Oooh that’s so nearly 5 stars isn’t it!
Natural Causes is dark, brooding, grisly, intense, clever and immensely readable. I absolutely loved it and found myself frequently not wanting to put it down when I very much needed to (work and life do get in the way of a good book, don’t they!).
I’ve seen reviews for this where people have found the opening scene to be a bit too full on – just to say that this scene is now at the back of the book, to be read or not as the reader wishes. Needless to say I read it and it is pretty grim!
I really like Detective Inspector Tony McLean, he is a ‘proper’ detective; can’t rest until he’s absolutely got to the bottom of a case. Stuart MacBride is great too and a lot of the more central characters are strong enough to carry the role – the only relationship that didn’t work for me was the love interest but I guess that’s hard when you’ve created a stand alone, aloof, need-no-one guy.
I recently reviewed Dead Men’s Bones which is a later book in this series and I have to say I much, much preferred Natural Causes. Whether that is because the characters are more familiar to me now I’m not sure but for me this book is seriously good and I can’t wait to read the next one.
So, why did it lose that last half a star? One teensy thing that just took it all a step too far (not the money, not the fact he’s always right, not the many coincidences – I liked all of those); it was the last connection, the relative, that didn’t work for me. A bridge too far.
Small amusement… I’ve gone on to Good Reads to add my review and found this – loving the spelling of Edinburgh!
Synopsis: 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…