Daniel Brhl is a Scottish playwright and novelist who wrote eight novels which debuted in the 1970s. The series of novels chronicled the rise of the writer John Webster, who at the time of his writing was coming up through an experimental writing program run by his mentor. The series of novels which followed are: Theda Arjuna, Come Home, Phoenix, Friday the 13th, London Laundry, Ridiculousness, A Common Man’s Life, A Time to Kill, A Time to Cry, An Occasion to Remember, The Necromancer, A Dance with Dragons, The Road, and The Bannerman.
A Time to Kill is considered to be one of the finest novels to come out of Scotland, and is also considered to be one of the best novels in the English language. It is regarded as a masterpiece by many, and was later made into a motion picture directed by Guy Ritchie. Daniel Brhl also has a lengthy list of honors that include a knighthood, a Knight of the Order of the British Empire, and a royal commission. He was posthumously given a memorial cross. Several of the other Scottish playwrights which worked on this novel have also gone on to fame, including William Shakespeare.
This is a murder mystery written in a very readable style, as well as full of fun. The story begins in Edinburgh, Scotland, where a sixteen-year-old boy witnesses the murder of his own mother. Two years later, he is hired to go to Pakistan to solve a crime that took place there. Once there, he meets an American detective who also happens to be from Scotland. The two become friends and the reader gets to witness a mixture of murder, investigation, and trial.
This is a series of books that started as just one, but then the author wrote four more novels in the series. I enjoyed reading these books so much that I read them in order, and I wanted to read them all. As with most crime novel, I anticipated being mildly disappointed when it came to the end. However, that’s what made the series so great.
I especially enjoyed how the novel kept you guessing right up until the end. You never knew if the killer would die or get long in jail for life. I found myself laughing out loud a couple times when I read one of the chapters. The descriptions of the language and the way the author wrote those scenes were great.
The series also includes a prequel and a sequel to the main story. In the second book, “The Dead End,” the police detective, inspector Michael McCallion, solves the murder of an eighteen-year-old girl. After finding some evidence that leads him to the suspect, he tracks him to an island where he plans to kill him. Then, in the third novel, “A Better Way,” McCallion once again is called in to help the police in a high-profile murder case. I enjoyed the character, his mannerisms, and his sense of humor.
One of the standouts in the series was the detailed description of the torture and death of a serial killer known as the Tiger. After capturing the culprit, the police discover that he was once a top student who was obsessed with beauty and perfection. He considered himself to be a better person because he had divorced his wife several years ago. He strangled his wife to death and then burned her body. In the final novel, “Reign of Terror,” McCallion once again joins the hunt for the killer, this time catching a serial rapist who has been killing girls across the country. Although these books are excellent, they have nothing in common with each other except for the man known as Tiger.
Overall, this series was very entertaining. It didn’t make me think much of the potential murder mystery genre, but the writing style, dialogue, and scenes were engrossing. If you like dark, suspenseful novels, and you like to feel like your in control of the plot, this is definitely a series you should check out. It’s been received well, and you can see why. Like the books themselves, these stories are works of fiction.