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4.3 out of 5 stars
1,043
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 June 2017
Thought I would try a new author. As an avid fan of Stuart Macbride (Logan McRae series only) and Peter James I have read all their books so far and am up to date until the next paperback in the series is available. I only read British crime writes as I can't stand the American over dramatised books, plus at least you can visualise the areas Brit writers base the stories in. This has an element of supernatural and some have found it unnecessary and not suited to the story. I found it worked well. I liked this Inspector McLean, there is also a character called Stuart Macbride this could be a little tribute to the author who apparently inspired James Oswald. Good characters, a bit of humour and lots of crime, some reference to violence and gore but not overdone. So far so good with this series, have ordered 2,3 & 4. I usually find that with a series it takes 2 -3 books to get used to a new writer and also to get the characters embedded in your mind by which time you get to know them all and their little ways
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I think we all know the story behind James Oswald, and how he suddenly became so popular thanks to this book. So here we meet for the first time Anthony McLean, newly promoted to detective inspector. With his gran dying and a bit of a dull private life so Tony finds all hands to the pumps at work.

There are strange killings going on in the city of Edinburgh, but for DI McLean he is given some burglaries and a corpse of a young lady, who died about sixty years before, and was found whilst building work was carried out. With no identification and a death that has the hallmarks of a ritual occult sacrifice so it would look like he more than has his hands full.

What is good about this is that it has that noir feeling to it, but it also highlights the sort of politics that go on in the police force, where if someone senior can blame someone junior for mistakes then they will. Our Tony though doesn’t play that sort of game as he just wants to get on with his job. As we read this we also get a good grasp of the character of our Detective Inspector, and the other main characters that appear in further novels.

With a good solid story which makes you think and try to solve the crimes this also has a little unsettling quirky ‘extra’ in the idea that perhaps things also involve the supernatural, although it could just be people who believe in such things and perhaps have gone a little mad.

In all this is a solid read and one that grips you from the very beginning as we follow all the twists and turns to the conclusion.
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on 22 August 2017
This book was chosen for a book club read and i had assumed it was just a detective novel, which of course it is, but with a bit of a supernatural twist. I have to admit even with the gruesome start i was hooked from the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

This is a fast paced story with a good plot, a few twists and turns and interesting characters. I did feel that there was too much description information in some areas and not enough in others. Some of the characters lacked depth and not enough detail to give you a clear picture of who they were.

DI Tony McLean is a likable main character and we actually get to know him quite well but i feel there must be so much more to his back story, there was just too much missing. Not having the full story was a negative for me. Having said that, this is the first in the series so perhaps some of the characters will be more developed as the series continues.

You are left guessing through most of the story and all the twists and turns with regards to the actual story are tied up at the end, but some of the personal details are left unclear and a little confusing. Once again, perhaps all comes together in the other books in the series.

I would recommend this book and i am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
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on 26 July 2017
A thoroughly enjoyable story, introducing us to DI McLean & his team. I say this despite the unusual use of demonic possession, in a murder story, as the reason for the slaughter of the guilty as well as the innocent. It left this reader questioning the unresolved paedophilia possibility as a root cause, when seemingly introduced then forgotten about. It might seem that I am adding a critique against this novel, but nothing could be further from the truth. I found the storyline held my interest from the first page to the last. So much so that I have purchased the next 5 books in the series. Thank you, Mr. James Oswald, for all your work in giving your character life. An excellent read.
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on 30 March 2017
What a thrilling murder mystery. So many dead bodies kept popping up which kept you wondering who was behind it all. It kept me enthralled from beginning to end. It would make an excellent tv series. First time I have read this author but I'll definitely be buying again.
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on 2 September 2017
If I could give this book 10 stars I would. It's quite brilliant, one of my favourite authors is. Ian Rankin.and James Oswald has almost equalled that with this story. Detective Inspector McLean is a very young Rebus in the making and the story is very dark like so many of Rebus' s cases and also it's set in Edinburgh! I was a little disappointed with the rather abrupt ending and felt it was unexplained so spoilt it for me as I was left feeling confused about the perpetrator and am still unsure as to who the culprit was! However, this has not put me of wanting to read more of these books.
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on 15 August 2017
Oh my goodness this book is good. I hadn't heard of James Oswald before but downloaded this book on the back of all the great reviews and the fact that it only cost me 99p. I was not disappointed, it's a rollicking good read, murder intertwined with the occult, modern and historical murders and some really well rounded And likeable characters. I just wish I had bought the entire series when they were all on offer for 99p!
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on 9 August 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this 1st effort in the Inspector Mclean series. James Oswald is new to me and I found this to be an excellent start to a series. A great storyline all through the book, I found myself reading it for long periods of time, and I had finished it in a day and a half. I'm looking forward to the follow up novels, which I'm sure will be just as good. Well done James Oswald.
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on 1 September 2012
I liked this book, it was well written and the story was interesting. I just didn't like how it was mostly a standard thriller with a page or two of supernatural thrown in, almost as if the supernatural element was an after-thought. If it had just been a standard crime novel I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It would not have changed the actual story much either because the ending can be explained without supernatural involvement (for the other police characters) or with (for the main character) in the book anyway. That said I do think it would make a very good screen play because the demonic elements could be conveyed more often but more subtley on television. Overall it was good, with a bit of a meh ending.
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on 5 March 2017
Great read, quite gory in parts but well written. Love Inspector Maclean and his background story. Can't wait to read the next one.
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