A number one Scottish crime best seller from Denzil Meyrick; 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....
©2015 Denzil Meyrick (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
The story is great and really funny in places.
Great characters and the narrator is amazing - he has a wide range of accents to deal with, but is mesmerising to listen to.
Listened to Whiskey In Small Glasses first. Both as good as each other.
Denzil Meyrick’s The Last Witness has no plot. There are one or two basic driving factors to the story, but no apparent effort by the author to give these directives any body or depth. Rather, the protagonists face a random series of idiotic events that have no consistency or structure beyond spewing tension into the story. The way these silly events happen has no reason or logic or, often, any possibility of reality. He has invented his superbad baddie, but seems to have made no effort to get into the guy’s head and work out what the baddie might do in his situation, what might be necessary to achieve his evil goal. Meyrick has thrown together a bunch of clichés and caricatures. The book might as well have been plotted by tomfoolery between a bunch of drunks after they’ve demolished their livers. Such trash is very familiar to me: it’s why I threw my television out twenty years ago, it’s why I don’t bother to watch most movies from Hollywood.
When I reviewed the first book in this series, Whiskey from Small Glasses, I had wondered why the author did not have his characters explain how the leading detective had worked out the identity of the criminal. My fault: I had stupidly presumed he had.
Perhaps it’s meant to be comedy and I’ve entirely missed the point. But even a comedy novel should have a plot.
The book does have some good points. The dialogue remains real and believable, and the descriptions are immediate and effective. The latter threaten to descend into repetition themselves (flocking birds), but have not done so yet. This is helped in the audiobook by the narrator, Duncan Monteath, who does an excellent job of bringing the words and characters alive.
The book is written very visually, and I could easily see the nonsense on the small screen. Indeed, given that, given the nonsensical plot, I wonder whether that’s the intention. Is the author trying to bring a film crew and corresponding economic relief to his depressed home town with these books? He certainly seems to have caught the spirit of crap spewed by the worst telly.
I won’t be reading any more books in this series. I have, though, so enjoyed the narrator’s skill that I’ve picked up a different audiobook by a different author purely because it is narrated by Duncan Monteath. Let’s see if that works out.
great tale gritty gripping full of suspense and realistic . great narration can't wait to get the next book in the series
I enjoyed this book but it was not quite as good as the first book in the series. It was very well read but the plot was predictable and in some ways disappointing. I disliked the heavy hint at the end of the book about the direction of the next book.
I didn't like having the first chapter of the next book tagged on to the end of this book. It put me off wanting to buy it and I decided to take a break from this series of books. The narrator was excellent, a joy to listen to.
Just as good as the first, this book kept my interest right to the end. The characters have been developed further and the storyline had pace and intrigue.
Praise must be made to the outstanding narration which lifts the story to another level. I look forward to book 3.
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