James Oswald

Dead Men’s Bones

"...cements his status as a future heir to Rankin's throne."


A family lies slaughtered in an isolated house in North East Fife.

Morag Weatherly and her two young daughters have been shot by husband Andrew, an influential member of the Scottish Parliament, before he turned the gun on himself.

But what would cause a rich, successful man to snap so suddenly?

For inspector Tony McLean, this apparently simple but high-profile case leads him into a world of power and privilege. And the deeper he digs, the more he realises he's being manipulated by shadowy factions.

Under pressure to wrap up the case, McLean seeks to uncover layers of truth - putting the lives of everyone he cares about at risk.

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I always feel a modicum of sympathy for Scottish writers of crime fiction; they're always compared to Ian Rankin. In my opinion, Rankin is the King of crime and it would take a real talent to get close to the Rebus creator. Enter stage left, James Oswald. 'Dead Men's Bones' may only be his fourth novel but he already has Rankin in his sights. Oswald is a natural storyteller, and this outing for his protagonist Tony McLean, cements his status as a future heir to Rankin's throne. The main plot of a politician killing his family before himself is well handled, and this being a crime novel, the solution should not be taken at face value. I often thought I knew where the story was heading but I was wrong footed at every guess. Oswald knows how to draw you in to a blind alley and throw a plot curve when you least expect it. Tony McLean is rapidly becoming an iconic fictional detective. He's a seeker of truth, flawed, and grieving. He's also an everyman; I'd definitely want him fighting in my corner. The plot bubbles along at a steady pace and all the signs are there for the final epic showdown, but they are so subtle you'll not see them coming. James Oswald is a cunningly clever writer and leaves you screaming for a fifth book. Penguin Microsite

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