The whirligig of time brings in his revenges. (William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night)
Just outside a sleepy Highland town, a gamekeeper is found hanging lifeless from a tree. The local police investigate an apparent suicide, only to find he’s been snared as efficiently as the rabbit suspended beside him. As the body count rises, the desperate hunt is on to find the murderer before any more people die. But the town doesn’t give up its secrets easily, and who makes the intricate clockwork mechanisms carved from bone and wood found at each crime?
My latest novel has no mythological characters, just a small town detective struggling to understand what motive drives a killer to select apparently unrelated victims. As an unpalatable truth is uncovered, the murderer ensures that the town’s hidden secrets are brought out into the open.
‘The mechanism reaches a conclusion, and a bone shaped like a barbed javelin falls out of the tree onto the rough tyre tracks below, a well-used route for vehicles following the lay of the land along the valley floor. As the bone falls, it pulls a captive filigree metal thread that snakes sinuously down from the tree. The wire passes through a carved contraption shaped like a wishbone, holding the edges apart to present a gaping noose just above normal walking height. The wire is mostly concealed in the tree’s shadows, the leaves and branches serving to obscure any pattern to a casual observer. The birds quieten as the mechanism speaks, the more timorous fly off to find a quieter spot from which to proclaim the dawn. The blackbird studies the mechanism with a bright black eye until all motion stops, then finally satisfied that it offers no threat, returns to the important business of announcing that this is his tree. The Hanging Tree.’
There is such a beauty in the writing. I simply love how the author keeps the tone lyrical, whether he is describing horrid scenes or simply pushing the investigation along. I can’t believe this is a debut. I found the narrative style to be extremely (sometimes violently) visual, and it is a difficult art to put some of the images he uses into words. I was mesmerised by the opening. It was as if I were watching a movie, waiting for something to happen. I was keen to discover who could be behind this big plan, and I wasn’t disappointed by the answers I got.
Meggy Roussell, blogger https://chocolatenwaffles.com/
This book was dark, intriguing, a page turner and I absolutely loved it.
Although I was totally absorbed in the story in Whirligig, it is Andrew J Greig’s writing itself that makes it such a treat to read. The story of James Costorphine’s investigation is so perfectly realised that it was hard at times to remember that they are fictional characters rather than real people whose lives had become entwined with mine.
On The Shelf Books
This book was complex, intricate, creepy, laugh out loud funny, chilling, compassionate and a cracking read! I am looking forward to the next one. Bring it on!
Books by Bindu
The writing is outstanding and it’s paced perfectly.
Alex J Book Reviews
“Whirligig” by Andrew James Greig is an outstanding murder mystery that draws you in and keeps you turning the pages all the way to its beautifully crafted and nicely veiled conclusion. The book is engagingly written and easy to read and the characters are clearly and convincingly drawn. What really sets it apart is the way the mystery surrounding a murder rapidly deepens as a second death follows the first while in the background the sense of impending danger becomes ever more pressing.
Undiscovered Scotland Book Reviews
This is an absolutely brilliant book, full of dark, atmospheric crime.
Little Miss Book Lover 87
Crime Writers Association
Longlisted for the John Creasy – New Blood – Dagger Award 2020
The McIlvanney Prize 2020
Longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2020