning, middle and end – Denzil Meyrick manages to do all that and also include a ‘what if’.

I did get a weeny bit lost in one part of the story but I’m not sure if the muddle was my own head or if it wasn’t all that clear in the book. I very quickly got back on track though and whatever the reason for it, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment or understanding of the story.

My dislike of the promiscuity of one character is continued throughout this book, again a matter which in my opinion is treated bizarrely lightly given the potential consequences.

Overall a very welcome addition to the crime thriller market and I look forward to reading more by Denzil Meyrick; and I would imagine we’ll be seeing them televised too as the scenes are so easy to picture and would lend themselves incredibly well to a TV series.

Loving the cover artwork on this one too, it’s a far more professional look to the original cover on Whisky From Small Glasses which has the more homespun look of a self published novel.

Synopsis: James Machie was a man with a genius for violence, his criminal empire spreading beyond Glasgow into the UK and mainland Europe. Fortunately, James Machie is dead, assassinated in the back of a prison ambulance following his trial and conviction. But now, five years later, he is apparently back from the grave, set on avenging himself on those who brought him down. Top of his list is his previous associate, Frank MacDougall, who unbeknownst to D.C.I. Jim Daley, is living under protection on his lochside patch, the small Scottish town of Kinloch. Daley knows that, having been the key to Machie’s conviction, his old friend and colleague D.S. Scott is almost as big a target. And nothing, not even death, has ever stood in James Machie’s way…

Whisky From Small Glasses by D.A. Meyrick

Whisky Small Glasses4 Stars from me

I set out to deliberately read a new author and stumbled upon Whisky From Small Glasses in my quest. I am so glad that I did! D A Meyrick has created a new series based around DI Jim Daley and his hapless sidekick Brian Scott, which breathes fresh breath into the bones of the gritty Scottish crime thrillers.

I found Jim Daley to be a likeable chap, although in my mind’s eye he kept appearing as the first Barnaby from Midsummer Murders (never warmed as much to the second Barnaby although I do have a soft spot for Sykes the dog) and I now can’t picture him any other way!

The only real negative I have about the book is the promiscuous wife, it just doesn’t work for me that he would have stayed married to her and be prepared to ignore her shenanigans. I’m wondering if this goes somewhere in latter books or was simply an error of judgement that will be swept under the carpet?

Either way, Whisky From Small Glasses is a great read with a refreshingly different storyline and I greatly look forward to reading the next book The Last Witness.

I can easily see this becoming a televised series, the beautiful Scottish landscapes, wildlife and squalid tenements will make for a great backdrop to DI Jim Daley as he battles his way through to solve crimes against the odds.

I will also confess to high fiving myself when I found the line ‘large men drinking whisky from small glasses’ within the book. Go me.


Synopsis:  DI Jim Daley is sent from the city to investigate a murder after the body of a woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast of Scotland.

Far away from urban resources, he finds himself a stranger in a close knit community.

The investigation becomes more deadly as two more bodies are found.

Love, betrayal, fear and death stalk the small community, as Daley investigates a case that becomes more deadly than he could possibly imagine; in this compelling, beautifully written novel- infused with intrigue and dark humour.