The Damage Done

James Oswald’s sixth outing for Tony McLean is about power hungry men with unusual sexual tastes. They like to abuse their power to satisfy their needs, and they don’t care who is hurt because they end up in the middle, or are seen as weak and expendable enough that they can be used in whatever way these men want.

James Oswald, The Damage Done

Tony is working two jobs, or so it seems. He is in the Sexual Crimes Unit, but also back at his old police station, and no one is happy with him. There is a raid on a brothel, there is the supernatural element we’ve got used to, and his old enemy Duguid is obsessed with some old cold cases.

In the way of these novels, most of what McLean works on, ends up being part of the same bigger picture. It just takes a while to connect the dots. He also finds himself on the same side as those he has previously disagreed with most. (Happens to us all on occasion.)

Privately Tony wonders whether to give up dreaming of Emma’s return, and he suddenly has a pregnant woman on his hands, with subsequent childbirth (James might want to read up on that), and interesting developments on the romance and sex front. But Tony is almost always a complete gentleman.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure I could afford to spend more time on this loveable but slightly hopeless Edinburgh detective, but to continue being perfectly honest, it took only a few pages to hook me, and this book gave me more pleasure reading than many I’ve started on recently. I suspect there’s no hope for me, and I will simply have to keep returning to James’s underworld of ghostly crime.

The next curry is on me.


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