Customer Reviews


423 Reviews
5 star:
 (272)
4 star:
 (113)
3 star:
 (27)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another Scottish crime writer
I enjoyed this book and the first one by James Oswald very much indeed - I really liked the character of Tony McLean and also the way the other characters were sketched in with varying degrees of detail. I'm really looking forward to any subsequent novels in the series. The background of Edinburgh seems very authentic (I live there) and I think James Oswald is a worthy...
Published on 7 Aug. 2012 by Sheila Perry (Cecilia Peartree)

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Natural Causes part 2
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...
Published 9 months ago by Julian L. Halls


‹ Previous | 1 243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Natural Causes part 2, 6 May 2014
By 
Julian L. Halls (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another Scottish crime writer, 7 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I enjoyed this book and the first one by James Oswald very much indeed - I really liked the character of Tony McLean and also the way the other characters were sketched in with varying degrees of detail. I'm really looking forward to any subsequent novels in the series. The background of Edinburgh seems very authentic (I live there) and I think James Oswald is a worthy rival to Ian Rankin and the rest!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 24 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this for Kindle after reading Natural Causes, another Inspector McLean crime/mystery/thriller. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I like McLean as a character and like the sort of supernatural element to the stories.
would make great TV or film. Thanks for a great read.Hopefully MrOswald will have time and inclination to write some more.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Tale, 14 Aug. 2012
This is even more enjoyable than the previous book and it is a terrific piece of writing. There are so-called well known writers whose work is unreadable and I don't understand why James isn't so much better known. I speak as somebody whose favorite piece is A Dolls House. Buy this and tell your friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Implausible, 6 July 2014
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what I call a quality crime fiction, 29 July 2013
By 
Mr. P. Datta "Pritthijit" (Stockton on Tees, Teesside) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
James Oswald is a newly talented writer within the crime fiction cateogory. The Book of Souls is very well-written, gripping and compelling piece of crime fiction.

The Inspector Mclean's character is well developed. Mclean is a dedicated and hard-working police officer, but is known not to follow exact protocols and lands in trouble by higher ranking officers. Sometimes, he can be obstinate. At times, he quarrels with colleagues. The background of the character is interesting. 10 out of 10 for characterization.

Mclean's involvement in a new case becomes personal. The plot is linked to previous novel of "Natural Causes". The fiancee has been murdered by Anderson, known as the Christmas Killer. This has tragically affects Mclean's life, as he becomes increasingly isolated. The Christmas Killer has been found dead, whilst in prison. Surely, the case can be put to rest. There is another twist to the story. A series of murders have taken place. The first reported case of murder coincides with the Christmas Killer's funeral, which Mclean attends. Is this the case of a copy cat killer? Mclean gets involved in the investigation. The Book of Soul holds the key in solving the investigation. The subject nature is supernatural.

The novel keeps you addicted for long periods. The author set the tone of the plot straight away, without any delays. The pace is so rapid, as I felt engrossed to the novel. The journey in solving the investigation is a dark and terrifying journey. The police procedures are authentically and insightfully written. 10 out of 10 for plot and pace.

James Oswald is an upcoming crime fiction writer. One day, he will join the ranks of other leading. crime writers. The Book of Souls ticks the correct boxes of what I expect of a quality crime fiction to maintain high interest levels amongst readers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Souls, 26 July 2012
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. His boss needs a result, his psychiatrist wants to see a catharsis, and an elderly monk with some very strange ideas about a missing text from Anderson's shop, The Book of Souls, wants MacLean to understand that he is dealing with an ancient evil which can consume anyone who reads it. Our hero brushes the old man's theory aside and tries to concentrate on the facts of the case; what other explanation could there be but a copycat drawing inspiration from a high profile serial killer? Then McLean starts seeing Anderson on the streets of Edinburgh and the book builds to a genuinely shocking denouement.

Successfully weaving supernatural elements into a police procedural is a tall order and Oswald gets the balance exactly right with The Book of Souls, giving little glimpses behind the veil, just enough to make sure you're never comfortable about the outcome. As a straight crime novel it works perfectly. We have an engaging central detective in McLean - damaged but determined to survive - and a team of well-defined officers around him and plenty of sparky internal politics. The pace is fierce, the plotting tight and there's not a slack word anywhere.

Put aside any reservations you may have about self-published authors, The Book of Souls is as good as, and in fact better than, much of what the major houses have on offer. I'll be amazed if James Oswald doesn't find himself being courted by them very soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a really good book, 9 Aug. 2012
By 
rowantree (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this after reading Natural Causes which I liked a lot. Possibly a bit better but it's just well written, I live in Edinburgh so I know a lot of the places. Good characters, good plot, storyline, twists in the tale (sic) etc. So, that'll be recommended then...!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another exciting read, 6 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It might have been the exotic foreign locations that kept me reading long after my eyes begged me to rest, but it was more likely the gripping storyline that pulled me along. I really wanted to know the outcome.

I often suspect nearly everyone of being the killer, until more evidence is revealed, but this time I struggled. In desperation I even considered Dagwood's constant meddling was for a more sinister reason than his sheer incompetence and jealousy. Lucky I wasn't a policeman then.

The characters are becoming real people for me and I feel I can see them as they go about their working lives. This can cause some disappointments if the series is ever televised, but so few are that it probably won't matter. What's for certain is that I'm really looking forward to episode three.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 21 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Really enjoyable. I normally read the American authors like Connelly and often find stories based in Britain a bit dull. Not the case with this book though. I liked the characters and the plot was excellent. Well done!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews