Just got back from a stag trip to Budapest, and finished James Lee Burke’s The Neon Rain by the time I got home. It was sublime, and the next in the series should be arriving any day now (I hope). As soon as I got home and got back to my bookshelf, I started The Book of Souls by James Oswald. Been looking forward to this since finishing Natural Causes, the first in his McLean series, and wondering exactly how I’m going to be twisted inside out this time.

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Had a monster reading session last night, which felt just darn great for the soul. Finished James Oswald’s ’Natural Causes’, then stopped, dropped and rolled straight into ’The Guardians’ by Andrew Pyper, who I’m a huge fan of.

There is a lyricism to Pyper’s work, that bonds wonderfully with compelling characterisation, an eye for beautiful detail, and downright creepiness. I always know I’m in good hands when I’m in the company of Andrew Pyper – he is an all time favourite and I can’t wait for ’The Damned’ next year.

Just back on ’Natural Causes’ and James Oswald for a second, because I loved that book – really loved it. His protagonist McLean is a warm, funny, layered anchor point to a story that took me to places most unexpected. I will be giving zero away, but Oswald doesn’t just sneak a twist into the book, he actually sneaks a whole other genre in there, right under the readers’ noses. It is done with such a deftness that I found myself utterly gripped. I can’t wait to continue the series, and felt immediately how great the story, setting and characters would lend itself to a TV/film adaptation. I simply can’t wait to settle down with the next book.

With books like these, man… What a time to be alive!

Having finished Helen Fitzgerald’s magnificent The Cry yesterday, I dove straight into James Oswald’s Natural Causes. Only 70-odd pages in and I’m loving the dynamics between the police characters, and the subject matter is suitably unsettling. There’s something about old mysteries resurfacing that really holds my interest, so I’ll be ploughing through this one apace, I feel. Oswald’s story himself, as a writer and farmer, is just charming and inspirational too.