The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 16

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

My day sixteen #Bookvent choice is book nine in a long running series by one of my favourite authors. I found the series by accident but from the very first book I have been hooked. The series is set in Edinburgh, which is partly what drew me to it in the first place, and features a Detective Chief Inspector who embraces the more, how shall I put it, aspects of our modern world, seeing far beyond the evil of the physical plane … This latest offering is as moving as it is thrilling, and captures some of the worst aspects of our current society. My day sixteen #bookvent choice is:

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Cold as the Grave by James Oswald

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

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…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
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It’s fair to say that I’m quite a fan of the Inspector McLean series. I’ve converted my sister and her friend to the series too, not that it was hard. I love that the books blend the standard Police procedural with something a little otherworldly, sometimes blatantly so, sometimes in more subtle, ambiguous ways leaving you wondering just which side of reality you have been reading about. But aside from all that action from the spiritual plane, James Oswald still manages to weave in a story that touches up on some very relevant issues of the day, none more so than we have here in Cold as The Grave. With strong links back to the immigrant communities in Edinburgh, this book is often harrowing to read, looking at the sacrifices made by families in the name of finding a better life, and the poor treatment and prejudice that they face on a daily basis. You would like to believe this is all fiction, and in some part (I hope) it is, but the underlying message is something which is stark and all too believable and even more relevant when we look at what is happening all around us. Aside from the message, which only the hardest of hearts will fail to be moved by, the book, and the series, feature some absolutely cracking characters, McLean and his strange but enigmatic friend, Madame Rose being two fine examples. Me – well I love Grumpy Bob to be fair – but no matter which side of the law you are looking you will find folk that you either love, or love to hate. Speaking of which, is it weird I’m really starting to warm to Duguid too? Outside of the pressure and responsibility of his old role as McLean’s boss, he’s not a bad guy really. Sort of. Looking at McLean’s wider family, he is facing a really emotional battle in this book, one that the author has tackled with sensitivity and understanding. I do love these books, and I know that once I start I can lose myself for a day just reading about McLean’s world. I cannot wait to get stuck into book ten.

If you’d like to read my long, praise filled and not at all stalkerish review of Cold As The Grave in full, you can find it here. You can also find an extract from the book here.

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen