Inspector McLean is once more dragged into supernatural shenanigans when what appears to be a suicide by hanging begins to look like something more sinister when an identical suicide occurs not long after. It isn’t the last.
McLean also has to cope with his love interest coming out of a coma and not knowing who McLean is, and sullen resentment from most of his colleagues. They are not only jealous of his unexpected inherited wealth but consider him a Jonah as other police officers tend to die around him.
Luckily McLean has some people on his side such as the dour sergeant Grumpy Bob and the wonderful Madame Rose, a transgendered medium and book dealer.
These are great books. This one made me miss my stop on the Tube, which is always a good sign. The only real criticism I can level is that McLean, being an intelligent and well balanced detective, seems still in denial about the paranormal hootenanny that’s been going on around him for the last three books.
Madame Rose does her best to convince him as well, but he’s not having it. I don’t understand that. The penny should have dropped by now surely.
And, I’m worried about Mrs McCutcheon’s cat, for reasons I can’t go into. I’m going to have to read the next book for some form of closure.
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.