My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Detective Inspector Anthony "Tony" McLean is investigating the discovery of a dead girl that has been walled up in a basement of an old estate. As if that's not bad enough Tony also discovers that her internal organs have been removed and placed in six preserving jars around her. The evidence implies that it must have been at last 60 years ago that someone did this, but why? Could this murder be a sacrifice of some kind? It's up to Tony to figure it out. But, this is a cold case, the Edinburgh police have a bigger problem with the murders of prominent city elders. The problem is that the killers commit suicide right after the murder. Which is odd the first time, but then it happens again...and again...
I read The Damage Done, the latest book in the Inspector McLean series a while back and I was a bit confused over the book story. However, after the "interesting" ending did I check up the book and that confirmed my suspicion that this series has a paranormal angle to the stories. And, suddenly the story in The Damage Done made much more sense. So, when I started to read this the first book in this series was I expecting the paranormal angel.
I was impressed with the story in this book, with the weird murders and the dead girl in the basement. I especially like the mix of paranormal in this crime novel. That makes this series a bit more unusual than an ordinary crime series. The main character Tony was raised after his parent's death by his grandmother that's now in the hospital following a stroke. And, 10 years ago his fiancee Kirsty Summers was murdered. So, he hasn't had an easy life and he hasn't much of a private life. Basically, he lives for his job and that's good because he has much to do in this book. He must solve the murders, find out the truth about the girl in the basement, and stop a cat burglar that targets houses of recently deceased people.
It's a dark book, but with humorous banters the characters. I especially like the coroner Angus Cadwallader, he brightens up the book, despite his job. Angus and Tony's scenes are always fun to read, despite the fact that they often met when someone has died.
I found this book, the first in the series to be an excellent book, with an intriguing and thrilling story!