Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Review of Natural Causes by James Oswald (Penguin, 2012)
Natural Causes in the first book in the Detective McLean series set in Edinburgh. The tale is a police procedural thriller with a supernatural bent. Oswald has an engaging voice and he keeps the pace and action high, with plenty of twists and turns and a fair dose of emotional heart-tugging with respect to McLean’s personal life. McLean is the typical wounded cop and Oswald quickly has you on his side, and there is a decent amount of character development as the story unfolds. His colleagues are also nicely penned and there’s a good sense of place with Edinburgh forming the backdrop. The plot is an entertaining yarn as long as one can suspend disbelief, with the procedural elements as much a fantasy as the supernatural heart of the tale. Nonetheless, the story rattles along, with the body count rising as it makes its way to its denouement. I’ll certainly be checking out the next book in the series, The Book of Souls.