Source: Review copy
Publication: 2 September 2021 from Polygon
My thanks to Polygon Books for an advance copy for review
GANGLAND BOSS ZANDER FINN DISAPPEARED AFTER THE BRUTAL MURDER OF HIS SON.
He fled to London, seeking salvation by walking away from his money, his career and his legacy. But when his old second-in-command Malky Maloney tracks him down, Finn knows he must return. Both his real family and his crime family face an existential threat from Albanian mobsters hellbent on taking control of the Scottish underworld and the forces of law and order determined to inflict their own retribution.
Finn’s fight for survival is a rollercoaster ride of brutality, misplaced loyalties and the utterly unexpected. The road to redemption is perilous – and paved with blood.
Terms of Restitution is an urban gangland thriller packed with visceral crime, dysfunctional families and dark humour.
Terms of Restitution is something of a departure from Denzil Meyrick’s Kinloch series. For starters it is a deal more brutal and the language that accompanies the violence is appropriately course for a meaty story that deals with gangland wars, murder and retribution.
The book is centred on Zander Finn, a Paisley gangster boss who has built an empire from the ground up. But the vultures are circling. Joe Mannion, boss of a Glasgow based gang operation is looking to expand his territory and up against both of them is a new crew, an Albanian gang prepared to go to war in order to control the territories they are targeting.
In the midst of this violent, turbulent time, Zander Finn’s son is brutally murdered in a Paisley pub and Zander, unable to bear his grief at the loss of his only son, vanishes. This book focuses on what happens when Zander is persuaded to return home after his friend and right hand man, Malky Maloney tracks him down and persuades him to return home.
Denzil Meyrick’s book is strong on character and dialogue and there are many moments of laughter. His richly drawn cast leap from the page and immediately grasp your attention. There’s so much double dealing and violence that my head spun as I tried to work out who was going to remain standing.
I loved the dynastic sense in his gangster plot which could set things up well for a long running series! I really hope there will be more of Zander Finn and his family. Because I ate this one up. All the elements you love in a thrilling gangland novel are there. Tension, violence, and cracking dialogue are all tied up in one duplicitous bow with a fantastic helping of gritty humour and characters you can really relate to.
What Meyrick does really well is the shading of his characters. These are not cardboard cut outs, but fully fleshed three dimensional characters who have emotions and family lives with all the concomitant ups and downs. This makes Zander Finn a violent thug, but also a loving father, a good friend and someone you’d want in your corner in difficult times. It is these contrasts that make for a riveting, tense and thrilling read as Meyrick explores the dark side of human nature.
It’s not all about the men either. Terms of Restitution is as much about the women and my goodness what strength they have! From Zander’s wife, Senga who takes over the family business when he disappears to Maggie Finn, the redoubtable leopard skin clad matriarch with an extensive haute cuisine repertoire as long as it comprises egg, chips and beans. Even the police are led by women and DCI Amelia Langley has an interesting relationship with both her boss and with Zander Finn.
Readers of Meyrick’s work will know that he has no compunction about changing things up and just as you come to know and like a character, it’s more than possible that that’s the one who will get brutally chopped down in a welter of blood and gore.
Meyrick has been quoted as saying that he set out to write a Scottish Sopranos and all I can say is that he has succeeded in spades.
Verdict. I loved this. It’s addictive, beautifully constructed and a wild and sometimes surprising ride through a gangland that is both believable and utterly gripping. Fans of Meyrick’s work are going to love this as long as they don’t go in expecting a bloodless journey. A must read. It’s billed as a stand-alone thriller, but please tell me there will be more!
Denzil Meyrick was educated in Argyll, then after studying politics, joined Strathclyde Police, serving in Glasgow. After being injured and developing back problems, he entered the business world, and has operated in many diverse roles, including director of a large engineering company and distillery manager, as well as owning a number of his own companies, such as a public bar and sales and marketing company. D. A. Meyrick has also worked as a freelance journalist in both print and on radio. His first novel, Whisky from Small Glasses, was published in 2012.