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Publisher's Summary

The ninth book in the Sunday Times best-selling phenomenon that is the Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland's most celebrated crime writers.  

Her lifeless body is hidden in the dark corner of a basement room, a room which seems to have been left untouched for decades. A room which feels as cold as the grave.   

As a rowdy demonstration makes its slow and vocal way along Edinburgh's Royal Mile, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean's team are on stand-by for any trouble. The newly promoted McLean is distracted, inexplicably drawn to a dead-end mews street...and a door, slightly ajar, which leads to this poor girl's final resting place.  

But how long has she been there, in her sleep of death? The answers are far from what McLean or anyone else could expect. The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case....   

The unmissable new thriller in James Oswald's best-selling Inspector McLean series.  

©2019 James Oswald (P)2019 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The new Ian Rankin." (Daily Record)

"Creepy, gritty and gruesome." (Sunday Mirror)

"Crime fiction's next big thing." (Sunday Telegraph)

What listeners say about Cold as the Grave

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not up to his usual standard.

I've read all the Detective Tony McLean books, and this one just seemed to lack something. It felt a bit "phoned in" and didn't engage my emotions. Hopefully the next in the series will see James Oswald return to his usual spellbinding form.

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Not so good.

I think this series has run its race and unfortunately this book was simplistic and the characters lacked depth.

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  • Sue
  • 13-02-2019

Hard to put down

I had trouble putting it down and look forwards to the next episode with anticipation

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  • Simon
  • 10-02-2019

Best One for a While!

Oswald has really outdone himself here. Striking off with one of his trademark creepy prologues, this one starts as it means to go on and delivers everything that we've come to love about this series. The characters, the mysteries, the police work, all woven into a fine atmospheric cloth with the menace of the unknowable supernatural never too far away. A young girl found dead but her end raises questions that even with the years he has behind him Angus Cadwallader has no answers for. An old enemy and new confront McLean while he tries to grapple with his new, exalted rank and the problems that bedevil his private life. Ian Hanmore, well who else could it be for this series? He delivers the story in those wonderful velvety Scottish tones of his in his usual smooth, unruffled style, bringing characters, events and places to life with calm assurance. This could possibly be enjoyed as a standalone but if tempted it would be far better to start this series from the beginning to fully appreciate the backstory and the characters. This is one of those audiobooks where the combination of author and narrator produces a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This really is top quality audio and I think the best one of this series for a while!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Nicola
  • 10-02-2019

Another excellent story

Love February because, for the last few years, it's always time for a new Inspector McClain book. Great story roll on book 10!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Laura S
  • 13-02-2019

The Cat

So love to hear that Mrs MCs cat is still alive and well. Another great story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa evans
  • 10-02-2019

Cold as the grave

Brilliant book all of the are I really enjoy them. The narrator does a brilliant job looking forward to the next one.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephanie
  • 01-10-2019

Great book, great narrator

I've enjoyed every single book in this series - the plots taking you in a direction (or so you think!) then leading you somewhere else with unique whos, whats and whys! A winning partnership between Ian Hanmore and James Oswald - long may it continue!! Thank you to both..

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 19-03-2019

Complex and well-crafted

Some years ago I downloaded the author's first book in the DI McLean series and thought it full of the clichés of detective fiction and so hadn't pursued the subsequent novels. However, reading Simon's excellent review of the present book persuaded me to try again and I'm glad to say that I concur with his opinion and I enjoyed this well-crafted and engrossing story. The author expertly handles several strands of narrative and certainly kept me rapt with attention to find out what happened next. The supernatural element is a bit fanciful but it's fiction and the explanations add some interesting information about ancient beliefs. The setting in Edinburgh and environs is a plus for me as I live in the area and was able to imagine where the described events were taking place: all the more so if I was actually walking nearby. The narrator is excellent

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  • Margret
  • 18-10-2020

Another great McLean novel

I love this series. It's another great and well plotted crime fiction novel and the readers performance is outstanding. We know who the bad boys are but they/it still comes in new guises. I was only a bit disappointed of the Emma character. Wasn't she away and around the world to hunt the evil? We never heard about her adventures and she doesn't seem to be really capable of chasing the evil. She treats our brave chief inspector like a mother her child and I really can't understand why he is so found of her. Or is it just guilt? She's turns out to become more colourless with every novel and when we found her note on the kitchen table at the end I felt relief. She doesn't bring the action forward either. The inspector's wife in Midsomer Murders is as boring as Emma but at least sometimes, she contributes to bring the story forward.

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  • Stephen Murphy
  • 03-05-2020

Interminable twaddle.

Went on forever. Decent set-up that descended into wibble, loose ends and was ultimately pretty much a waste of time. Even the narrator seemed to get bored with it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L M Brown
  • 20-11-2019

Excellent

Very good story and lots of twists and turns. Love the MacClean series very much.

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  • moicar
  • 26-09-2019

Well delivered story

Usual well written novel which kept me interested although a little far fetched. Delivery was excellent as always.

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