The Hangman’s Song by James Oswald

 The Hangman’s Song cover

The Hangman’s Song by James Oswald is the third book in his Inspector McLean series.

Edinburgh’s police headquarters is in chaos as the ongoing restructuring of Scotland’s police forces has meant that Chief Inspector Duguid – or Dagwood as he is sometimes known as is the temporary boss. McLean has a very low opinion of Duguid and the feeling is mutual. Duguid is piling lots of extra work onto McLean and at the same time is removing officers from his cases, sending them on needless training courses at Tulliallan police college.

However when a series of hangings take place in the city there are enough odd details to make McLean feel that they are anything but the straightforward suicides that Duguid insists they are.

McLean is having as much trouble with his work colleagues as he is with the investigation, jealousy is leading some of the more immature in the force to play stupid but expensive pranks on the financially independent McLean and at times he does wonder himself why he is bothering to remain in the police force. Luckily for us he realises that that would be giving in and doing just what his colleagues want.

I’m really enjoying this series which should be read in order but I agree with Jack that it could do without the spooky elements which really don’t add anything.

If you want to read what Jack thought about this book, have a look here.

I read this one for the Read Scotland 2016 Challenge.

2 thoughts on “The Hangman’s Song by James Oswald

  1. I read this a couple of years ago and agree that the series should be read in order. I didn’t and I found it confusing – I read synopses of the first two books, which helped. And it’s a complicated book with three storylines to keep in mind, which isn’t normally a problem for me, but it has a large cast of characters, not all of them clearly distinguishable, which is a problem! It’s not a book for the faint-hearted or the squeamish as there are details of some gruesome deaths, murders and beatings that the characters go through – and I’m squeamish. So, all in all, not a book for me, and I haven’t been tempted to read any more of the series. (:

    • Margaret,
      I don’t read very much modern crime fiction as it does tend to be more violent and gory than vintage crime. Of course I like that I know most of the places mentioned in the books too, but the use of various nicknames could be confusing – such as Duguid and Dagwood being the same person, it’s not even a particularly good nickname.

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