The murder/suicide of a prominent Scottish politician and his family brings Edinburgh-based Detective Inspector Tony McLean out to the countryside to investigate. The powers that be want a quick report and then to have the whole thing buried, but McLean believes there's more to the case than meets the eye.
The more lies he uncovers, the more McLean comes to realize there is a connection between the influential politician and another case he's working--the body of a man, stark naked and covered from head to toe in fresh tattoos, found in a river to the south of Edinburgh. But investigating the link between the two could have detrimental implications for his career, not to mention his life.
As McLean faces the pressure to wrap up the case, he comes face to face with an ancient evil that will put everyone he cares about at risk in Dead Men's Bones, the fourth installment of James Oswald's internationally bestselling series.
In Oswald's solid fourth procedural to feature Edinburgh-based Det. Insp. Tony McLean (after 2015's The Hangman's Song), a dead man is found at the bottom of a cliff, naked and covered in tattoos, and a prominent politician kills his wife and two little girls before committing suicide. McLean is surprised that he's asked to investigate the murder/suicide since it's not his turf, but he eventually discovers the two cases are connected. As the cases get stranger, it becomes obvious that McLean is dealing with a very different kind of evil. The narrative lags in the middle but regains its feet when McLean finds out that a long-abandoned psychiatric hospital may be an important part of the case, as is Jane Louise Dee, a beautiful and diabolical woman who insinuates herself into the investigation. Fans who enjoy their procedurals with a hint of the supernatural, as well as a cold and gloomy setting, will find much to enjoy.