A GARTOCHARN author has been longlisted for the best Scottish crime novel of the year.

Denzil Meyrick has been nominated for Bloody Scotland’s William McIlvanney Prize 2019.

He is in the running to pick up the award with the seventh instalment of his DCI Daley Thriller series 'A Breath on Dying Embers', which was released on July 11.

He faces competition from some of the country’s top crime authors including Stuart McBride, Ian Rankin, and Chris Brookmyre.

The 53-year-old told the Reporter he is thrilled to be named among so many outstanding writers.

He said: “It’s great to be longlisted. I’ve sold two million books now, and while book sales are most important, to be nominated along with my peers for the most prestigious crime fiction prize alongside the likes of Ian Rankin is a really nice accolade.”

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Denzil will now be embarking on six months of festivals, book tours and other engagements but hopes to arrange an event a bit closer to home in Gartocharn, where he lives with his wife Fiona.

A former police officer, distillery manager, freelance journalist and company director, Denzil introduced DCI Daley to readers in his 2012 novel ‘Whisky from Small Glasses’.

The series is set in Kinloch, a fictional town at the end of Mull of Kintyre, and the seventh instalment sees a luxury cruise ship berth in the harbour before pressure mounts on the detective as a crew member goes missing, and a local, elderly bird watcher disappears.

Denzil added: “Most writers are the same, they are influenced by the people and places where they live, so having been in Gartocharn for nearly 14 years now, there are bound to be little things you pick up along way.

“I have had great support people from people in West Dunbartonshire, especially in Gartocharn and would like thank them. I’m chuffed to be in the position I am, to be gaining a living from writing books and I’m very grateful.”

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He is now just weeks away from finishing the eighth book of the series and while it will not be the last we hear from DCI Daley, Denzil has revealed that he is embarking on a new series of books from a gangster’s perspective, which will at times bring his story-telling a bit more closer to home.

He told the Reporter: “I’m embarking on a new series of books from a gangster perspective with the working title, the Scottish sopranos.

“The first book will be called ‘Terms of Restitution’ and I plan to have it finished by Christmas time. It is set in central Scotland and based in Paisley but it will be coming to this neck of woods in certain scenes and I have managed to fit in the Vale and Gartocharn.

“It’s nice to keep Daley going but it’s good to have a go at something else to test yourself and it’ll be interesting to see if these books have that success, too."