Death Parts Us – Alex Walters

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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 realises that time is rapidly running out…

My Review

Death Parts Us is the second book in the DI Alec McKay series – I stupidly had forgotten that this was book two therefore went straight in without reading book one, Candles and Roses, first. However, whilst there are references to events in the first book, this can be read as a standalone. Although, I’d recommend reading book one to get a sense of the setting and the characters – I was planning on going back to book one but think the ‘whodunit’ suspense may be obvious following comments at the end of this one!

DI Alec McKay is back but struggling to adjust to his separation but is trying to give his estranged wife the space that she needs by finding alternative accommodation. At the same time, an old policeman is found dead, presumably from a tragic accident as he is suffering from dementia and appears to have drifted off into the garden alone. That is until another member of his team is found dead in suspicious circumstances…is there a connection. Unfortunately for McKay, before he can truly get his teeth into the case – he is taken off it and put on enforced annual leave as it turns out that he was the last person to see the next victim alive. This results in McKay’s team having to work without him and for Alec to deal with his enforced rest and isolation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the story line which kept me gripped right through to the end. It is extremely easy to become immersed in the investigation as the narrative is fast paced and full of twists and turns. Whilst it is clear that Galloway and his team were not the nicest of cops back in the day and therefore these murders are linked, what isn’t clear until Walter’s is ready to reveal it is why? Why would someone wait twenty years for their revenge which is what this is pointing too?

Death Parts Us is set in the Black Isle and Inverness areas of Scotland which are brilliantly brought to life through Walter’s use of local dialect and the descriptions of the landscape. At times you really feel the cold and darkness which brilliantly contributes to the overall plot.

A great detective thriller and I look forward to McKay’s next investigation!

About the Author

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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.

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