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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasing continuation of this enjoyable crime/supernatural detectve series.
Another very good read in the Inspector McLean series. Enjoyed Natural Causes and thought the Book of Souls was even better. This one just about kept to that standard, although for those who had not read the previous book, the references to Emma and the souls from the 'book' would have been confusing. I do understand those readers who would rather have their detective...
Published 5 months ago by D Edwards

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - and dreadful compared to the first two in the series
I enjoyed the first two but this was terrible. The plot is paper thin and the surrounding action and characterisation is not enough to sustain interst - or a state of awakeness - for over 400 pages. The same things happen to the same characters over and over, at cycles of around 3-4 chapters. One can easily skip 50 pages and miss nothing. I won't be buying the next one.
Published 7 months ago by HJ


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasing continuation of this enjoyable crime/supernatural detectve series., 31 July 2014
Another very good read in the Inspector McLean series. Enjoyed Natural Causes and thought the Book of Souls was even better. This one just about kept to that standard, although for those who had not read the previous book, the references to Emma and the souls from the 'book' would have been confusing. I do understand those readers who would rather have their detective fiction without the supernatural background - but I find it quite refreshing - not least because it is not treading too much on the toes of Rankin's superb Rebus. I thought the stories linked in nicely and it was definitely a page-turner for me - even though I'd sussed out the identity of the 'person' behind the suicides early on. My only minor concern is the increasingly pantomime villain character of 'Dagwood'. I think James Oswald needs to start thinking how to develop this relationship with him and McLean, so by Book 21 they are still not arguing with each other over a desk or in front of senior colleague. Looking forward to Book 4 - to follow up some of the unresolved issues, and enjoy James Oswald's increasingly confident storytelling and flowing dialogue, which continues to develop favourably. I strongly recommend this series for crime fans who like a touch of 'supernatural' atmosphere hiding at the back - but read them in order and promptly after each other - to maintain the thread running thorough them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and suspense filled story. with familiar characters, 30 Mar 2014
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P. Vanderveer (Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this latest Inspector McLean story. The characters have become very real, with in depth personality traits and foibles. The many facets and faces of Edinburgh seem to add a familiar and personal touch.
I eagerly await the next book in the series and more on the Inspector's relationship with Emma.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - and dreadful compared to the first two in the series, 15 May 2014
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I enjoyed the first two but this was terrible. The plot is paper thin and the surrounding action and characterisation is not enough to sustain interst - or a state of awakeness - for over 400 pages. The same things happen to the same characters over and over, at cycles of around 3-4 chapters. One can easily skip 50 pages and miss nothing. I won't be buying the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hanging Spirit, 20 Nov 2014
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prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
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Detective Inspector Tony McLean is new to me, I had not read any of the previous series. However,except for a few instances, this is a stand alone novel. The jest of the previous series is well shared and noted. DI McLean has a new boss, one who is not appreciative of McLean's charms and knowledge. Many of the cases that McLean solved have been taken by his boss as his. This leaves a bad taste, but then McLean is use to problems with his colleagues. Some of their sloppy work and lack of effort in cases drives McLean crazy. He does not have to work, his grandmother died and left him money and a very large house.

One of the first signs of McLean's humanity is when he is called to the hospital bedside of his latest love, Emma. Embarrassed has suffered great trauma, physical and mental, and had been in a coma. It seems she is now waking up, and things may change. Even though McLean is married to his job, he cares deeply for Emma and feels some responsibility for her trauma. Today, he has been part of an all night watch for an activity involving the sex trade. Instead of women being brought into Edinburgh, they fine women trying to leave. A confusing, mess, yes. Next he is called to the scene of a hanging. However, this hanging looks suspicious, and as time moves on, more hangings occur, and McLean is up to his ears again, in solving crimes.

This is a very fast paced, well written novel. I was convinced enough to order other novels from this series. DI McLean does not suffer fools, he is a no nonsense, detective, following the strict process of discovery of a crime, through the collection of evidence to the solving of the clues. I particularly enjoyed his thought processes which are part of the narrative of this novel. We know what he is thinking and where he stands. He suffers his boss, but only because he has no alternative. He does not suffer his colleagues, and within the first few chapters I knew which detective was not on the up and up. The inclusion of Emma and her story and needs, and the crimes that need to be solved give us a very satisfying book.

Recommended. prisrob 11-20-14
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this tale from a relatively new author in my ..., 15 July 2014
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This review is from: The Hangman's Song: Inspector McLean 3 (Inspector Mclean Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this tale from a relatively new author in my eyeline, and from this story, I went straight on to reading the next in the series featuring Tony McLean. The storyline will have been told already in other reviews, so I just want to say that the pace of this book kept me turning the (virtual) page, and although I didn't want the story to end, I wanted the story to end so that I could dive straight into the next book. The writing is clever, and I felt the mix of crime and chiller married extremely well together. The only downside to both this and the next installment, is that I am still left with some unanswered questions regarding the more sinister side to these stories, but having said that, I get the impression that with each book we are being shown a little more of what lies behind the mystical curtain. I look forward to books 5 and 6, but am not looking forward to having to wait for publication, and personally, for me, that is the sign of a good story. Would and have recommended to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The series gets better each time, 2 April 2014
Crime isn't a genre I usually read but downloaded a copy of natural causes as it was free. Really enjoyed it and the book of souls. The hang mans song is another great crime story set in wonderful Edinburgh. The stories are really well written and the characters are all developing well. Tony Maclean has to investigate a suicide which is a little suspicious. This develops into a great wee page turner of a book. James Oswald is a fabulous writer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining thriller, quick to read, plenty of darkness., 8 Mar 2014
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read all of James Oswald's novels and it's been an interesting experience following the development of Inspector Tony McLean from his debut, Natural Causes, through to The Hangman's Song, his third outing.

I like Inspector Mclean. He's seen more brutality than most men should but he's written with the constitution and tenacity of a bull dog - he doesn't give in and he never gives up. That's why he's so believable. The plot begins with McLean's involvement in a series of what appears to be random suicides. It's not long before he realises there's so much more to these sad deaths than it at first appears. McLean begins to see a pattern forming as surreal, odd, suice notes are found. Are the notes really just the final words of those about to depart the world or; are they hinting at something much darker?.

Oswald doesn't shy away from violence and as the plot builds to include themes of human trafficking and prostitution he doesn't hold back on the 'nasty' however; he has a talent for adding emotion by relating some of the sorrow and grief from McLean's past into the plot. McLean has loved and lost more than most and flashbacks to the trauma in his past run nicely alongside the heartbreak he's currently suffering as a result. Adds texture to a character who might otherwise have become too brittle and too tough to remain believable.

There's plenty of intrigue, gore and pace to move events along and The Hangman's Song has enough police procedure and darkly woven investigation to satisfy most readers of this genre. I'm happy to recommend The Hangman's Song to anyone looking for a drak, sharp crime thriller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Hangman's Song: Inspector McLean 3 (Inspector Mclean Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I understand from the acknowledgements I have read in previous books by James that the overriding influence to write crime fiction came from his friend Stuart McBride. It is not lost on me that this is reflected in one of his characters having that name. The darkness in McBrides books came from the depth of violence and human suffering that he illustrated so well and the black humor between the two lead characters. OSWOLD is getting there with the relationship between MCLEAN and DUGGOID and it is good to see another author who has done his research and recognised that the police service is riddled with fools the farther up the tree you go. Believe me I know. The human suffering aspect is not there yet. In McBRIDES books you really feel for the victims wanting to know how they are doing and hoping they survive, that is not present yet with OSWOLD. Having said that the writing quality is very good and I wanted to stick with it throughout. Please lose the references to the Book Of Souls now, that ship has sailed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hangman,s Song, 13 May 2014
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Mrs. Patricia Brearton (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hangman's Song: Inspector McLean 3 (Inspector Mclean Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Story not quite so credible as the earlier novels and please don't turn the hero into a twit or we will stop rooting for him!
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2.0 out of 5 stars I could cope with the supernatural elements woven into the plot but I found it offensive and unnecessary that every time Madame, 5 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Hangman's Song: Inspector McLean 3 (Inspector Mclean Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
I have persevered with DI Maclean but it's a bit of a struggle at times. I know that James Oswald has borrowed Stuart Macbride's name but that's not the only thing that he has taken.- girlfriend in a coma, OTT senior officer, apartment destroyed, not to mention the use of 'haul' creeping in.the list goes on. I could cope with the supernatural elements woven into the plot but I found it offensive and unnecessary that every time Madame Rose was mentioned we had 'him ,her whatever'. I shall read the next one to see whether things improve but I'm not hopeful. There are elements of a good story but I found myself getting irritated by the padding. I think we've got the message that the young DC is shiny cheeked. We don't need telling every time he pops up. Come back Logan McRae.
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