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The Loch of the Dead

(Frey & McGray #4)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  561 ratings  ·  83 reviews


The Scottish Highlands, 1889.

When a young heir receives a sinister death threat, Inspectors Frey and 'Nine-Nails' McGray answer a desperate plea to offer him protection.

The detectives travel north to the remote and misty Loch Maree, site of an ancient burial ground. They must stay with the mysterious Koloman family - any one of whom might

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Published May 31st 2018 by Penguin
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Dawn Yes. I hadn't realized it was a series when I started it. I expect that there is much I was missing in the history laid out from the prior books but I…moreYes. I hadn't realized it was a series when I started it. I expect that there is much I was missing in the history laid out from the prior books but I was able to enjoy the book without it.(less)

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Start your review of The Loch of the Dead (Frey & McGray, #4)
It is a joy to return to Victorian Scotland and the mismatched Edinburgh detectives, Inspector Ian Frey and Inspector Adolphus 'Nine-Nails' McGray, the duo looking into the strange, the supernatural and the horrific. This time they are to be found in the Highlands of Loch Maree and its islands. The Koloman family housekeeper, Millie Fletcher, is afraid for her illegitimate son, Benjamin, whose father, Maximilian Koloman, finally recognised him as his son and heir on his deathbed. 16 year old Ben ...more
There's nothing like coming home from a relaxing vacation to find a book you had been impatiently waiting for in your mailbox. Since "The Strings of Murder" (, I've been a huge Oscar de Muriel fan and I gleefully anticipate each new Frey and McGray adventure. I just can't resist a well-crafted, suspenseful and entertaining Gothic mystery.

This new investigation of my favorite detective duo since Holmes and Watson takes us to a very remote region of
How I love Frey and McGray and it's great to see them return for another mystery. As usual, there's a hint of something strange and curious going on, and these are not your 'normal' murders. I loved the setting in the north of Scotland and the story is fantastic, revealing itself in the most unexpected ways. One of the very best Victorian mystery series, for sure. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Jayne Catherine pinkett
Wow wow and wow. This is the best ever in the series. My love for Frey and McGray just keeps getting deeper.Full review to come. Best book I've read this year!
I was sent an early copy of this book from Oscar de Muriel via his publishers for my independent honest review.
I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first three in the Frey and McGray series and then along comes book four which in my opinion takes this authors writing to another level. It is an accomplished and expertly researched

Visit the locations in the novel

This writer just gets better and better

A ten star read - full of meat, blood, bats and a mysterious Scottish island

Oh and some of the funniest lines in a book - you might not want to eat "blasted herrings" ever again! Oh and the Scottish humour, the banter between the Frey and McGrey - I had tears streaming down my face.

Then BAM! out of the darkness came the gothic and dark tones.

The mix of all this books ingredients is very moreish. Gothically, deliciously
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic mystery, wonderful characters and writing. I'm just sorry I finished it so quickly, and now have a long wait till the next one in the series comes out. de Muriel just can't write them fast enough for me.
The first thing that comes to my mind: maybe these inspectors were better off staying in Edinburgh. Just for general safety.

"D'ye think the worst's passed?"
"Yes, I think so."
He smiled. "Yer a fucking terrible liar, Percy."

- p.272-3

(view spoiler)
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, this series has gotten better with each one. My favorite is the 3rd book. But I didn't like this one as well as the others. It was darker and did not have as much interaction between the two inspectors that I have come to love so much. Still a good read but doesn't quite live up to the first 3. I would give this one a 3.5.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The Loch of the Dead is book #4 of the Frey & McGray series of novels by Oscar de Muriel. The Inspectors are approached by a woman who pleads for their help in securing the safety of her son, with the promise of a cure for McGray's mentally ill sister. The duo leave Edinburgh, Scotland for a remote island in Loch Maree.

"...I skimmed through the first pages, full of regional maps.
'Edinburgh is certainly a long way from your home. You could have requested anybody else' help. Why did you come
Luke Waldron
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First of all I would just like to say a huge thank you to Oscar de Muriel the author for sending me an advanced copy of the book. Being such a huge fan of the series it was a marvel and a privilege to be trusted and given this opportunity I cannot say thank you enough hopefully I can be so lucky for the next book.

This has to be one of the best crime mystery thriller story I’ve read in years up there with the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and I’ve said it since the strings of
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I always look forward to the new Frey and McGray novel, they always entertain, make me laugh and leave me wanting more, and book 4 is no different, I need 5 now.

Our intrepid Inspectors are helped to assist Millie Fletcher who works for the Koloman family (a wealthy family who live in an isolated area in the Highlands). As a young woman she was forced to give away her child, her son was fathered by one of the Kolomans and now the family want him to return as heir to his father's estate. However,
Amanda Wells
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this series.
By no means is it 'high literature'. But it ticks so many of my boxes... I love detective mysteries, I love historical settings, I bloody LOVE Scotland, and hoo boy do I love a hint of the supernatural.

Plus I've had difficulty wanting to read so far this year. I've wanted a book that hooked me enough to resist the temptation of podcasts, and twitch streams, and YouTube etc. - when I saw this recommended to me, I knew this stood a great chance.

Even though I guessed a little
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is book four in the Frey and McGray series.
A woman pleads for help as her illegitimate son receives an anonymous death threat - right after learning he is to inherit the best part of a fortune. In exchange for their help, his mother offers McGray a cure for his sister who is locked in an asylum.
As McGray goes to collect the boy, his guardian is brutally murdered.
A fantastic historical fiction with a good dollop of paranormal.
I love this series, I've love the relationship/banter between
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great book in the series, Was hoping for the normal preview of the next book in this one
Freya Nedderman
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2018
Another absolutely brilliant Frey/McGray mystery - these books are a guaranteed unputdownable read!
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was my favourite one of the series so far. It was a damn near perfect Victoriana mystery but I'm taking one star away for (subtle) fatphobia and the way the queer character was handled bc they were not handled well.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Grey and McGray are enlisted to escort Benjamin, the bastard son of a rich playboy, from the church he grew up in to a secluded major on a remote island off the coast of Scotland. McGray is promised a miracle cute for his and sister, and, of course, where his sister is concerned he willing to try anything, no matter how fantastic, to return her to sanity. But the rich family has many secrets, and the threats against Benjamin are proven all too real as one person after another die ghastly deaths. ...more
Sarah Clarke
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic book, so many twists, leaves you trying to figure it all out right to the end. Frey and McGray are wonderful characters, their constant banter and how they each handle situations is so amusing to the reader. I hope that Oscar de Muriel continues to write about their adventures
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding author.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as good as some others in the series but still an enjoyable "read".

As usual brilliantly narrated by Andy Secombe
Frazer Shaw
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
A family curse, the desire to cure this curse, and to keep this cure from others, is our main storyline in this book. Treachery, family secrets, double crossing, misdirection, taboos, and murder. Everything you could want in a crime novel.

I should make it clear that my review is based on the unabridged audiobook, so some of my comments might not be relevant to the paperback or Kindle version. However, the only comment on the narrator is that you can clearly tell when one day’s recording ends and
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, borrowed
McGray has gone to visit his sister and comes to the awful realisation that she won’t be getting any saner. And that, as the doctor has advised, seeing her brother upsets her. Ouch
Meanwhile, Frey has a visitor. She wants to talk to McGray and says she has a cure for his sister. Luckily for her, she has another more routine police issue that Frey can help with; her love child has been declared the only heir of his father and she fears for his life.
Frey is duly sceptical, as always, but his Uncle
Daphne Sharpe
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is book 4 of the Frey and McGray stories,and the setting is the glorious North West Highlands of Scotland,in the location of Loch Maree. Set in the 1890's, a letter arrives asking for help in protecting the illegitimate heir to a large estate,who has received death threats.
Miss Millie Fletcher is the mother of Benjamin,who is the heir,to this estate. However,Benjamin has been brought up in complete ignorance of his family history and believes he was a foundling ,who had the good fortune to
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thanks to Katie and the others at Pegasus Books for my copy of this book…

Possible Spoilers, but not many...

The Past: Millie Fletcher was assaulted by Maximilian Koloman, and gave birth to his son, Benjamin. Maximilian died of what they preferred to call “a gentleman’s disease.” The family sent Benjamin away to live with a priest in Thurso and gave Millie a position as a servant in their manor.

The Present: The manor is now occupied by Konrad Koloman, his wife, Minerva, and twin daughters
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was engrossing, suspenseful, intriguing, and a bit creepy. Despite it being the fourth book in a series, it worked quite well as a stand-alone book, but it also made me want to read about the other cases of Frey & McGray.
In this book, McGray hears of the healing waters of a small spring in remote Loch Maree in the HIghlands of Scotland. A prospective client offers to bring McGrey to these waters, which he believes may heal his
Siobhan Johnson
I've read through the entire Frey and McGray series in about 2 months, which is quite something for me. Generally I tend to be a bit of a butterfly reader, I've got another series going which I've taken about five years to complete, but this series has really held my attention and got me invested. And this instalment, although a bit weaker than the second and third books, was no exception.

It just showed everything I liked about this series. The two main characters are great, all the side
Leonie Byrne
Thank you to Netgalley, Oscar De Muriel and Penguin Michael Joseph for my ARC of Loch of the Dead.

Publication Date: 31st May 2018

I'm always excited to find there's a new Frey and McGray book to devour. I seriously love this series so much. Not only are these books fantastic historical crime thrillers with a penchant for name dropping famous historical characters (I'm looking at your Bram Stoker), they're also hilariously funny too. Take this excerpt for example 'Konrad took his time to do his
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been going through a period of craving historical mysteries, and this novel set in the Scottish Highlands in 1889 has well and truly scratched that itch.

Frey and McGray, a detective double duo, respond to a call for help. The heir to a large manor house (and the fortune within) has been threatened, and the team arrive to protect him. On the banks of an ancient burial ground, where the waters are rumoured to cure illness, the guardian of the heir is brutally murdered. Frey and McGray must
Breakaway Reviewers
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Murder and Intrigue in the Scottish Highlands.

Inspectors Frey and ‘Nine -Nails Herson, are asked by a woman to help her illegitimate son, who has had death threats after being bought into his father's Family the Kolomans.

In exchange for their help, she offers a cure for Inspector Herson's sister, who is in an asylum after killing their parents and trying to kill him. The cure is a spring on the remote island Loch Maree.

The Island has a long dark history, but the reality and the family currently
Matthew Varas
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alright so I am just going to say from the start that when I grabbed this book I had no clue it was in a series, I guessed that I might have been the more time I spent with it but I simply jumped right into this story and loved it.

Rarely am I able to find a mystery where I can't figure out who the culprit is and for the first time ever this story had me so paranoid that I didn't even have a guess. It was engaging and the best mystery I have read in a while.

The characters are normally the most
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Oscar de Muriel was born in Mexico City in 1983 and moved to the UK to complete his PhD. He is a chemist, translator and violinist who now lives and works in Manchester. The Loch of the Dead is his fourth novel, following A Mask of Shadows, A Fever of the Blood and The Strings of Murder.

Other books in the series

Frey & McGray (5 books)
  • The Strings of Murder (Frey & McGray, #1)
  • A Fever of the Blood (Frey & McGray, #2)
  • A Mask of Shadows (Frey & McGray, #3)
  • The Darker Arts (Frey & McGray, #5)