Title: Death Parts us by Alex Walters
Publisher: Bloodhound books
Twenty years ago, Jackie Galloway was a senior cop with a bad reputation. Then he ended up on the wrong side of the wrong people, and his career was ruined. Sacked and with no pension, he ends up eking out his last days on Scotland’s Black Isle, his mind lost to dementia, supported only by his long-suffering wife, Bridie.
Then Galloway is found dead. The police assume the death to be accidental, until Bridie Galloway reveals that her husband has been receiving apparently threatening letters containing only the phrase: ‘NOT FORGOTTEN. NOT FORGIVEN.’
DI Alec McKay is struggling to come to terms with life without his estranged wife Chrissie, and is living in isolation on the Black Isle. As a junior officer, McKay had been allocated to Galloway’s team and has bad memories of the man and his methods. Now he finds himself investigating Galloway’s death.
But when suspicion falls on him and more police officers are murdered, the pressure is on for McKay to solve the case.
Why would the killer seek revenge twenty years after Galloway left the force?
As McKay fights to link the events of past and present, he realizes that time is rapidly running out…
I want to thank Bloodhound books for the advanced copy of this book and Sarah Hardy for organising this blog blitz.
This is part of a series but like most crime books, it can be read as a standalone.
The book is set in the Black Isles in Scotland, which is a nice change from London or Manchester. DI Alec Mckay has just moved to the Black Isles after a separation with his wife, when he stumbles on to the crime scene of notorious crooked policeman Jackie Galloway. It is dismissed as an accident until other members of Jackie’s unit start showing up dead. Alec finds himself sidelined after being one of the last people to see one of the victims alive. It’s then up to his colleagues DS Ginny Horton DI Helena Grant to investigate but Alec can’t keep his nose out.
I loved DI Alec McKay, with grumpy exterior and his talent for getting himself into trouble. I also liked the supporting characters, DS Horton and DI Grant, they were well formed characters with their own voices and gelled well with Alec.
The story had me guessing quite a lot. I honestly had no idea who the killer was going to be until right at the very end (I’m losing my touch!), which turned out to be a surprising twist.
I liked the use of some Scottish phrases, like ach, hen and blethering but they were used quite a lot, it did get a little repetitive on occasion. I actually would have liked a bit more Scottish slang.
Also there was quite a few deaths, which it’s a crime book I expect that, but I lost track slightly of the victims by the end.
Overall a fantastic book with plenty of action that will keep you turning page after page. After reading this book I actually went and brought the first in the series, Candles and Roses.
Alex Walters is the author of the DI Alec McKay series set in Scotland’s Black Isle—Candles and Roses and Death Parts Us. He has also written three books set in and around Manchester—Trust No-One and Nowhere to Hide featuring the undercover officer, Marie Donovan, and Late Checkout, which introduced DCI Kenny Murrain. As Michael Walters, he also published three crime novels set in modern-day Mongolia, The Shadow Walker, The Adversary and The Outcast, which are currently being reprinted in new reedited Alex Walters editions. Alex has previously worked in the oil industry, broadcasting and banking and now, alongside his writing, runs a consultancy working mainly in the criminal justice sector with police, prisons and probation. After many years in Manchester he’s in the process of moving to the Highlands with his wife, occasional sons and too many cats.