Cold as the Grave by James Oswald

Mandie’s Inspector McLean catch up continues with her review of Cold As The Grave by James Oswald. She’s been loving reading back through the series and entering new territory as far as the stories go, and it’s been a great opportunity for me to look back over the series too. You can read my thoughts on this particular book right here. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 07 February 2019
Publisher: Wildfire Books

About the Book

The ninth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling phenomenon that is the Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.

Her lifeless body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean’s team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street… and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl’s final resting place.

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…

Mandie’s Thoughts

Cold as the Grave is the 9th in the Inspector McLean series and once again Tony is in the thick of a very puzzling case. Still not used to his new position in the force he has gone to help with the policing of a protest march. Stumbling down a side alley he finds himself in the basement of one of the buildings where he discovers what appears to be the mummified remains of a young girl. His hopes of passing this on to the cold case team are soon dashed as it turns out the girl died more recently, what they can’t work out is how she came to be in the state she was. Added to this he is thrown into the path of Mrs Saifre, someone he had hoped he would never see again as no good ever followed in her wake. 

This book is definitely dark and really goes back to the possibility of the supernatural that makes these books stand out. With the theme of refugees and their treatment at the heart of it you can see how Tony is struggling between doing what is right and what is required by law which don’t always go hand in hand and there were many times I was routing for him to go against what he was bound to do as a police officer. 

It was really good to see Madame Rose back in the mix as she tried to help both personally and professionally as both Tony and Emma were still struggling with the events at the end of The Gathering Dark, Turning to work, they seem to be on a course of destruction as far as their relationship goes but I am still holding out that they will eventually have some good news and they at least find peace at home. 

There is something about Edinburgh that just lends itself so well to these stories and adds to the atmosphere and action that take place. Always at the heart of the books are characters that sweep you along with their stories that always have that believable quality to them even if you don’t believe in the things you just can’t explain. There is definitely something to be said for falling behind on a series that you love. The best part is you don’t have to wait ages for the next one to be published. I am very aware that I am getting closer and closer to the most recent one but until that time I get to savour and enjoy the books that have been written.

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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