#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021
Day four of my #bookvent countdown sees me returning to one of my favourite series, a series I credit with really drawing me back into reading after a very long hiatus. Combining a touch of the supernatural with top notch police investigation, and featuring some of the most memorable and diverse characters – both good and bad – that I just love to read about, this particular instalment had me smiling from start to finish. With a story that would have most definitely met with my Mother’s approval, the author takes us on a turbulent journey that starts as it means to go on – the heat is most definitely on. My fourth bookvent pick is …
What Will Burn by James Oswald
The latest book in the Sunday Times bestselling phenomenon that is the 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 gamekeepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh.
What is at first assumed to be a tragic accident begins to take on a more sinister aspect as Detective Inspector Tony McLean digs deeper.
There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings suggest . . .
Oh this book did make me smile. I won’t lie – Inspector McLean books usually do, and they are certainly up there in my all time favourites, but this, What Will Burn, is probably one of my favourites of those favourites for reasons that will make perfect sense to my sister, but perhaps less so to others. But, just know this – the book starts in very, very, dramatic style and the tension and intrigue just keep building from the very first page. As readers we are somewhat the voyeur, knowing the truth that will take McLean and newly promoted Janie Harrison some time to discover. But as everyone knows, when it comes to a case that lands on the desk of Inspector Tony McLean, well … everything is always just a little bit ‘weird’. That is definitely the case this time around and in a book that is all about a slightly alternative kind of ‘girl power’, expect to see plenty of Harrison, whose involvement in the case takes a slightly unexpected turn, a whole heap of Madame Rose, one of the best characters in the series, and a whole host of other strong women, both sides of the like/hate divide, including a name that may be somewhat familiar to readers of James Oswald’s Constance Fairchild series. It’s the characters who really make the series what it is, that and the otherworldly or supernatural elements which are inherent in each story. There is definitely a strong hint of that this time around, but beyond that there is still that usual depth of story, the solid police investigation and an underlying social commentary that I have come to love. And although slightly less present, we still have the (now retired) Grumpy Bob which makes me very happy. I think I’d be as put out if anything happened to GB as most readers would about Mrs McCutcheon’s cat. Some things are just sacred! Pacing, tension, intrigue are, as always, spot on and I was engrossed from start to finish, eating this up in a single day. I literally loved everything about this book, it left me with a big smile on my face and a lot of questions about what might come next. Thank heavens I now don’t have long to wait. If you’ve not read this series yet, do yourself a favour and give it a whirl. It is excellent.
You can read my full review of What Will Burn here.
Happy #bookvent reading all