cover image The Meating Room: A DCI Gilchrist Investigation

The Meating Room: A DCI Gilchrist Investigation

T. Frank Muir. Academy Chicago, $14.99 paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-61373-789-7

Did wealthy businessman Brian McCulloch gas himself in his Jaguar near St. Andrews or did he have help? That’s the question facing Det. Chief Insp. Andy Gilchrist in Muir’s implausible and unnecessarily gory fifth Scottish police procedural (after 2015’s Life for a Life). More shocking is what Gilchrist and his team at the Fife Constabulary, including his tough-as-nails sidekick, Det. Sgt. Jessie Janes, discover at McCulloch’s residence: the bodies of McCulloch’s two teenage daughters, showing no signs of violence, and his wife, who’s been “gutted, decapitated, and skinned.” Gilchrist and Janes look to Thomas Magner, McCulloch’s business partner in Stratheden Enterprises, for answers. Magner—whom 11 women have accused of rape in the past—is the obvious suspect, but he has too easy an alibi. Toward the end, Muir skews away from real detecting and into the realm of good guys and bad guys scrabbling in dark catacombs with a shotgun. Those wanting solid police work would do best to look elsewhere. [em](Apr.) [/em]