The Book of Souls by James Oswald

Today Mandie is taking a look at book two of the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald, The Book of Souls. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 22 November 2012
Publisher: Penguin

About the Book

Every year for ten years, a young woman’s body was found in Edinburgh at Christmas time: naked, throat slit, body washed clean.

Ten years, ten women.

The final victim, Kirsty Summers, was Detective Constable Tony McLean’s fiancée. But the Christmas Killer made a mistake. In a cellar under a shop, McLean found a torture chamber and put an end to the brutal killing spree.

Twelve years later, and a fellow prisoner has just murdered the incarcerated Christmas Killer. But with the arrival of the festive season comes a body. A young woman: naked, washed, her throat cut.

Is this a copycat killer?

Was the wrong man behind bars all this time?

Or is there a more sinister, frightening explanation?

McLean must revisit the most disturbing case of his life and discover what he missed before the killer strikes again . . .

Mandie’s Thoughts

I am really enjoying getting to know Tony McLean, Grumpy Bob and the rest of the team all over again and although I have read this book before (exactly 6 years ago) there were things that I missed (or possibly didn’t remember) as I my reading was a little slower second time around (possibly due to age and eyesight.

The Book of Souls rakes up a past that McLean would dearly love to be able to put behind him especially after the person responsible for the death of his fiancée 12 years before is killed in prison. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem possible after the body of a woman is found murdered in exactly the same way. Not only is Tony put in charge of investigating the new murder, but he also has to deal with the reporter who wrote a book about the killer, insinuating that maybe he got the wrong man the first time around.

There is no hiding the fact that Tony is struggling with this case, physically and mentally. Taking him back to the darkest time in his life he does at times seem to be on a very short fuse, one which could jeopardise his career if he is not too careful. With his DCI still trying to prove he is incompetent and determined to undermine him at every opportunity and having to sit through counselling sessions with someone he has very little respect or time for I can see why his temper may be a little bit frayed. That being said he is still determined to do the job to the best of his ability even when it puts his own life at risk.

James Oswald once again gives us a fast-paced book that will leave you guessing as to who is responsible for the murders. The murders themselves may be horrific but the majority of what takes place is left more to the imagination rather than graphic description which I am not going to lie I actually prefer. We are also slowly getting to learn a little bit more about the man himself and what has shaped the detective we now get to see on the page. It is this that draws you in the most ensuring that you are invested in the characters themselves as much as the outcome of the investigation. With a smattering of the supernatural once again forming part of the narrative this is a great second book to a series that I just can’t get enough of.

About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Inspector McLean series of crime novels. The first seven, Natural Causes, The Book of Souls, The Hangman’s Song, Dead Men’s Bones, Prayer for the Dead, The Damage Done and Written in Bones are available as Penguin paperbacks and ebooks. He has also written an epic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro, which is published by Penguin, as well as comic scripts and short stories. In his spare time he runs a 350-acre livestock farm in north-east Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland Cattle.