Dead Men's Bones by James Oswald

Dead Men’s Bones by James Oswald

15th March 2023.

I enjoy reading the DI MacLean novels because they offer something a little different from the usual police procedurals. The books are always intriguing on several levels, and like any series, you get to follow the characters, their lives and relationships. The stories also have a supernatural element, which I find fascinating.

In this fourth outing, Drew Weatherly, a well-known and influential politician has killed his wife and children before taking his own life. The investigation looks fairly straightforward, but you know it won’t work out that way. There’s the unexplained death of a former soldier, who was tattooed over his whole body before he fell to his death from some cliffs.

Is the death connected to Weatherly? Or his involvement with a nearby psychiatric hospital?

And just who is Mrs Saifre, a wealthy, attractive widow with an incredible personal magnetism? Is she interested in Tony or simply thwarting his investigation as he starts to dig deeper and deeper? Will he succumb or fight on, knowing his life and those of his colleagues could be threatened?

With rational explanations for some of the supernatural theories, MacLean never fully embraces the parapsychological elements that could be at work. But neither does he reject them. They simply add some intriguing possibilities to an already complex story that keeps you wondering for most of the book.

And that can’t be a bad thing.

While you can read this novel on its own, it’s always best to start at the beginning to get a flavour of what to expect and follow MacLean’s turbulent and troubled-filled life.


Morag Weatherly and her two young daughters have been shot by husband Andrew, an influential politician, before he turned the gun on himself.

But what would cause a rich, successful man to snap so suddenly?

For Inspector Tony McLean, this apparently simple but high-profile case leads him into a world of power and privilege. And the deeper he digs, the more he realizes he’s being manipulated by shadowy factions.

Under pressure to wrap up the case, McLean instead seeks to uncover layers of truth – putting the lives of everyone he cares about at risk . . 

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