Deal or No Deal?

Review: Deal or No Deal?, William Meikle, 2017.Deal or No Deal

Derek Adams is Meikle’s favorite series character. Like Meikle, he’s a Glasgow man. He smokes a lot, drinks a lot, and doesn’t really try for the women. He’s a private eye with old school methods: legwork, a few phone calls, and a lot of talking to the more dubious elements of Glasgow in pubs.

He’s also a magnet for the weird.

I enjoyed Adams’ boozy, cynical, sarcastic voice in The Midnight Eye Files, the most complete collection of Derek Adams tales.

The series works best at longer lengths, but, while this is only novella, it’s long enough to put Adams’ voice in your head and provide a satisfying tale.

And it’s an old story: selling your soul to the Devil.

The usual bargain is a soul for wealth, knowledge, or sex. Here it’s three beers and a packet of crisps.

At least that’s the story Fraser McDougall, Adams’ latest client – and a well-paying one he is – tells him. And McDougall wasn’t the only who sold his soul thirty years ago in a drunken night at the pub.

And now, it looks like the Devil has come to collect. McDougall wants the other people at the party that night found (well, not every one – one’s already dead under mysterious circumstances).

Exactly how he – and the others – expect to get out from under their bargain is the story. Adams’ final solution to the “Collector” problem is typical of him: effective but not exactly permanent.

As of right now, the story’s kindle version is free on Amazon.


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