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…
My thanks to Sarah and the team at Bloodhound Books for my review copy and the chance to join the Blog Blitz
If you live in London, Manchester or New York you will not bat an eye if you pick up a book set in the city you live. Happens all the time. You may smile a little if you recognise a street name or if your old school is mentioned; it is a familiarity you would enjoy spotting.
I grew up in the Highlands of Scotland. I went to school in a town called Fortrose, I drove through the neighbouring town of Avoch* and walked to Rosemarkie. Ever heard of them? Unlikely. They are not often selected as the setting for serial killer thrillers so we don’t get to experience that wee smile of familiarity.
But Death Parts Us by Alex Walters is set on The Black Isle and features all these towns (well…villages) and I read this book with a huge smile on my face. I walked these streets, I went to that beach, I have crossed that bridge more times than I can count and I have tromped through the Fairy Glen. This is a book set in my wee part of the world and I bloody loved it.
But you are now thinking – I have never heard of these places, is this book one I will enjoy too? YES. If we move beyond my love of the locations in the book there is also my love of great crime novels and Death Parts Us is a slick and highly entertaining thriller.
Retired police officers are dying. Initially their deaths are considered tragic accidents, old men in poor health who reach the end of their days. However, the frequency of sudden and unexpected deaths of old colleagues soon points to some sinister faction at work. Then it becomes clear that each of the dead men had been receiving letters “Not Forgotten. Not Forgiven” DI Alec McKay wants to investigate, however, some unfortunate timing means he will be sidelined as Alec finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Can Alec have any influence on an investigation if he just asks a few questions around the villages?
The responsibility to investigate will fall to his younger colleague Ginny Horton. But Ginny has problems of her own. An unwelcome visitor from her past has tracked her down and Ginny is not prepared to face those old and unwelcome memories. Not that she can turn to McKay, he is trying to adjust to life alone after a recent split from his wife and has his own problems to contend with.
Death Parts Us is the second novel to feature DI Alec McKay (Candles and Roses was the first book). I had not read the first book in the series so I can state with assurance that you can read Death Parts Us without needing to read Candles – the book is very enjoyable as a stand-alone novel.
I really enjoyed Death Parts Us and I cannot wait to go back and read the first book in the series. I urge you to seek this one out, a police procedural in a whole new setting and a cracking murder mystery to enjoy.
Death Parts Us is published by Bloodhound Books and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Alex+Walters&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Alex+Walters&sort=relevancerank
*Avoch rhymes with “Loch” and is pronounced “awch” – it has a harbour where you can take out a boat to go dolphin spotting in the Cromarty Firth.