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Natural Causes (Inspector McLean, #1)
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Natural Causes

(Inspector McLean #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  4,973 ratings  ·  543 reviews
The body of a young woman is found walled up in the basement of an old Edinburgh mansion. A prominent local figure is brutally murdered. An illegal immigrant cuts his throat in a city centre pub. As violence descends upon the city, Detective Inspector McLean must think the unthinkable. An ancient evil has been freed, and only if he accepts that it can exist will he be able ...more
Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published February 13th 2012 by DevilDog Publishing (first published February 9th 2012)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,973 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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This is the first in the DI Tony McLean series and it has a supernatural and demons element to the storyline. The novel comprises of several elements, Tony looks into the circumstances behind a dead girl discovered in the basement of a Edinburgh house that is being renovated. The brutal murder occurred around sixty years ago or so according to the evidence. The girl's organs are in jars around the body which suggests rituals were performed where each of the men who acquired an organ is granted i ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had James Oswald on my radar of authors to read for some time so when I was offered the opportunity to read the first novel in the Inspector McLean series bu Net Galley I jumped at the chance. After reading the opening chapters accustoming myself to the main characters etc. I fairly quickly got into the flow of the novel and had the main characters fixed in my head. Towards the end of the book I was already planning to read the second book and looking forward to it. At the time of writing ...more
The murder took place at the start – but it was the end for her. As the nails went in - slowly, painfully - and evil loomed over her, she knew she would die here – she knew this would be the end for her.

Detective Inspector Anthony McLean thought he had seen it all when he was called to the murder of a prominent business man – the horror and brutality was obscene. But when the murderer was discovered – dead – the relief of the force was palpable. But a second murder with shocking similarities mad
Forget Midsomer, if you're a fictional character who wants to not be brutally murdered, you need to stay the hell away from Edinburgh.

When I came across this book, I admit, I was expecting a Rebus rip-off. Mainly because nobody does police procedurals with detectives with gritty pasts and colleagues they don't get on with as well as Ian Rankin. I was prepared for an awful lot of eye-rolling, and I'm happy to say that the eye-rolling didn't come. In fact, I really rather enjoyed it. It was very s
 Li'l Owl
This is yet another author I've not had the pleasure of reading until now. I've already ordered the next in this series, The Book of Souls. I love DI Tony McLean! He's a hardworking, determined inspector who honestly cares about every victim of every case, no matter when, old or new, the brutal crimes took place. He won't quit until he finds the answers that will ultimately lead him to the killer(s). Set in Scotland, the characters are life sized and believable, and the words were written so I c ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Inspector McLean series. The location is Edinburgh. The characters of this book were the best part of the book for me. I really liked them and the bond they had working as Constables, Inspector and Pathologist. Tony McLean did not have a shortage of cases to solve as there were many deaths. He was visiting the morgue for autopsies and conversations with pathologist Cadwallader often.

The story mentioned many times how Tony McLean phone was always dead so people coul
Natural Causes by James Oswald.

File this under my favorites. The author's first in the Detective Inspector McLean series.

I am so very thankful I found this author and his series. This book has no let up ...the story has and will take precedence over anything else going on in the reader's life. Starting to read this book I discovered the magnetism of it so compelling I put all other distractions aside.

Intense Action non-stop from every angle as well as character relationships building and growin
Aug 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Cantone
His own shadow had moved, gliding over the floor in four different shades. But the pattern on the floor had remained solid underneath it...

Natural Causes opens with Inspector Tony McLean of the Lothian and Borders Police, pulling up at a house in Edinburgh when he sees uniformed police and Scene of Crime van there. He recognises the elderly victim as Barnaby Smythe, seated in a chair in his study, eviscerated. He receives the familiar warm banter from pathologist Angus Cadwallader, but DCI Dugui
Cora Tea Party Princess
You can't talk about this book in any way without first mentioning the opening chapter. My toes curled, my hands were in fists, and my throat hurt. I had to suppress the urge to throw up. The first chapter of this book is powerful - the imagery is horrifying and stops just short of being too much. It is terrifying that it could even be conceivable, grotesque that it could possibly happen. But it works. This chapter serves its purpose and serves it well. If you ever forget it then you're lucky - ...more
Adrienne Campbell
May 30, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I actually finished this book. If it weren't for the fact that I'm a bit OCD I would have given up on it after the first few chapters. I wish now that I had.

I must say the story line had potential. The characters were okay but undeveloped. The writing was just irritating unless of course you are from Scotland (where the story takes place) and enjoy the colloquial brogue that was so, well, overdone. The whole book felt as if it were being written by an American author trying despe
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in the Inspector McLean series, I chose to read it as it's a police procedural and it's a little different to others I've read before.

I read some reviews for this before I picked it up and noticed some reviewers talking about the beginning of the book being quite graphic and not very nice, I didn't know what they were talking about as the copy I have starts like a police procedural, cut to the end of the book and there's a note from the author about how this started as a s
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
An enjoyable police procedural with a touch of the supernatural.
I don't want to say anything about the story or spoil anything but if you like police mysteries it's decent.
Inspector McLean was an okay character who I think I could like through further development.
This series has serious potential - if Oswald can find a way to merge detective fiction with supernatural without being ridiculous I will be seriously impressed.
I will be following these characters as they are good so far and I LOVE th
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Natural Causes by James Oswald is the first of his Inspector McLean Mysteries and is a very good opener to a series that promises to reveal extremely dark deeds afoot in Edinburgh.

Detective Inspector Anthony McLean is called upon to investigate the murder of a young woman whose body has been found walled up in the basement of an Edinburgh mansion. The woman had been brutally murdered many years ago and her internal organs had been removed and stored in jars alongside her body. The killing has al
Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.
This is the first in a series I'd been meaning to read for a long time. Unfortunately stereotypes abound & several significant plot twists are telegraphed from a mile away. The fact the MC didn't see them coming doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his abilities. There's also a large paranormal element to the story that felt strangely discordant within this otherwise very british police procedural.
Really disappointing as I was looking forward to having a new se
Brenda H
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the DI Anthony McLean series. There are several cases in which McLean is involved but the primary one - the ritualistic murder of a young girl from 60 years ago but newly discovered - seems to have connections to current crimes. Tony has to conduct his investigation with limited resources and very little help as most of the personnel in the precinct are assigned to a high-profile murder.

Natural Causes is a new genre for James Oswald who is primarily known for fantasy. H
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Uzsākusi lasīt, nevarēju grāmatu nolikt malā. Meklēju katru brīvu minūti, lai izlasītu vēl kādu nodaļu. Grāmata burtiski sagrāba mani savā varā.
Dabiskā nāvē ir detektīvs tā klasiskajā izpausmē - galvenais izmeklētājs gudrs, apķērīgs un ar neizmērojamām darba spējām, paralēli darbojas saprotoša priekšniece un neciešams kolēģis - sāncensis.
Izmeklējamās lietas krājas kaudzē ar jauniem noziegumiem ik dienu. Nospriedu, ka tas patiesi atspoguļo reālo izmeklētāju darbu, līdz atklājās, ka visi noziegum
Stephine Yoshikawa
*Total Spoiler Alert!* - Reminded me of the Denzel Washington movie 'Fallen', with a Scottish accent. I liked McLean, but as fictional detectives go, he's not my favorite or even really all that memorable, and I finished the book two days ago. Someone on Amazon complained that the opening scene was too gory, set the tone for the entire book, and was therefore not worth reading. I disagree. Yes, it is a bit unnerving but not even close to a particular scene in The Road. (If you've read it, I thin ...more
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so thankful that this is now a book in paper form. It has sold over 300,000 as an ebook, and I can see why. It is absolutely brilliant. I love the main character Tony McLean, and apart from the very gruesome opening chapter, the book was enjoyable reading. McLean is going to be a character that I will want to follow, and look forward to the next "paperback" installment.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Natural Causes by James Oswald
Inspector McLean series Book #1
4 ★'s

From The Book:
A young girl's mutilated body is discovered in a room that has lain sealed for the last sixty years. Her remains are carefully arranged in what seems to have been a macabre ritual.

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—d
Jun 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I stuck with this book till the end but really didn't enjoy it.
There was a moment at about 60% through when I thought I was getting into it but then the ending just confused me.
Far too many characters and so many deaths, it became quite chaotic. Reading on a kindle made it impossible to flick back to remind myself who was who and so I just plodded on regardless and was totally lost by the end.
From a police procedural point of view (I'm a crime scene investigator or SOC as McLean would say) it wa
Jul 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the whole this was a well written, enjoyable, whodunit that intrigued me enough to keep me reading to the end and it's likely I'll read the next in the series.

I was slightly distracted by repetitive descriptions e.g. Nearly all women were described as having "a mop of x coloured hair" and on at least 3 separate occasions 3 different characters were hanging about like naughty schoolchildren waiting to be dismissed. Nitpicking, yes, but it was distracting. Generally the descriptive narrative w
May 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
James Oswald is a new author for me and I found his writing to be very easy to read. His characters were very well-drawn and by the end of the book, I felt like I knew them very well. The plot had more supernatural aspects then I am used to reading with the mystery suspense genre which made the book feel more like horror. I was glad to see that the supernatural aspects were fully explained and plausible in the end. The storyline was well-paced and hard to put down. There were many twists and tur ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable police procedural with a little bit of a twist featuring great characters and gruesome murders. On to book 2!

John Wiltshire
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being almost computer illiterate and pre-social media, I only discovered tonight how you can search for books you might like by comparing your book compatibility with others on this site. I've spent the whole evening with 86%'ers, 91%! It's so exciting (thanks AB). So, the whole Oswald series were on my to-read list and they came up as matching my profile almost 100%.
I've bumped this one up the list, skipped it over worthy non-fiction and research I intended to do and there we go. Don't you jus
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish he hadn’t had the mystic beast element

Really enjoyed this although there were far too many characters to keep track of. And I was wholly disappointed in the ending. Still not clear on who did what or why. But I think I’ll carry on with the series. I really like McLean as a character and I think the stories might get better as the author matures.
Gaston Prereth
Possibly two stars is a little harsh but it didn't quite do enough to earn the extra pip, the story and plot was interesting but it was let down by the lack of a strong editor.

The story was too long, with some baggy passages that should have been left on the cutting room floor and often, particularly in the early stages the description was clunky and rather pedestrian. (A number of typographical errors and gramatical mistakes pulled me out of the story as well)Having said that, there were some p
Description: When Edinburgh police find the killer of a prominent city elder less than twenty-four hours after the crime, they are justifiably pleased. So the murderer has killed himself; that just saves the time and cost of a trial. But a second murder days later bears haunting similarities to the first, even though once more the murderer swiftly confesses and kills himself.

Detective Inspector Anthony McLean is investigating the discovery of a dead girl, walled up in the basement of an old Edin
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Other books in the series

Inspector McLean (9 books)
  • The Book of Souls (Inspector McLean, #2)
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“Neighbours complaining about someone’s dog making an awful racket. You could hardly blame the poor beast, its owner had died in her bed at least a fortnight before and there hadn’t been much left of the old girl worth eating.” 4 likes
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