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Written in Bones (Inspector McLean 7)

Written in Bones (Inspector McLean 7)

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: A body in a tree is just the start of a nightmare for DI McLean…

  • ISBN: 978-0718183677
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

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 respected and celebrated charity and businessman

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…

Travel Guide

McLeans’s Edinburgh

The Meadows

A lovely and serene part of the city, far enough away from the city centre to feel as if you;re in another world but close enough to walk to the main street or get a short bus journey to the hub-bub of Edinburgh. Dog walkers and runners spend a lot of time in this park and it’s also on a major thoroughfare into the city so for roads to be blocked off and for the park to be closed off would be very unusual and scary indeed. It’s a nice area, a well to do area so to find a man dead in a tree….

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

The impressive galleries McLean refers to – just round the corner from the victim’s house in Rothesay Mews .It’s a must-see venue for modern and contemporary art. It is home to a fantastic sculpture park and Pig Rock Bothy  – a structure which holds events and more.

Lothian Road

Lots of surprises on this street if McLean is to be believed. It’s where the  Bo’s Inks Tattoo parlour is located in the novel – or a building of torture depending on your view of tattoos and what they might mean in McLean’s world


Sciennes is located just south of the Meadows, with Newington to the east.Close to the university lots of students live there  and the area is full of Victorian tenements. The area contains one of the few Jewish cemeteries in Scotland, dating from 1813. Nearby is the remaining part of Sciennes Hill House, which was once the home of Professor Adam Ferguson, who hosted a dinner there when Robert Burns and the young Walter Scott met for the one and only time in the winter of 1786-87. And for another literary landmark: Arthur Conan Doyle’s family lived in this part of Sciennes while he was a boy.


Streetview Maps

A) Edinburgh - The Meadows and Melville Drive
E) Edinburgh - Rothesay Mews

Booktrailer Review


James Oswald gets under the skin of Edinburgh’s dark side. The trail of clues he spread across the city are in real places, real alleyways and have real historical significance. This novel is set largely on The Meadows, a lovely park land area not far from the city centre, but which is located in a lovely part of town. I used to live in a flat overlooking the Meadows so this novel was really chilled me from the start as I not only know the place well but like the boy who finds the body, I used to walk with friends and their dogs on the moors here.

The city comes into its own here – there is a large dark and mysterious history to the story – not your regular crime story that’s for sure. We’ve had the supernatural in some of his earlier novels and this has signs of a very bizarre message of a dead man dropped into a tree, according to the young witness, “A dragon”

This series has all the hallmarks of a really unique set of police characters, an investigation into some of the city’s darkest shadows with some fantastically gritty and unusual crimes. They can be read in any order but to get the full delight especially the changing moods of Grumpy Bob – then read from the first.

The crime of how the man in the tree came to be there was skillfully done – a whole case unravelled and brought in some really dubious characters in the city living in some of its dark parts but also some of its nicest. Just goes to show that evil can lurk anywhere.

Oh and the end? I mentally high-fived James Oswald at this – can’t wait to see how THAT pans out!

Written in Bones?  A cracking addition to a brilliant series and that’s written in stone.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:  Written in Bones: Inspector McLean 7

Author/Guide: James Oswald   Destination:Edinburgh  Departure Time: 200os

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