The Damage Done by James Oswald

Today Mandie continues her Inspector McLean catch up with a review of The Damage Done by James Oswald. I reviewed this book what feels like a lifetime ago and if you really want to read my ramblings, they can be found here. If I remember correctly, this was probably the first book I got signed in person too, following a talk from St Andrews. Not that I said a lot other than I really enjoyed the book. How times of changed. Now I’m an official ‘not a stalker’ … If you’d rather not read my review (and it was one of the first I ever wrote so perhaps not, eh?), read on to find out more about the book and Mandie’s thoughts:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 25 February 2016
Publisher: Penguin UK

About the Book

No good deed goes unpunished…

When a police raid in Edinburgh goes horribly wrong, the only silver lining for Inspector Tony McLean is a discovery that could lead to a long-lost girl from his early days on the beat.

Haunted by the mystery of what happened to her, McLean begins to dig into a case he thought long buried.

But the shadows of the past are soon eclipsed by crimes in the present as a series of strange and gruesome deaths shock the city.

As McLean’s investigation draws him ever deeper into the upper echelons of Edinburgh society, it will not only be his career on the line – but his life as well…

Mandie’s Thoughts

The Damage Done is the 6th book in the Inspector McLean series and marks the fact that I am now halfway though my catch up. McLean is now working with the Sexual Crimes Unit alongside DS Ritchie. When a raid on a suspected brothel goes wrong it is only pure luck that prevents them from having egg on their face, but it also sees the start of some strange deaths that they find very hard to explain. McLean finds himself faced with someone he is sure he knows and is hiding something that could help with the investigations. Tony being who he is, refuses to stop investigating even when the top brass tells him to (you would think by now that they would know an instruction like that would have the opposite effect) and so he then finds himself side-lined to the cold case team working alongside Grumpy Bob and a now retired Duguid. 

It is always good to see the interactions between Bob and Tony as you never know how its going to pan out with Bob trying to do as little as possible yet always coming up with what is needed from him. Through flashes of the past, we also get to learn a little more about McLean’s early policing career and his first dealing with both Duguid and the mysterious Heather Marchmont. If the investigations aren’t enough to be dealing with he has an unexpected houseguest in the form of the very pregnant wife of his best friend Phil who seems to be awol just when he is most needed which means his head is not always where it should be. H is also missing Emma more that he may want to admit even to himself and as a reader you are also wondering if she will ever come back and if she does how she will be.

By now you will know it just can’t be an Inspector McLean book without the hint of supernatural and this time it comes in the form of a mysterious brother and sister who seem to have the ability to make people do things potentially against their will that never ends well for them. We never really get to know who/what they are and there is also the possibility that they are not done by the end of the book. 

There is always a benefit to being behind on your reading of a series…. There is no long wait for the next one to come alongand as I get to become more invested in McLean, Grumpy Bob and the team I am looking forward to reading the next half to see what they come up against next.

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 SongDead Men’s BonesPrayer for the DeadThe 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

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