Source: Review copy
Publication: 3rd June 2021
My thanks to Denzil Meyrick and Polygon Books for an advance copy for review
When a light aircraft crash-lands at Machrie airport, DCI Jim Daley and his colleague Brian Scott rush to the scene. But it soon becomes clear that both occupants of the plane were dead before take-off
Meanwhile in Kinloch, local fisherman Hamish is unwittingly dragged into danger when he witnesses something he shouldn’t, and hotel manager Annie is beginning to suspect her new boss may not be as he first appeared.
And just as Chief Superintendent Carrie Symington thinks she has finally escaped the sins of her past, she finds herself caught in an even deadlier trap.
As the action spills across the sea to County Antrim – all under the scrutiny of the Security Service – the search is on for any other truth.
Fans of this series will find a new Daley book unmissable, but this one doubly so. Coming in at a meaty 432 pages, Denzil Meyrick has packed a lot of action into this fast moving thriller. I found myself wholly involved in it: both moved and angry at some of the events, because who could fail to care about these characters when bad things happen to them?
It’s not just the characters though, you can feel Meyrick’s love for the area in the colour and passion of his descriptions; there is a sense of place in this book – indeed in all of them – that surpasses appreciation and speaks of a real love of the Kintyre peninsula.
I said of Meyrick’s last book, Jeremiah’s Bell, that there was a sense of foreboding hanging over Kinloch and now Meyrick has brought that home with a vengeance.
For Any Other Truth has all the things you love about this series and more besides. This one is a dark book, leavened with Meyrick’s trademark humour, but still leaving the impression of a thundercloud hanging over Kinloch,all it’s fury not quite expended.
In this novel, Hamish takes a good part of the centre stage and Chief Superintendent Carrie Symington discovers that escaping your past is never as straightforward as you hope. Meyrick has written a dark and twisted tale that is engrossing, bringing back some characters we’ve met before; some ostensibly good, others completely evil and uses the proximity of the Antrim coastline to spin a story that is full of action, adventure and double dealing.
Lives are put in jeopardy; the theme of family recurs throughout the book as does trusting your instincts. If something smells, it’s probably rotten. Jim Daley’s instincts are good – better than Brian Scott’s who, though he knows there’s trouble afoot with the Chief Superintendent, hasn’t yet twigged that there’s something going on in his own house that he ought to be paying attention to.
Hamish’s instincts are also excellent, though his are more akin to an intuitive sixth sense when it comes to realising that something is wrong. And then there’s a journalist who belongs to the old school of newspaper reporting, (one that you can feel Meyrick’s pining for as he writes an elegy to the slow attrition of newspapers) whose instincts are spot on. Meyrick deflects and distracts as his layered plot moves the reader between theories like a child in a sweet shop.
Intertwined with fantastic characters, plenty of action and a huge dose of double dealing is the thorny question of what the County Hotel’s new owner, Ian Macmillan is up to? As he seeks to take the hotel in a new direction what will the residents of Kinloch make of it all? In the end, it’s that simple, you need to know.
Verdict: For Any Other Truth is a real nail biter of a thriller. Shocking, action packed and propulsive, it left my head spinning as I took in everything that happened. Really folks, just go get it. You’ll be glad you did even if it does leave you in an emotionally turbulent state!
After studying politics, Denzil Meyrick worked as a police officer, distillery manager, freelance journalist, and company director. He is originally from Campbeltown in Argyll, but now lives with his wife Fiona on Loch Lomondside.
Photo: c Kirsty Anderson