Written in Bones by James Oswald #bookreview

On my blog today I’m sharing my thought on the seventh book in the Inspector McLean series by James Oswald, Written in Bones.

Written in Bones: Inspector McLean 7 by [Oswald, James]


When a body is found in a tree in The Meadows, Edinburgh’s scenic parkland, the forensics suggest the corpse has fallen from a great height.

Detective Inspector Tony McLean wonders whether it was an accident, or a murder designed to send a chilling message?

The dead man had led quite a life: a disgraced ex-cop turned criminal kingpin who reinvented himself as a celebrated philanthropist.

As McLean traces the victim’s journey, it takes him back to Edinburgh’s past, and through its underworld – crossing paths with some of its most dangerous and most vulnerable people.

And waiting at the end of it all, is the truth behind a crime that cuts to the very heart of the city…


After I finished reading the previous book in the series, I was eager to pick up the seventh book as soon as possible due to the uncertain predicament Tony McLean had suddenly found himself in. I pretty much started reading this one straight away. The last three books in this series I’ve devoured within three days. James Oswald writes really addictive books; once you start reading one, you need to make sure that you don’t have any plans for the rest of the day.

After a period of extended leave, and with the cold case unit he was assigned to in tatters, Tony is back on the force. And the first case he is assigned to after a few weeks absence is a perplexing one when the body of a man is discovered impaled at the top of a tree. And to top things off the witness who found the body, a young boy, claims it resembled a dragon when it fell out of the sky. Now even though Tony’s belief system in the supernatural has been shaken over the course of this series, he is fairly certain that Police Scotland are not going to be tracking down mythical beasts any time soon. Once the victim is identified, it raises certain questions and puts Tony in an uncomfortable situation as suspicions of corruption begin to appear.

I think it’s fair to say that Tony hasn’t been the favourite of certain individuals within the police force and in this book, he does rock that boat a little bit more. I knew that Tony wasn’t going to let these claims be forgotten about, but I wondered what this would do for his career. Tony is financially well off, and some do seem to think that it wouldn’t bother him if he lost his job. But McLean isn’t someone who would prefer to sit at home with nothing to do. He enjoys the job he does, and he doesn’t want to give it up.

James Oswald gets the story going right from the moment when the body is found. What I really like about his books, is that nothing is ever quite as it seems, and there is always something strange attached to the cases that Tony McLean is investigating. I think this something he has grown to expect since the first book in the series. There are always many different strands to the investigations that keep up the suspense and the intrigue. James Oswald always manages to weave the plot together in a satisfactory way. I wanted to find out who the man they found in the tree was and how he had got there in the first place.

I thought that the ending of the last book was a bit of a bombshell moment for McLean, but it was nothing compared to the predicament he finds himself in now. Times for Tony McLean are certainly changing. I’m looking forward to catching up with him in the next book, and I’m really enjoying getting back into this series. Written in Bones is really enjoyable.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 23rd February 2017

Print length: 410 pages

Written in Bones is available to buy: 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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