Most helpful positive review
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great series, going from strength to strength
on 8 July 2014
I read the first of this series featuring DI Tony McLean a couple of years ago when I was new to Kindle. It was self published, I was impressed by the quality of his writing and have followed his stories with keen interest since. I'm delighted to note that this one, fourth in the series, and his earlier books have been picked up for publication by Penguin and James Oswald may rightly be considered an established author. His is a difficult genre and comparisons with Rankin and McBride are inevitable, but unnecessary. Each have their place, appeal, similarities and differences. Oswald's Edinburgh series is a police procedural, crime thriller with a twist of the unexplained. It works for me. McLean's developed as an individual, as have his colleagues. The politics of policing a reorganised structure where former boundaries, job titles and expectations have changed is captured well. Allegiances are a thing of the past.
McLean is tasked with wrapping up a family murder/suicide. He's ordered to reach the required outcome. But he's the spanner thrown knowingly into the works. He's caught in power games played by senior colleagues. Corruption at senior level is rife, games are played right down the line. Add the mysterious death of a naked male, tattooed from head to foot ( but in the last couple of weeks), spooks, SAS, wealthy business people and a beguiling female with unusual strengths and you have all the ingredients for a first class tale.
The pace is great and I enjoyed the strong sense of place. Edinburgh and environs are well described and although Oswald doesn't go down the route of dialect, the dialogue is definitely local. People 'blether' and 'guddle' and I found their voices very Scottish. Quietly so, in the main. The hint of the supernatural or unexplained is there but remains plausible.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I'm convinced this is a series with legs. It just gets better and better.