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Loch of the Dead: Frey & McGray Book 4 (A Victorian Mystery) Paperback – 31 May 2018
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Oscar de Muriel gets better and better (Jake Kerridge Sunday Express S Magazine)
I enjoyed this - properly creepy and Gothic (Ian Rankin)
A hugely entertaining Victorian mystery (The New York Times)
Fun to read and a fast page-turner . . . love and murder - they go together like strawberries and cream (Independent)
This entertaining novel combines melodrama with the unhappiness of life backstage (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)
This is wonderful. A brilliant, moving, clever, lyrical book - I loved it. Oscar de Muriel is going to be a name to watch. (Manda Scott)
The Strings of Murder is one of the best debuts so far this year - a brilliant mix of horror, history, and humour. Genuinely riveting with plenty of twists, this will keep you turning the pages. It's clever, occasionally frightening and superbly written - The Strings Of Murder is everything you need in a mystery thriller. (Crime Review)
About the Author
Oscar de Muriel was born in Mexico City and moved to the UK to complete his PhD. He is a chemist, translator and violinist who now lives and works in Manchester. The Loch of the Dead is his fourth novel, following A Mask of Shadows, A Fever of the Blood and The Strings of Murder.
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Wow wow and wow. This is the best ever in the series. My love for Frey and McGray just keeps getting deeper.Full review to come. Best book I've read this year!
I was sent an early copy of this book from Oscar de Muriel via his publishers for my independent honest review.
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first three in the Frey and McGray series and then along comes book four which in my opinion takes this authors writing to another level. It is an accomplished and expertly researched historical crime fiction with twist after twist.
I have always enjoyed the characters of Inspector's Frey and McGray. One the proper gentleman from London whose a stickler for correct police procedure and in complete contrast 'Nine nails McGray' who is bolshy rude and has no scruples. Minor characters are also very real and believable.
What is also special about this book is the cleverly interweaving plotlines that have you hooked from the beginning and by the middle and end have you sitting on the edge of your seats. If you want blood,bats, folklore and a touch of gothic mixed in with crime and my favourite police duo then this is certainly the book for you.
I think it is ok to read this as a standalone, however you will not get the full flavour of this series if you miss the other three. Best book I've read this year for plot,characters,suspense and wow ending
But death threats have been made against Benjamin should he return home and Millie and the Kolomons implore the Inspectors to come to the Kolomons' manor on the shore of Loch Maree. In return, Millie will reveal a remedy that will cure McGray's sister of that madness that led to the loss of his finger and much more besides. Irresistible. But it is clear that danger won't wait for Benjamin to return to the Highlands. It finds him first in Orkney, where his guardian is murdered. It follows him to Loch Maree where mystery hides in the shadows of the manor and in the woods of the loch's islands. McGray and Frey soon learn that they have walked into a living nightmare.
Loch of the Dead is the fourth novel by Oscar de Muriel to feature Frey and McGray and how good it is to spend time with these curious, ill-matched and really rather odd inspectors. This is one of my favourite Victorian crime series, if not the one I look forward to the most, and Loch of the Dead was such a joy to read from start to finish. I love the mix of Victorian detail, the Scottish setting, the intriguing crimes and the hint of something that ranges from melodramatic to supernatural. There's only a hint of the latter and it comes with possible explanations but in this Victorian world where news travels at the pace of a telegraph, everything seems likely and anything believable. Especially in the gloriously beautiful yet menacing setting of Loch Maree. The fact that events take place in hot sunshine also adds something of the unexpected!
This is such a great story from the beginning but it's in the second half that the novel becomes utterly unputdownable as the pace of events explodes and the creepiness levels increase and the horror of the situation facing the Inspectors stands clear before our eyes. This is compelling stuff! And I was gripped and loved how the story (and its characters - unusual to say the least) developed and the mood was maintained.
But no matter how wonderful the story, or how stunning or creepy the setting, the main reasons why this is such a successful series are the quality of Oscar de Muriel's writing - there are some wonderfully witty moments here - and the two characters of McGray and Frey. How I love these two and here the relationship between the two is stirred up even more by Frey's very English Uncle Maurice who plays a key role in the novel. He and McGray could be from another world, even without the tartan and the accents. There's humour in the differences between McGray and Frey but there's also such warmth. We know that they wouldn't be without each other really even if each of them treats the other like an alien.
These novels always have a most curious mystery at their heart and The Loch of the Dead is no different. I love the strangeness as well as the warmth and the humour. Long may McGray and Frey continue to annoy the hell out of one another.
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