March 24

Natural Causes – James Oswald

Inspector McLean - Book 1
First Inspector McLean Novel

One of the main reasons I set about putting together my site was to force myself to read new books and discover new authors. Not necessarily new authors who were publishing their debut novels, but authors that are new to me.

Leaving the office last week I saw a large poster advertising James Oswald’s Inspector McLean series. There appeared to be 3 books in the collection and when the poster name checked Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride and Peter James I was sold.

Two days later I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun with Natural Causes and it will not be long before I seek out the next book. I found Oswald’s style very easy to read, the characters were engaging and memorable and the story took plenty of twists and turns to hold my attention.

The story unfolded well covering a spate of burglaries in the well to do areas of Edinburgh. There were MANY nasty murders amongst the ranks of high profile city gentlemen. Then throw in an unusual discovery of a young girl’s body who had been murdered some 60 years previously.   In the midst of the carnage was Inspector McLean, dealing with the chaos of multiple murders, hostile suspects, equally hostile colleagues and his own personal tragedy when there is a death in his family.

Oswald builds a supporting cast who are immediately likeable and put me in mind of the team ‘assembled’ by Stuart MacBride in the Logan McRae series (helped in no small part by the fact Oswald has named one of the team Stuart MacBride).  MacBride himself is named and thanked in the author acknowledgements.

Woven through the story are hints of former misfortunes which befell McLean and also the promise of more pain to follow. The author nicely setting up future books, clearly he has a plan as to where he wants to take his characters.

On finishing Natural Causes I fully understood the reason why the advert I saw named Peter James. There is an other-worldly twist to this tale which may not please all the readers, however, fans of Mr James and of John Connelly’s Charlie Parker books should be seeking out Natural Causes to add to their library.

No qualms in advising that you – Grab This Book.


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Posted March 24, 2014 by Gordon in category "From The Bookshelf