#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2022
My day five #bookvent choice is from a long running series that is, without question, one of my favourite collections of reads. It would be a very strange year not to see this author on the list at least once, and this year’s offering really did not disappoint. With a long suffering protagonist who is very much pushed to the edge this time a round, some absolutely brilliant supporting characters, and stories which always bridge that gap between true crime and something … otherworldly, I’ve loved reading this series. I picked it up on a whim as I liked the setting, and I am so glad I did as I have had many, many hours of reading pleasure. With an ending that leaves you reeling and wondering what could possibly be next for our hero, my fifth choice is …
All That Lives by James Oswald
Two victims. Nothing connects them, except that someone buried them in the exact same way.
Seven hundred years apart.
An archaeological dig at the old South Leith parish kirkyard has turned up a mysterious body dating from around seven hundred years ago. Some suspect that this gruesome discovery is a sacrifice, placed there for a specific purpose.
Then a second body is unearthed. This victim went missing only thirty years ago – but the similarities between her death and the ancient woman’s suggest something even more disturbing.
Drawn into the investigation, Inspector McLean finds himself torn between a worrying trend of violent drug-related deaths and uncovering what truly connects these bodies. When a third body is discovered, and too close for comfort, he begins to suspect dark purpose at play – and that whoever put them there is far from finished.
Vilent deaths, lethal drugs, unmarked graves and a touch of the supernatural. All in a days work for Inspector Tony McLean and all the hallmarks of a classic investigation from a series I adore. Packed with tension, mystery and that underlying sense of unease that makes the books a joy (?) to read, All That Lives sees Tony come face to face with a long standing enemy, as well as battling forces that could see him paying the ultimate price. There is a weariness to the tone of the book, echoing Tony’s frustration with the job, and with developments in his private life too, it’s one of those really pivotal cases for the Detective and for the series. It was great to see Janie Harrison stepping up and taking a much more leading role in this book, as she is also a character I really have come to like. With guest appearances from some of my favourites, Grumpy Bob, Madame Rose, Angus Cadwallader, Duguid (yes even him) and the ever faithful and judgemental Mrs McCutcheon’s cat, I absolutely ate this book up. even though I really didn’t want it to end. I loved seeing Grumpy Bob out and about again and achieving a near hero status that may surprise many.
There are the usually scenes of high tension, high stakes action, and those where you can really sense the anger building in Tony which will lead us to that all too shocking and unexpected ending. Or maybe it’s not so unexpected after all. It’s dark, it’s brooding and atmospheric and it is packed with so much of what I love about the series, tying up some loose threads, but not closing the door completely which gives me a real hope for the future, even if that is still another year away. Highly recommended, but for this one perhaps better read at the end of the journey because of those story arcs. If you’re a fan and just haven’t read this yet – what are you waiting for.
You can read my full review of All That Lives right here.
Happy #bookvent reading all