Madame Katerina, Detective 'Nine Nails' McGray's most trusted clairvoyant, hosts a séance for three of Edinburgh's wealthiest families.
The following morning everyone is found dead, with Madame Katerina being the only survivor. When questioned she alleges a tormented spirit killed the families for revenge.
McGray, even though he believes her, must find a rational explanation that holds up in court, else Katerina will be sentenced to death.
Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help, which turns out to be difficult as he is still dealing with the loss of his uncle, and has developed a form of post-traumatic stress (not yet identified in the 19th century).
This seems an impossible puzzle. Either something truly supernatural has occurred - or a fiendishly clever plot is covering a killer's tracks...
Oscar has, again, managed to provide a book I raced through in hours.
This time the entire story is set in Edinburgh, with but brief moments elsewhere. The plot is perfectly paced and writing near impeccable.
But what strikes me now more than ever is the way the story is constructed. While many books feel like the author is working out what happened while writing, Oscar instead finds an interesting historical or medical fact, then builds a crime around it. This leads to every step in the tale being profoundly logical and convincing, while remaining a genuine mystery until the final chapter.
He does this while very noticeably including supernatural elements that fit perfectly.
If you haven’t read him yet, please do. These are among the most enjoyable reads I’ve ever encountered.