The Hangman’s Song

"If Rankin is the king of Scottish crime fiction then Oswald is definitely next in line for the throne. ""


A young man is found hanging by a rope in his Edinburgh home. A simple, sad suicide, yet Detective Inspector Tony McLean is puzzled by the curious suicide note. A second hanged man and another strange note hint at a sinister pattern.

Investigating a brutal prostitution and human trafficking ring, McLean struggles to find time to link the two suicides. But the discovery of a third convinces him of malicious intent.

Digging deeper, McLean finds answers much closer to home than he expects. Something terrifying stalks the city streets, and bringing it to justice may destroy all he holds dear.

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It is hard to believe this is only the third DI McLean novel. Oswald writes with such confidence and attention to detail that it seems McLean has been around for years. Suspicious suicides, prostitution, human trafficking and brutal beatings are not the lightest of subjects but the deftness of the writing make this a joy to read. The pace is brisk and the separate stories constantly vie for your attention; this is a true page-turner from beginning to end. McLean is extremely likeable and the tough time he gets from his colleagues for his wealth and work ethics give him a sympathetic edge. He's had a hard life and doesn't have a supportive home life to feel comfortable in. He's a true loner but he's not angry and bitter about it. He's an everyman and you could genuinely have a few pints down the local with him. There are not many coppers you can say that about. Book number four, 'Dead Man's Bones', is due out in July and I hope it is as good as the previous three. I get the feeling Tony McLean is going to be around for a very long time; he's a welcome addition to every crime fiction fan's bookcase. James Oswald has been compared to Ian Rankin, and rightly so. If Rankin is the king of Scottish crime fiction then Oswald is definitely next in line for the throne.

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