Mandie’s walk through the weird world of Tony McLean continues with her review of Written In Bones by James Oswald. We both love this series and it’s fair to say that this is as much a trip down memory lane for me as it is a catch up for Mandie. You can find my thoughts on the book right here. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
The roots of murder run deep . . .
When a body is found in a tree in The Meadows, Edinburgh’s scenic parkland, forensics suggest the corpse has fallen from a great height.
Which makes Detective Inspector Tony McLean ask the question: was it an accident, or a murder designed to send a chilling message? . . .
As McLean traces the victim’s journey, it takes him back to Edinburgh’s past, and through its underworld – crossing paths with some of its most dangerous and most vulnerable people.
And waiting at the end of it all, is the truth behind a crime that cuts to the very heart of the city . . .
So, I have finally reached the point that I got to last time when reading this series and it has only reminded me just how much I enjoy it and how I am glad that my sister encouraged me to pick up the first one.
The book opens with the body of a man falling from the sky into a tree with the only witness, a young boy walking his dog, convinced that a dragon was responsible. DI Tony McLean was hoping for a nice quiet return to work following his leave, but instead he found himself called to investigatethis very strange case. As he digs into the case it brings to light an unsolved murder that for what ever reason senior officers do not want him digging too deeply into which if you have been reading the earlier books in the series is like a red rag for McLean and has him poking his nose into the old files with the help of Duguid.
This case is certainly stretching Tony and the team as they struggle to work out who wanted the victim dead and why. Despite him being a disgraced police officer, he had turned his life around and was now the head of a charity working with drug addicts. His colleagues can’t think of a reason anyone would want him dead but there is definitely someone out there trying to make things hard for Tony and the team.
As he fights against his superiors to ensure that the case is resolved and not swept under the carpet you do have to wonder sometimes why he stays in the force, he doesn’t need the stress and he certainly doesn’t need the money and he is never going to win any popularity contests. If the case is going to be troublesome you can bet he will be right in the middle of it no matter what.
Written in Bones sees McLean working with a new team of recruits and whilst it is refreshing to see how he interacts with them and mentors them, I kind of miss the Grumpy Bob and co. Don’t panic too much they are still there but very much a supporting act this time. As ever Tony manages to put himself in danger during the course of his investigation’s courtesy this time of a face from the past. It’s as though his quest to solve the crime means more that his own safety, a fact that doesn’t ever go down too well with Emma, who is also suffering with her health again, but what they discover will certainly make the future interesting.
I am now off to venture into new territory with book 8 and see just how much trouble Tony can get himself into 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 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
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