All That Lives by James Oswald

And here we are. Mandie’s last Inspector McLean review. For now at least. She has finally caught up with all of the fabulous books by James Oswald and is now about to share her thoughts on book twelve. I reviewed the book last year and my ramblings are here, but as this has been Mandie’s catch up journey, it’s best to hand over to her. Thankfully another book is on the horizon in 2024, so neither of us has that long to wait now. Here’s what the book’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 17 February 2022
Publisher: Wildfire

About the Book

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.

Mandie’s Thoughts

So, the time has finally arrived where I have reached the final published book in the Tony McLean series but at least I know that there is another due out next year so I guess I will have to wait patiently (not so patiently) for its publication along with the rest of the fans of the series.

All That Lives has got to be the most confusing of all the Inspector McLean series as there seems to be two very different investigations going on that don’t seem to have anything to do with each other, especially when one of the cases involves bodies that have been buried years ago and should in all honesty have nothing to do with Tony and his team. But the very nature of their burial has piqued his interest, especially when one is found not far from his home. The other case is more disturbing as it involves some very serious drugs that kills victims in a very violent and painful way. Added to this he is once again thrown in the path of Mrs Saifre. This time she has Detective Superintendent Gail Elmwood in her corner and they are both determined to get McLean working closely with her which, if you have followed the series, is never a good thing and will not end well if they get their way.

Tony is definitely feeling the pressures of the latest cases and added to this he is worrying about Emma who is taken ill. His distractedness is not going unnoticed and also contributes to events that unfold later that have dangerous repercussions for him that no one would expect. This does mean that DS Janie Harrison gets time to shine through the investigation as she takes control of both it and running interference with her superiors in order to protect McLean. She may be just the person he needs now that his friend and loyal team member Grumpy Bob has retired. Spending his time in the bowels of the police station in the Cold Case unit, he was still on hand to help Janie when she most needed it. Madame Rose is also back giving a helping hand with the supernatural/ritualistic elements of the story, and she is one character that I always love to see in and out of Tony’s life, both professionally and personally.

There is so much about this book that would have you believing that this is possibly the end of Tony McLean especially the closing scenes, and if, as I said at the start, I didn’t know that there was another book planned for next year I may have had to fall out with Mr Oswald. I am certainly intrigued as to what is going to happen next and if Tony will ever see the back of Mrs Saifre once and for all.

About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. ALL THAT LIVES is the twelfth book in the Inspector Mclean Series.

James farms Highland cows by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

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