The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of James Oswald’s gripping new Inspector McLean crime thriller Natural Causes, read by the actor Ian Hanmore.
A young girl’s mutilated body is discovered in a sealed room. Her remains are carefully arranged, in what seems to have been a cruel and macabre ritual, which appears to have taken place over 60 years ago. For newly appointed Edinburgh Detective Inspector Tony McLean this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority - but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death.
Meanwhile, the city is horrified by a series of bloody killings. Deaths for which there appears to be neither rhyme nor reason, and which leave Edinburgh’s police at a loss. McLean is convinced that these deaths are somehow connected to the terrible ceremonial killing of the girl, all those years ago. It is an irrational, almost supernatural theory. And one which will lead McLean closer to the heart of a terrifying and ancient evil…
©2013 James Oswald (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
More reality less fantasy. I am an avid fan of anything "Edinburgh" and eagerly bought this hoping for lots of familiar locations and a gripping tale, but found it all a bit lightweight and unsatisfying - rather hackneyed and sterotypical unfortunately. Found the "hot weather" references interesting - not a common theme for Scottish novels! Not bad enough to give back, but I probably wouldn't bother exploring the Inspector McLean novels further.
Done without the silly supernatural elements, quite unnecessary and takes the edge off what could have been quite a believable and engaging story.
I didn't love the narrator, but he was ok. The "demon voice" was just ridiculous though.
A so-so listen. Engaged me enough to keep going to the end, but not particularly memorable.
I thought this was a really good book. I could predict most of the plot and it had a few lulls. It also had a similar plot line as one or two other books and movies. I would recommend it though, mainly because I loved the characters and performance. Mclean will bring me back for the next installments.
This is my first book by James Oswald so I decided to start with the first in the series of Detective Maclean.
A great storyline and read brilliantly.
I really liked the main character Maclean and I am looking to getting to know him better so I have already purchased the next in the series.
Thanks for a great read & a brilliant narration to match.
I haven't read the book, only listened to this Audio Book and Ian Hanmore brings so much life and character to the story.
Only getting to get a real feel for the characters in this first book and all are well defined. I think I'm somehow going to like Dagwood. The character we love to hate.
Looking forward to reading the whole series.
"Read well by Ian Hanmore"
Waiting on Audible to release 'dead men's bones' . book4.
There are a couple of stories running through this series and they can be read or heard separately.
Not brilliant 5 stars at this time, though I expect that if the series continue with the same reader, the series may rank high 4 or 5.
Forget any Ian Rankin references from the reviewers/publishers.I am beginning to think quite a few reviewers are illiterate. (And have no idea why there will only ever be one Ian Rankin.) I get a tad sus whenever I read silly remarks like,,the new ,, etc.
On the surface there is a fairly preictable plot, a current day Batman with an Alpha and a few good fellas and girls. Then read on.
No shrinking rooms or damsels tied to railway tracks yet,
"Is Edinburgh turning into Midsummer?"
Another Tartan Noir writer. Does so much crime happen in civilised Edinburgh? Wasn't sure about the occult element in this book at first but I think in the end Mr Oswald carried it off. I liked the background story of Insp McLean woven into the body of the plot. I liked the the fact that he is a "nice " young man. The reader had a rather monotone voice whic at first I didn't like but it grew on me. if you can't drop of at night he has a very soothing ,almost hypnotic tone. Persevere with this one if you don't quite take to it at first. I am looking forward to the next one.
"A Gripping Listen"
An excellent, gripping book. I really enjoyed the fact the lead detective was not the usual run of the mill. The story kept me held right to the last page/listen!
"Rebus watch out - the new boy's in town !"
This is dark, grisly, deep in characters, well performed and i cannot wait for the follow up.
There are so many threads to this story that can be picked up and woven into a very good series of novels.
I listened to this whilst travelling - almost all in one session it was so good.
"Keeps you interested"
This book ranks in the top 30% of the audiobooks I have listened to. It is very well narrated by Ian Hanmore; with a strong, if a tad predictable, story line by James Oswald. You are certainly entertained and kept interested all the way through. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a crime mystery.
"quite enjoyed this..."
...always looking for new authors, pity about the supernatural element but at least it didn't play on it too much...nice character, something similar to MacBride's Logan McRae...
"Thoroughly enjoyable 'Scot Cop' novel"
Either I keep choosing Scot Cop stories or there seems to be a lot of them about at the moment! Either way I love them! This one is set in Edinburgh and mentions places within the local area. The narrator is a chap with a nice Scottish accent which adds authenticity to the characters (he also narrates Stuart MacBride's recent books). I very much enjoyed this story and have downloaded the next, having never heard of the author before now.
This is a pretty regular cop story, ticks along nicely, has enjoyable characters, doesn't dawdle in the story-telling and has a couple of interesting crimes to investigate. It does have an ever-so slightly 'supernatural/fantasy' moment or two as one of the crimes seems to be tinged with some devil-worship sort of vibe, but this is not a strong theme so don't let this put you off if you are not a 'fantasy' sort of person (I'm not a fan myself and wouldn't consider reading John Connolly for example, so I was glad that there was only the odd mutter of hocus-pocus and only to do with that one case!). I would definitely recommend this story to others!
Dark, grisly and macabre, I was engrossed with this detective novel from the beginning. The only reason it's a four star instead of a 5 star, is your waiting for Inspector Mclean to catch on what you have already worked out, I'm more of a whodunnit girl.
On the other hand the fully fleshed out surrounding characters where a delight and I really felt I was a fly on the wall in this fictitious police station.
Not for the faint of heart it's pretty galling in places but this is tempered by the great characters, convoluted storyline and the calm level headed detective Mclean..looking forward to more..
"Gothic horror not detective fiction"
Detective fiction, though popular, is an over-crowded genre and a new writer needs to have something new to offer other than appear to apply a check-list of clichés. Unfortunately the latter are duly trotted out: maverick detective inspector putting his job on the line, whose young partner died under tragic circumstances some years before; parents killed in an accident when he was young; in perpetual conflict with his DCI, who needless to say isn’t nearly as good a detective; chief superintendent breathing down his neck over getting quick results. However, in this his first book the author has added something new: gothic horror with elaborate and gruesome killings filling the morgue in Edinburgh where, true to the formula, the droll pathologist quips as he cuts. Not only are there too many macabre deaths but the way they are connected defies belief and to overcome this the supernatural is employed. What started as an interesting case degenerates into grotesque hokum and it became obvious who the perpetrator was long before the book ended, though what made him do it was ludicrous.
The hype for this book compared the author to Ian Rankin, but using Edinburgh as the backdrop is the only similarity. Rankin is in a different class not just because his writing and stories are better and more realistic, but because he evokes Edinburgh and creates characters that live in the mind’s eye, whereas, by the end of Natural Causes, I have no image of Tony McLean the DI nor any of the other principal characters and, if I didn’t know Edinburgh well, I’d have got little from this book. There are descriptions of roads walked that a map would provide but no colour of what the city is like. There are odd little errors that make me think the author doesn’t visit the city very often.
The narrator is good at the nuances of different Scottish accents and, unlike some depictions of Edinburgh, doesn’t populate the place with Glaswegians: lovely people that they are they do have a different accent.
I loved this first book and cannot wait for the follow ups!
It grabs your attention from the start and keeps it. I am an ardant reader of detective/murder novels such as Peter May, Stuart Mcbride and Peter James this falls into that genre with very gruesome murders but with a paranormal slant which was enjoyable and believable.
The main characters are also likeable getting just enough of their background stories to leave you wanting more.
This farmer writes a smashing book - hurry up with the next one!
Gripping. It starts up at a reasonable pace and just keeps going. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A marvelous investment of just one credit and I am not Scottish.
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