I really enjoyed this, the sequel to ‘Natural Causes’. Detective Inspector Mclean returns again with his sidekick, Grumpy Bob and is haunted by thoughts of his fiancée Kirsty, the last victim of the Christmas Killer, Donald Anderson, who has finally died in prison.
However, there is no closure for DI McLean as a body is soon discovered, the body of a woman, with all the hallmarks of Anderson’s MO.
Meanwhile, an arson epidemic is spreading across Edinburgh and DI McLean has to battle against his old enemy DCI Duguid and a media who seem to think that the wrong man was convicted, a man who testified that he was driven to kill by an ancient book called The Book of Souls, a book that went missing following his arrest.
It’s a compulsive read, and rushes along nicely. The only criticism I have is that DI McLean seems to have forgotten his last encounter with demonic possession and murder.
The Kindle edition also includes an early DI Mclean and Grumpy Bob short story. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s nice to see where this started.
Completely addictive. I loved it. When what seems to be a ritual occult sacrifice of a young girl is discovered in a walled off room of an old building, Inspector McLean is thrown into a mystery from the Nineteen Forties, which seems more and more to be linked with a series of gruesome murders and suicides across Edinburgh.
McLean hasn’t as much emotional baggage as most investigators. His parents died in a plane crash when he was a child and he was brought up by his grandmother, who is in a coma following a stroke at the outset of the novel.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Completely engrossing with likeable and believable characters it is a compelling murder mystery with a creepy supernatural edge, and lots of twists and turns along the way. There’s a reasonably high body count, a set of fairly believable characters (possibly a few too many officers with similar Scottish names if I’m going to be frank) and never a dull moment. There’s even a transsexual fortune teller and an elderly gay couple to add a bit of Edinburgh diversity.
Thank you James Oswald. I look forward to reading more of you.