07/21/2024

Some Crim

Track the Untold Stories

The Estate by Denzil Meyrick @Lochlomonden @TransworldBooks

The Estate by Denzil Meyrick @Lochlomonden @TransworldBooks

Source: Review copy
Publication: May 2024 from Bantam Press
PP: 400
ISBN-13: 978-1787637191

My thanks to Denzil Meyrick and Bantam Press for an advance copy for review

Every family has a secret.

The mega-rich Pallanders are used to luxury – a castle in the Scottish Highlands, a villa in Tuscany, a billion-dollar fortune and an island in the Caribbean – but their perfect life is about to be shattered.

Every father has a favourite.

Sebastian Pallander dies, leaving a pitiful amount of money to his wife and children. His family fight over the scraps as old rivalries and bitter jealousies come to the surface. And when Pallander’s son is killed in mysterious circumstances, everyone suspects foul play.

Every killer has a motive.

After a desperate race for survival, the relatives gather at their estate to weather the storm. They all begin to wonder: who will be next? Where has all their money gone? And will any of them get what they truly deserve?

Great characters and terrific storylines is what Denzil Meyrick is best known for. And in D.I. Cara Salt, he has found an absolute corker of a character.

D.I. Salt was on the up in Glasgow’s Serious Crime Squad until she, somewhat unfortunately, shot a fellow officer. That had regrettable repercussions on both her career and her personal life. Now she sits in a small office in a tenement above a shop where she is Head of the Succession, Inheritance, and Executory department of said Serious Crime Squad. It’s pretty much a stolid, paper based job that keeps her out of trouble.

Sebastian Pallander is founder and CEO of Pallander Glossop, a well established hedge fund with some very elite clients. He has a castle in the Highlands where his wife Elizabeth lives, having raised 5 children in her family’s seat.  Sebastien is in Davos for the World Economic Summit, being interviewed for the TV programme, Money Matters, but takes ill and dies mid-interview.

In a reminder of Succession, Sebastian’s grown children are seriously at odds with each other. The eldest, Silas, is a weak and mewling pup, while his sister, Tabitha has the brains and the balls in the family. Tabitha is expecting great things from the will; her father was grooming her to take over as CEO.

But his will comes as a huge and unwelcome shock to his family. They expected millions but received only a fraction of that while Tabitha’s expectations are shattered when she finds that her father has handed the company’s reins over to his Executive in charge of the Swiss arm of Pallander Glossop.  It’s like a slap in the face for Tabitha.

Then one of the Pallander twins is killed at the site of a wind farm. Jean-Luc was an eco-activist and not always a big fan of his father’s investment portfolio. Coming hot on the heels of Pallander Sr.’s death, Cara and her new DS, Abernethy Blackstock  (whom, much to his consternation she decides to call ‘Abs’) are asked to take a look at the Pallander family and the set-up of the will.

Given that the family haven’t actually inherited all that much, it’s hard to see what motive they might have for being involved in Jean-Luc’s death, which appears to have been self-inflicted ; the supposition being that the bomb he was planting went off prematurely.

But there remains the question of exactly where the Pallander fortune has gone and who has benefitted? With the Pallander family in disarray, who wants the company’s fortune and what will they do to get it?

Here Meyrick has constructed a beautifully tangled plot with a whole host of people you don’t know whether to trust. There are plots within plots, suspense, high octane action, and even a spectacular chase. The relationship between Cara Salt and ‘Abs’ starts off well though she is surprised when he is outed as part of the aristocracy by Elizabeth Pallander. Abs has hidden layers that constantly surprise Cara as she spends more time with him.

Then there’s Sorley. Sorley is an ex-cop and he and Cara have a very spiky relationship; the kind where they jibe at each other whenever they meet, and when they do there’s a tension in the air that never goes away.

Although The Estate is a rip-roaring page turner, it also harbours the traditional Meyrick humour. I swear if you could see him writing, his tongue would be firmly in his cheek. It is those moments of levity and wicked humour that make the book sparkle as well as lifting the tension for a bit.

Verdict: Meyrick has produced a fast paced, spellbinding novel with topical overtones as he digs into the world of corporate greed, Russian money laundering, corruption at every level and uses it to create a fantastic family drama. Intricately plotted, great fun and full of twists, turns and entanglements, this is a rip-roaring thriller with a special sparkle. More of Cara please – she’s definitely worth her salt!

Bookshop.org

Waterstones

Hive Stores

Denzil Meyrick is from Campbeltown on the Kintyre Peninsula in Argyll. After studying politics, he enjoyed a varied career as a police officer, distillery manager, and director of several companies. He is the No.1 bestselling author of the DCI Daley series, and is now an executive producer of a major TV adaptation of his books. Denzil lives on Loch Lomondside in Scotland with his wife Fiona and cats.