‘Dark Suits and Sad Songs,’ by Denzil Meyrick

Dark Suits and Sad Songs

I’m liking Denzil Meyrick’s series of DCI Jim Daley mysteries more and more. Dark Suits and Sad Songs could have gone badly off course, in my opinion, but author Meyrick brings it in to port with the sure hand of an old pilot.

Jim Daley is a Glasgow police detective who’s been put in charge of the station at Kinloch, a beautiful town on the Kintyre peninsula. The idyllic, old-fashioned community is beset by a continuing problem with drug smuggling, and its past chief inspector was found to be corrupt. But Jim has suspicions that he’s been sent to Kinloch for less obvious, more sinister reasons. And he’s right.

The trouble starts when a senior civil servant douses himself with gasoline on a local dock and commits suicide by immolation. Then a couple local drug dealers are found murdered in vicious ways characteristic of foreign drug cartels. Closed circuit TV reveals that a well-known international assassin is in town. And – oh yes – UFOs have been sighted.

Meanwhile, Jim is worried about his marriage, and whether it’s worth saving. His wife has given birth to a son, but he has reason to doubt whether the child is his. Also his best friend, DCS Scott, has been sent to help him out, but is largely useless, as he’s been traumatized by a gunshot wound and has crawled into a bottle for comfort.

The action of the story becomes fairly cinematic toward the end, which means plausibility suffers. But it’s exciting anyway, and some important ongoing narrative threads get tied up at last (though the series goes on). I had a good time reading Dark Suits and Sad Songs, and I recommend it. Read the books in order for the best effect.

Cautions for language, violence, and gore. No attacks are made on Christianity, which is always nice. And the CIA shows up, and for once is not the bad guy.

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