Today it’s another Tony McLean catch up moment from Mandie as she enters the troubled streets of Edinburgh once again to review The Gathering Dark by James Oswald. I really enjoyed this one, perhaps one of the authors most blatant forays into the realm of the supernatural and certainly Tony’s most surprising case to date. You can read my thoughts right here. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A truck driver loses control in central Edinburgh, ploughing into a crowded bus stop and spilling his vehicle’s toxic load. The consequences are devastating.
DI Tony McLean witnesses the carnage.
Taking control of the investigation, he soon realises there is much that is deeply amiss – and everyone involved seems to have something to hide.
But as McLean struggles to uncover who caused the tragedy, a greater crisis develops:
The new Chief Superintendent’s son is missing, last seen in the area of the crash . . .
Well, the time has arrived where I am now in new territory with regards to the Inspector McLean series and for once I had no idea what was going to happen or what the outcome would be (other than I knew that Tony would be in the thick of an investigation and somehow manage to ruffle some feathers along the way)
On his way into work McLean witnesses a horrific crash involving a tanker that is transporting what appears to be some very dangerous and corrosive liquids which sees him heading the investigation whether he wants to or not. Just how bad this crash is, is made evident quite quickly and its definitely a sight I hope is more in the imagination of James Oswald than something that you or I would ever hope to witness or experience, in fact the crash scene is something that weighs heavily on Tony’s subconscious giving him nightmares that he just can’t seem to escape but drive him on to find out what really happened.
If you have been following the series then you know it will never just be one case that Tony gets involved in and this time he is approached by his new Chief Superintendent to see if he can locate his missing son as he is concerned that he may have been caught up in the crash. The fact that he wants this on the quiet should ring alarm bells that no good will come of it but Tony being Tony he adds this to his workload and worry.
I am loving the pairing of Tony with DC Janie Harrison. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and I hope that McLean manages to keep ignoring those that want to make something more out of their working relationship so that she can continue to grow and thrive in the team. That’s not to say I don’t love Grumpy Bob and co, but it is nice to see someone keeping him on his toes. Madame Rose is back adding her individual take on things that no one can explain, even her, but she along with Mrs McCutcheon’s cat are there to protect Tony and Emma from the dark forces that mean harm.
There is something definitely different with this book, it seems darker and there is something evil lurking in the background, you just don’t really understand what it is until the end. What you will find is that this is so much more that just a book about some very dodgy goings on in the world of chemical transport. The story behind the story is harrowing but dealt with in a way that is not sensationalised, and has you wanting justice for the victims that they never received at the time.
I would like to say that for once Tony’s personal life was going smoothly but no, this time something happens that I don’t know how he will recover from but I am looking forward to diving into the next in the series to find out.
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