When several young girls are abducted from various locations in Edinburgh, Detective John Granger and his brother Alan, a reporter, investigate the cases from different directions. The abductor is cunning, always one step ahead, and the only clue he leaves behind at each scene are the brutalized corpses of black swans.
When the brothers’ investigations finally converge at a farmhouse in Central Scotland, they catch a glimpse of where the girls have been taken, a place both far away yet close enough to touch. A land known throughout Scottish history with many names: Faerie, Elfheim, and the Astral Plane. It is a place of legend and horror, a myth. But the brothers soon discover it’s real, and, to catch the abductor, they will have to cross over themselves.
To catch a killer, John and Alan Granger will have to battle the Cobbe, a strange and enigmatic creature that guards the realm, a creature of horrific power that demands a heavy price for entry into its world. The fate of both realms hangs in the balance…and time is running out…
My review of The Exiled, by William Meikle. This is an advanced readers copy that the author has kindly supplied to me via NetGalley. Publication date 1 July 2014.
The Exiles does much to recommend it. It combines a well crafted detective story, a serial killer thriller, and dark supernatural fantasy, in a work that is gripping and about as original as it gets. The story landscape is Edinburgh, what more could I ask for?The majority of my young adult life was spent in Edinburgh, and the way that William Meikle describes the city, and some of its less salubrious inhabitants and aspects, certainly brought the narrative to life. A large proportion of the detective, and investigative journalistic time was spent in watering holes, persuading half drunk Scotsmen to tell all! The two main characters are brothers, John is a detective inspector, and Alan a journalist with an uncanny ability to research leads. To begin with Meikle paints them as brothers who have grown apart, almost like separate entities, on two sides of the divide. The Macabre nature of the crime draws the two brothers together, in a quest to find and bring to justice the abductor of the missing girls. Meikle manages to interweave a tale that is at times, so dark, that a smattering of black humour, and drunken, humorous elements, are needed to lighten the heavy load. The book is most definitely a page-turner. The characters are realistically depicted. The stress and pressure put on detectives investigating terrible crimes such as these, is realistically portrayed. In fact, John can only seem to cope with the situation by resorting to chain-smoking. moreover, Meikle stereotypes the Scots’ drinking habits, by suggesting that a stiff drink is a prerequisite for all and sundry. Somehow, his realistic, colloquial, dialogue and well crafted scenes, allow him the license to get away with this. Very early on, it’s clear that this is not a novel for the faint-hearted. The darkness, and disturbing graphical images that Meikle paints may well haunt the reader. In light of this, I would not recommend this to younger readers. But, having said that, the darkness of the plot is lightened by the desperation of the two main characters to solve the mystery, and stop the advancing progress of evil. I’m impressed by Meikle’s imagination, and his ability to combine Fantasy with detective genre in such a convincing, and readable way. I would be interested in reading more of his work. I found The Exiled difficult to rate but decided on four stars, though for originality I think it would score a high-five!
Very highly recommended for readers of thriller, dark fantasy, horror.
William Meikle’s website: http://www.williammeikle.com/
Information from his website: He is a Scottish genre writer now living in Newfoundland. When he’s not writing Willie drinks beer, plays guitar and dreams of fortune and glory! He has 20 novels and several hundred short stories in genre presses, anthologies and magazines. His current top seller is the sci-fi novel THE INVASION with 20,000 copies sold and counting.
Have you read The Exiled? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx