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The Book of Souls: An Inspector McLean Novel, Book 2 Audio Download – Unabridged

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Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Book of Souls by James Oswald, read by the actor Ian Hanmore.

Every year for 10 years, a young woman's body was found in Edinburgh at Christmastime: naked, throat slit, body washed clean. The final victim, Kirsty Summers, was Detective Constable Tony McLean's fiancée. But the Christmas Killer made a mistake and McLean put an end to the brutal killing spree.

Twelve years later, and a fellow prisoner has murdered the Christmas Killer. But with the festive season comes a body; naked, washed, her throat cut. Is this a copycat killer? Was the wrong man behind bars all this time? Or is there a more sinister explanation? McLean must revisit his most disturbing case and discover what he missed before the killer strikes again....

©2013 James Oswald (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mole on 20 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
McLean is a Detective Inspector working in Edinburgh. Ten years ago, his girlfriend was killed by Anderson, a serial killer that he subsequently caught; the man has been in jail ever since. But now Anderson has died and it seems that someone is copying the methods he used; and Mclean is trying to uncover what is happening before anyone else loses their life.

This is a really good novel; a mixture of fantasy in a very realistic, grim and gritty storyline. The characters of the police officers show them to be human beings with frailties that they have to overcome. It shows the reality of modern police work; and there is a great deal of sympathy for the work they have to do in often very trying circumstances. The whole novel is very well put together and the pace is just right for the type of storyline.

If I were to be very picky, I would highlight one minor flaw; courts in the UK do not use gavels! This is something that is often seen in American dramas and many writers make the mistake of thinking this represents all legal proceedings. But overall, this story has a superb plot, some great writing, fully rounded character development and a couple of interesting twists to keep the reader engaged throughout. This book might even make the basis of a really good TV drama.

I would definitely look out for more by this author.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Julian L. Halls on 6 May 2014
Format: Paperback
Having recently been on holiday I noted on the shelf this book, as I had already bought Natural causes. So I sat down and read it. Unfortunately this is simply a re working of the first novel and gives all the plot away from the first. In addition, the second girlfriend also gets 'compromised' but not quite as finally as the first one. ( Likely.......... I don't think so ) The unreasonable Chief inspector continues (I presume) to act like weasily uniformed idiot from Endeavour on the TV and the ongoing feud continues unabated and equally ridiculously and as such is totally unrealistic.
Yes there is an end, but we are left with unanswered questions all over the place and unexplained loose connections with the other crimes he is supposed to have solved at the same time.
Central to the plot is an alleged supernatural book and we learn later a ghost who helps Mc lean track it , I think !!
Detective fiction in my view has to be grounded in believeability and facts, and sadly this falls well short of anything vaguely resembling real life. Crime fiction it is not, by any stretch of generousity.
I will not be reading anymore and now, not even the first one !!
It gets 2 stars as it is well written but Mr Oswald really needs to get some decent story lines under his belt before he tries again.
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65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Eva Dolan on 26 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
James Oswald's first foray into crime fiction, Natural Causes, has become a bona fide word-of-mouth hit. With over 100,000 downloads in a couple of months it dominated the Kindle free chart and received rave reviews. That all of this was achieved with no advertising campaign and a minimal online presence is testament to the quality of Oswald's work. Now he has released his second Inspector McLean novel, The Book of Souls.

Set six months on from the events of Natural Causes it finds McLean gradually coming to terms with the murder of his fiancée, not moving on but accepting the hole in his life. When Anderson - the Christmas Killer, responsible for her death - is himself killed in prison by a fellow inmate, it seems as if the demons can finally be put to rest. However, within hours of the funeral a woman's body is found, left in a culvert, bearing all the hallmarks of an Anderson victim, and McLean is faced with the prospect of a copycat continuing the man's work.

Meanwhile decommissioned factories around Edinburgh are burning down. Ten and counting, each locked up tighter than Fort Knox and stripped of combustible materials. The fire officer is at a loss as to the cause, but they keep burning and people keep dying. Are the construction companies developing the sites responsible? Or is something more sinister at work? Witnesses give strange accounts, akin to spontaneous combustion, like the buildings wanted to die. But that's just dementia and alcohol talking, surely.

As more young women turn up dead the pressure is on McLean from all angles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 July 2014
Format: Paperback
Scottish murder/police procedural novels are my forte, but for some reason I could not get into this novel. I understand there was a previous novel that explains the Christmas Killer, though you do not need to read that novel to get into this one.

Detective Constable Tony McLean is a good cop, thorough and precise, picking up clues others would miss. Not much at paper work and his desk shows the result, but the team is short handed and you do what you can do. Returning from the funeral of Anderson, the so called Christmas Killer, who was murdered by a prisoner in the same prison, McLean receives a call that he us wanted at the scene if a new murder. Indeed this has all the similarities of the 'Christmas Killer'. Is there a new killer, was McLean wrong, just what is the explanation.

At the same time old buildings are going up in flames. The old caretaker of the recent building tasty went up in flames has a more supernatural explanation. Some buildings and lands have history, blood and sweat, and they don't want to be torn down for new expensive digs for the rich people. So, these buildings self destruct, burn at will is his explanation. McLean, not one to believe in such stuff leaves the explanation to an old man's meandering. But, were they?

This is a long book that could have been cut by half. Interweaving supernatural elements into a detective/murder cause is not my wont. Not for me. I understand there are things that occur that cannot be explained, but this type of novel is not for me. Well written, I like DC McLean and the other characters. However, this is not the reality of life.

Not Recommended a For Me. prisrob 07-06-14
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