James Oswald

Written in Bones

"The opening to the seventh DI Tony McLean novel is one of the most powerful and memorable I have ever read."


A body is found in a tree in the Meadows, Edinburgh's beautiful public park. The forensics suggests that the corpse has fallen from a height - but was it an accident or a shocking message?

The dead man had led quite a life - a disgraced ex-cop turned criminal kingpin and, most recently, the head of a celebrated charity.

As McLean investigates, his search takes him from the city's underworld - crossing paths with some of the most dangerous and the most vulnerable people in society - before taking him to the heart of a shadowy conspiracy stretching back years.

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The opening to the seventh DI Tony McLean novel is one of the most powerful and memorable I have ever read. A gruesome murder told in James Oswald's trademark technicolour detail will stay with me for a long time to come. Never again will I look at a bare tree in the same way again. What follows is a dark and deftly written story as our protagonist DI McLean takes on his most challenging case that nobody seems to want him to solve. Oswald is a terrific writer. He is able to include all the drudgery of every police work - the paperwork, the office politics - with the excitement of a disturbing murder investigation. If you didn't know the author, you'd think this was written by an ex-detective, the attention to detail is so great. I am a huge fan of the McLean series and Oswald in general. He has created a wonderful main character and each book is as thrilling and deep as the previous one - if not more so. The Edinburgh setting may be familiar (if you're a fan of crime fiction you must know Rebus), but Oswald has added an extra dimension to the city by introducing a cast of wonderfully diverse characters. The ending to 'Written in Bones' is a hint of the future and a turning point for Tony McLean. This can only be a good thing. Bring on book eight, and nine, and ten...

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