Dead Men’s Bones

You just know there will be bones, even though it doesn’t seem like it to begin with. James Oswald’s Dead Men’s Bones starts off with one of his trademark inexplicable deaths, while his lovely, and convalescing, detective is off to solve a domestic killing. Or rather not solve, so much as confirm that a wealthy MSP who seemingly murdered his wife and children and then killed himself, had done just that.

James Oswald, Dead Men's Bones

Tony McLean knows he did it, but for him the important thing is to work out why this successful politician did such a dreadful deed in the first place.

And it’s worrying, but two of the men he dislikes most at work start behaving almost decently at times. What’s come over them? (It’s almost funny.)

But, I do take exception to the way James picks women characters to suffer when things go wrong in an investigation. I know that Tony McLean can go all manly and caring, but I would actually like to see more male characters hurt! (If that doesn’t sound bad, I mean.)

In Dead Men’s Bones we have another of these impossibly rich and seductive, not to mention fabulously wealthy, black widows, that you often get in fiction. This one is wonderfully menacing and McLean is far too susceptible, and I can recognise a witch when I see one.

So can those cats…

As always it’s good to see Edinburgh in a different light, although I hope I never will in real life. And somebody please show this helpless detective how to dress in cold weather. It’s enough that the baddies are dangerous; he doesn’t need to die of hypothermia.


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