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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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on 7 May 2017
Inspector McLean is similar to John Rebus in so many ways. They even work out of some of the same police stations, so they must have met! But in McLean's cases there is an element of the supernatural similar to the Dennis Wheatley character The Duke De Richleau. There is never sufficient overt supernatural activity to alert his superiors, but we know that not everything can be put down to natural causes.
McLean may have become a multimillionaire over night on the death of his grandmother, but he's no dilettante. A clever, hard working detective given to flashes of inspiration and labouring under an obnoxious, lazy senior officer. He does not let his new found wealth change his way of life much or interfere with his work.
One warning however, read these books in order. I found the third in the series, The Hangman's Song, first and read it. It contains multiple spoilers for the first two books.
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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 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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As far as fiction is concerned Natural Causes is right up my street because I enjoy "hard boiled" thrillers with a splash of the demonic, my favourite authors being John Connolly and Adam Nevill. Natural Causes shows a lot of promise but I've read the other reviews and I can see that some people have been put off by the subject matter, there are some gory and brutal scenes, however; if you read the synopsis before you download you know this is going to be hard hitting and that you're in for a rough ride. I will admit that there are a few bits and bobs that don't quite work and I was at times reminded far too much of Rebus but; that's mostly because the story's set in Edinburgh so it's natural to make those comparisons. I enjoyed the character of Inspector McLean found the dialogue punchy and sharp, thought the police investigation well handled and the plot had enough clout to keep me interested to the point that I've just willingly paid to download the next Inspector McLean novel and I'm looking forward to reading it. For a free download I think Natural Causes is great, certainly better than many of the other free downloads out there, and I enjoy that James Oswald already has a strong and confident narrative voice, that he's willing to take a chance on writing obscure and slightly more surreal tales rather than going down the traditional police procedural route.
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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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on 11 March 2017
Whilst laden with dead bodies from start to finish this was a complicated police thriller that kept the pages turning throughout. Well done Mr Oswald and I will be back to read more of the Inspector McLean Mysteries.
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on 17 July 2012
Don't be put off by the first gory paragraph, this is not how the book continues. A wonderful, fabulous, extremely gripping book that I have been going to bed early for every night this week just to get engrossed in my Kindle as I am losing hours of my life reading this. I definitely want more and am off on a search for more James Oswald books as of now! Read it, you won't regret it and at the end you too will agree that this free download is worth money!
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on 23 June 2017
First book I've read from this author. Loved it. Great story , fantastic plot lines and enough characters to keep you engrossed. Definitely on the lookout for more of this authors work
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