"The Book of Souls" and Other Great Reads, by James Oswald
One of our members went to BoucherCon in Long Beach last November. It's a conference for mystery writers and readers, with panels of authors talking about all things related to mysteries and the writing of them. She had a ball and came back with 62 books.
That new collection interfered with her commitment to reading the books acquired at Comic-Con. We all know how hard it is to force yourself to read a book you really don't want to read when there is one you do want to read waiting for you to open its covers.
One book she couldn't put off because her interest had been aroused at a panel of Scottish authors. From what she said it must have been a great panel, despite their thick accents. The crime in Edinburgh and Glasgow sound very different, reflecting the differences between the two cities. Who knew there was such a rivalry between them? The only thing they seemed to have in common was a low opinion of Aberdeen.
Anyway, one of the authors mentioned his bad guys are supernatural forces and that grabbed our member's attention because his mysteries had sounded as gritty as the other authors' works. There were booksellers at BoucherCon and she found one selling a James Oswald book. It wasn't the first one, and after pouring over the back cover she decided to order it and read the four books in order.
It was totally worth the wait. The books are so good she pre-ordered his fifth one from Amazon.UK instead of waiting for US publication.
The first book, Natural Causes, introduces an Edinburgh police detective with a very complicated past, a solitary present and an uncertain future who solves a crime with a supernatural element. Every subsequent book builds on the previous ones. They are atmospheric, a bit creepy and very, very good.