This is not a book I would have normally read since it’s a Faerie novel and has serial killer elements and was inspired by a dream vision no less. However, I am reading Meikle’s work set in Scotland, and it was on the list.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Review: The Exiled, William Meikle, 2014.
Meikle’s novel effectively blends a serial killer thriller with a vision of a fading Faerie realm guarded by a giant and malevolent beast.
Police detective John Grainger investigates a string of very public abduction of young girls, mutilated swans puzzlingly at the scenes. His brother Alan, a journalist in pursuit of a story, does his own research into the matter, and both began to experience visions of some deserted land of stone ruins.
Besides Meikle’s suspenseful pacing and depiction of that Faerie realm and how to cross into it from our world, I liked two specific elements.
First Alan and John aren’t hostile brothers reconciled by shared danger. Meikle doesn’t go that clichéd route. Rather, they are just two brothers who have drifted apart, casually encountering each other as they go about their lives in Edinburgh.
Second, there’s a wonderful conspiracy mongerer named Ferguson who provides some useful information to the brothers – if they can separate it from his anti-Masonic rantings.
There will be heroism and suffering in this novel as the brothers battle the forces of law and order in our world, the abductor, and the forces of Faerie.
I suppose Meikle intended the ending to be a definite resolution, but I thought it ambiguous enough to suggest more to come.