Low Res Scan: The Midnight Eye Omnibus Volume 2, William Meikle, 2019.
Derek Adams, the Glasgow private eye who is a magnet for the weird, is a character Meikle returns to again and again. He’s added to the series since I read this book though I have not read the newest installment.
This collection actually has an “Introduction” by J. Kent Holloway, an appreciation of the deep use of mythology in Meikle’s fantasy and horror stories. Holloway also talks about how Meikle was his entrance point to the works of H. P. Lovecraft.
And the influence of Lovecraft is certainly seen in “Eeny Meeny Miney Mi-Go” which, as you would expect from the title, is Meikle’s takeoff on H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Adams is hired by an astronomer, Penderton, to find his son within 48 hours. Of course, it doesn’t turn out to be that simple, and Penderton has a lot of secrets. The story seems to be from early in Adams’ career. He’s already a private eye, but we hear about his friend Dave who shows up in the earliest Adams novels. Derek’s girlfriend Liz is probably the woman whose suicide, while Adams was in the next room, left him guilt ridden.
“Call and Response” is not only a call-out to the Cthulhu Mythos as Adams is hired by an ex-New York City policeman to find an unknown professor but also to a bit of Scottish pride in the references to John Logie Baird. He was the inventor of the first tv technology and conducted the first transmission of color on tv. Throw in cosmic cycles, a certain being slumbering in the depths of the Pacific, and a nod to Charles Darwin, and you have a light-hearted story, one of the best in the Adams series. it’s also another case of Meikle attracted to the idea of dance and music – rhythm, in other words – as a way of communicating with the supernatural and extraordinary.
The book contains several other Adams’ tales, and you’ll find my reviews of each linked to their title: Rhythm and Booze, “The Weathered Stone“, “The Inuit Bone“, “A Slim Chance“, “Farside“, Deal or No Deal?, and “Home Is the Sailor“.
As long as Meikle keeps writing Adams, I’ll keep reading about Derek’s adventures in the mean, weird streets of Glasgow.