What Will Burn by James Oswald – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The eleventh book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned-out game-keepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh. Clearly no accidental fire, Detective Inspector Tony McLean suspects that neither is this simply a grim arson attack. There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings might suggest, and something ritualistic to her horrific murder.

Nor will it be the only case of death by fire that Tony and his team will be faced with. This is only the beginning, and with such evil clouding the air, Tony begins to wonder what else will burn . . . 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. What Will Burn is the latest book in the Inspector McLean series set in Edinburgh and one I was looking forward to reading. It is a series where I have an interest in all of the characters, not just the lead and the crimes are always a little sinister. In this book the crime appears to be connected to witchcraft.

I have been fascinated by witchcraft and the trials for years, since hearing about the local Pendle Hill legends when I was at school. The interludes that form part of the backstory in this book made me think of those straightaway. The cruelty and superstition in those interludes were just enough for the reader to see and understand the manipulation of some of the characters in the modern day murders.

Most of the novel concerns McLean but Janie Harrison also has a prominent role. Recently promoted by the new Chief Superintendent, Gail Elmwood, she is a great sidekick to the newly demoted McLean. While he is lucky to keep his job and has Gail to thank for it she is very demanding of his time and attention. To the extent that she is just as intimidating as Tommy Fleming, the obnoxious lawyer who features heavily in this book. I struggled to decide who I disliked most. 

There are some graphic and unusual deaths and unsurprisingly the team are baffled even though they do have outside help. But this also added to the intrigue with hints of what could come in the future. And not just from people but also one of the animals which had quite a prominent presence.

This series is very different to others that I read. Not only are the police team recurring characters but there are a few others too, Madame Rose, Dalgleish and also a character that featured in the author’s other series. This was Izzy, a character I loved and would like to see developed more. With the ending of this novel I can definitely see that happening.

Bury Them Deep by James Oswald – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.

Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is Anya Renfrew’s disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?

McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling that there is a far greater evil at work here… 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The DCI McLean series is one of my favourites so I was looking forward to reading this new one, book ten. I was lucky enough to read the first chapter some months ago that left me wondering what the young woman was doing. I was totally wrong with my theory. What she was doing was something I had never even thought of.

McLean has little interest in the anti corruption operation but he does want to find his missing colleague. Not just because of his fears for her safety, he wants to clear her name. And it as a way of avoiding the teetering pile of paperwork in his office even though it frustrates his senior officers. I read many crime novels and I have yet to find one where a senior officer prefers dealing with paperwork rather than getting involved in an investigation.

There are many reasons I enjoy this series. All the investigations you would expect are there, but there is always a slightly sinister slant to them. In this novel it is Scottish folklore. The legend concerned is one I was unfamiliar with and I was reading more about it as I read this novel. I would be one who would believe every word!

Another reason is all of the characters. Who would not look forward to the returning ones like Grumpy Bob and the reporter Dalgleish? I always enjoy reading about them. But there are many others, especially the female characters and in particular Grace Ramsey. Still a tyrant years after retirement.

I am now looking forward to what happens next, meanwhile I can try and improve my Scottish pronunciation by reading the books I have missed.

Nothing To Hide by James Oswald – Review.

About The Book

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .

Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks. 

No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via Pigeonhole. Nothing To Hide is a follow up novel that I couldn’t wait to read after loving No Time To Cry. It could be read as a standalone novel but I do recommend you read them in order.

Con has been suspended from her job following the events of book one and is treated with disdain by both her colleagues and the press. Neither of who can accept that she is Lady Constance, even though she has no interest in the title, has little time for her parents and doesn’t get any financial benefit from having the title. I did feel their treatment was a little unfair, considering she was only doing her job.

But she does her best to ignore them and finds allies in Karen Eve, Bain and Diane Shepherd. They do their best to include her in the investigation that concerns the young man she found and others that have died from their injuries.

It takes place in London and Edinburgh and I was very happy to see some crossover characters from the author’s other series. One of them I recognised instantly, the other two I had to check my facts.

Often worrying but there is also humour, the type that I love. Con doesn’t take any prisoners, she refuses to show respect if she doesn’t feel its deserved and she definitely doesn’t suffer fools. Her friendship with Karen Eve is one I want to see develop and I also want to see her family become more settled after the events that happen here. I also want to see how she handles an officer who I expect she will have to work with closely.

I know that there are many who like the Inspector Mclean series, I have only read two from that. Whilst I enjoy it, this is my favourite. Con is a character that I love to read about.

Cold As The Grave by James Oswald – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Her mummified body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave. 

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place. 

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I was interested in reading this book after starting another series by James Oswald a few months ago and hearing that the Inspector McLean series was more gripping and had more of supernatural element. I wasn’t misinformed and I now have more books to read.

The main subject matter is a grim one and features a common concern, that of refugees arriving from harrowing situations in their own countries. The refugees who feature don’t have an easy time, they are frightened, low paid, and face danger from more than human traffickers. But, much to their surprise the police are their friends and none of police team want to add to their distress.

Despite knowing little about previous events, I have only read book one, I had no issues following the storylines. Past cases are mentioned, but not dwelled on, so I can read the earlier books without being aware of what happened in them.

The supernatural element is a strange one. I felt more unease about the less obvious situations, the sense of danger from touch or smell rather than the investigation itself. It was something that made me a little nervous, jumpy and looking over my shoulder.

James Oswald is an author whose books I have every intention of catching up with.


My Top Ten Books for 2018.

The time has come again to pick my top books of the year. I have read 144 books this year and after much consideration I have managed to get it down to 10. All of the books have been published. Apart from my top book of the year they are in no particular order.

10) Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

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9) Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

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8) And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott

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7) We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard

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6) Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic .

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5) Perfect Silence by Helen Fields

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4) The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton

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3) Attend by West Camel

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2) The After Wife by Cass Hunter

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It was very hard to pick my favourite book of the year but I finally decided that it was the first book in a new series.

1) No Time To Cry by James Oswald

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