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Natural Causes: Inspector McLean Novel 1 (Inspector Mclean Mystery 1) [Paperback]

James Oswald
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (687 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

9 May 2013 Inspector Mclean Mystery 1

Natural Causes is the first novel from James Oswald in the Detective Inspector McLean series.

A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged, in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago.

For newly appointed Edinburgh Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority - but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death.

Meanwhile, the city is horrified by a series of bloody killings. Deaths for which there appears to be neither rhyme nor reason, and which leave Edinburgh's police at a loss.

McLean is convinced that these deaths are somehow connected to the terrible ceremonial killing of the girl, all those years ago. It is an irrational, almost supernatural theory.

And one which will lead McLean closer to the heart of a terrifying and ancient evil . . .

James Oswald's Detective Inspector McLean appears here for the first time. Natural Causes is the opening to an electrifying new series. Subsequent titles include The Book of Souls and The Hangman's Song. Fans of Ian Rankin, Peter James and Stuart McBride will love James Oswald's work.

Praise for James Oswald:

'A star of Scotland's burgeoning crime fiction scene' Daily Record

'Crime fiction's next big thing' The Sunday Telegraph

'Literary sensation...James' overnight success has drawn comparisons with the meteoric rise of EL James and her Fifty Shades of Grey series' Daily Mail

'Fifty Shades of Hay' The Times

'Oswald is among the leaders in the new batch of excellent Scottish crime writers' Daily Mail

'The new Ian Rankin' Daily Record

'The hallmarks of Val McDermid or Ian Rankin: it's dark, violent, noirish' The Herald

'A good read' The Times

'An excellent start to what promises to be a fine series' Guardian

James Oswald is the author of the Detective Inspector McLean series of crime novels. The first two in the series, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls, are available from Penguin, with the third title, The Hangman's Song, forthcoming for 2014. He has also written an epic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro as well as comic scripts and short stories. In his spare time James runs a 350 acre livestock farm in North East Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland Cattle and New Zealand Romney Sheep.

http://jamesoswald.co.uk/


Frequently Bought Together

Natural Causes: Inspector McLean Novel 1 (Inspector Mclean Mystery 1) + The Book of Souls (Inspector Mclean Mystery 2) + The Hangman's Song (Inspector Mclean 3)
Price For All Three: 11.34

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405913142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405913140
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (687 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. Set in an Edinburgh not so different to the one we all know, Detective Inspector Tony McLean is the unlucky policeman who can see beneath the surface of ordinary criminal life to the dark, menacing evil that lurks beneath.

James has also written a classic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro. Inspired by the language and folklore of Wales, it follows the adventures of a young dragon, Sir Benfro, in a land where his kind have been hunted near to extinction by men. The first three books in the series are currently available on kindle.

James has pursued a varied career - from Wine Merchant to International Carriage Driving Course Builder via Call Centre Operative and professional Sheep Shit Sampler (true). He currently lives in a large caravan inside a Dutch Barn in Fife, with three dogs and two cats. He farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.


Product Description

Review

Crime fiction's next big thing (The Sunday Telegraph)

Literary sensation...James' overnight success has drawn comparisons with the meteoric rise of EL James and her Fifty Shades of Grey series (Daily Mail)

Fifty Shades of Hay (The Times)

Oswald is among the leaders in the new batch of excellent Scottish crime writers (Daily Mail)

The new Ian Rankin (Daily Record)

The hallmarks of Val McDermid or Ian Rankin: it's dark, violent, noirish (The Herald)

A star of Scotland's burgeoning crime fiction scene (Daily Record)

About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Detective Inspector McLean series of crime novels. Currently there are two available, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls. He has also written an epic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir BenfroIn as well as comic scripts and short stories. In his spare time he runs a 350 acre livestock farm in North East Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland Cattle and New Zealand Romney Sheep. http://jamesoswald.co.uk/

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate opening chapter 1 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I see that all the one star reviews are complaining about the opening chapter. I must admit that I initially decided not to get this book after reading the opening in the "Look Inside" feature.

Still, as it was free, and had a number of positive reviews, I decided to take a chance. In fact the opening chapter feels completely out of step with the rest of the book, which is a fairly decent detective novel. Some reviewers have complained of supernatural elements in the story, but they are written subtly enough that you can choose to treat them as real or imaginary, as suits. (John Locke does a similar thing in some of his excellent Donovan Creed and Emmett Love stories - although that's not to imply that James Oswald is in a class with John Locke!).

So, a decent read, which would have been better with a less graphic opening. Good enough that I'm going to take a chance and pay for the second book in the series.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read 10 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I tend to buy books by authors I know and trust to deliver a good read. I knew absolutely nothing about this author, but the book was free, the genre one I enjoy so what did I have to lose?
I'm very glad I did. The style owes much to Stuart Macbride whose quirky humour is always fun to read. It was always going to be difficult to write a detective novel on Rebus patch, but James Oswald has managed to bring a different view of Edinburgh to the reader through his Inspector Mclean creation. The main character is beautifully crafted. In fact characterisation throughout is excellent, and the many stranded plot is skillfully weaved together to a climax that delivers the goods. I did not find the opening gory, a little graphic perhaps but it did the job of pulling the reader in, and tied in perfectly with the plot climax.
Overall the book was thoroughly enjoyable, and of a standard that sent me looking for more from this author. I was therefore very surprised to discover that James Oswald was unpublished. I'm glad he had the faith in his writing to publish himself, and did not lose heart. I enjoyed this enough to look for other novels by this author, and be prepared to pay for them. This was a very good read. I look forward to the next Inspector Mclean story.
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140 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and well written 15 Mar 2012
By Betty
Format:Kindle Edition
Natural causes starts off with a shocking scene which grabs your attention. The story then develops into a most enjoyable crime novel, with a hint of horror/fantasy. The characters are interesting and the main character likeable. The story is set in Edinburgh with lots of wee references to the city. I for one am very much looking forward to the next in this series. I would certainly recommend this book - I was gripped from the beginning and couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin has absolutely nothing to worry about 30 Aug 2013
By Jl Adcock VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
As some other less than impressed readers have noted in their Amazon reviews, 'Natural Causes' is not a police procedural novel and should not be judged as such. To label Oswald as "the new Ian Rankin" is plain wrong - and more than a little misleading as, apart from location (Edinburgh), the content and style of the two men are poles apart.

Quite what 'Natural Causes' is, is a mystery. Part detective story, part gothic horror, it combines elements of James Herbert and John Connolly, yet is vastly inferior to both, and that's saying something when talking about the writing of James Herbert.

What starts off in a fairly gripping way rapidly degenerates into a large slice of gothic hokum, and you can see the ending coming from a good way off. If the plot doesn't impress that much, the writing style and dialogue too leaves much to be desired, as Oswald sketches out his characters and provides enough back story and mysteries to be clearly planning a long series of the McLean novels. As others have commented, the dialogue is clunky, and more than a little juvenile at times. For a character supposedly in his early forties (well, that's my reading from some of the clues provided in his back story), McLean comes over as a very shallow character for someone living with the scars of his childhood.

The overwhelming publicity surrounding the book says much for the hype of self-publishing and social media. Someone at Penguin must be a little red-faced to have made such an investment in what is little more than beach reading labelled as something altogether grander. "The new Ian Rankin" - not even close.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want more!!! 18 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I want more! The charaters are very believeable and the writing had me hooked from page 1. A very gory start to the story but it takes off very quickly with plenty of twists and turns. Set in Edinburgh, which is a city i have yet to visit, James Oswald describes the city in a way that i could almost say i knew where he was. I hope that this is the start of a long series of books. More please Mr Oswald!
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gruesome but compulsive reading 8 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was concerned at the first chapter that I would not be able to stay the course, it was somewhat disturbing to say the least. I am happy to have stuck with it and really enjoyed the development of the characters and the turns in the story. The body count is very high, the descriptions graphic but it kept me fully engrossed - a real page clicker!!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By Keir
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes it is a crime novel and to a large extent it follows the formula ,and cleverness, of a Rebus novels but it certainly is darker and the opening chapter is clearly designed to shock. It has the dry wit and nice observations of a lot of other Scottish based authors kicking around currently, the book is very pleasing to read and is definitely a page turner. The unexpected aspect brings the novel into something you would expect from Neil Gaiman, and it works. In fact, it would be nice to have seen this aspect brought further into the book. It is clearly a "first in a series" novel and consequently time is taken introducing the characters with many aspects of the main characters previous life mentioned and then not taken anywhere. I'll be interested to see where the second novel goes and I personally will look forward to it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned crime thriller
This author is new to me however because I enjoyed the book so much it won't be the last time I read one of his books.
Published 19 hours ago by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 day ago by Peter Dutton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
An average read whilst lazing around on holiday, nothing better to do, but the inclusion of supernatural beings in what I had hoped would be a good British dective novel left me... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mr. Paul Sherriff
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic!!
Oh my word, what a book!!! It's got it all! Fantastic characters, suspense, intrigue and a bit of the supernatural! Loved it from start to finish, off to download the next one! Read more
Published 2 days ago by katy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great new character from out of recent history for those babyboomers
Published 2 days ago by Norman Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great
Published 4 days ago by miss g nutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, at totally different genre to the Sir Benfro ...
Excellent, at totally different genre to the Sir Benfro books but there is still a hint of something...
Published 4 days ago by Pris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Most intriguing series of murder mysteries I've read in a very long time. Can't wait for the next one.
Published 5 days ago by S. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Okay
Published 8 days ago by Christine Wynne
5.0 out of 5 stars kindle version of Natural Causes
An enjoyable read. Read it piecemeal but good tale and will certainly have a look at other books in the series.
Published 9 days ago by Bella
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