PRAYER for the DEAD – James Oswald

Prayer for the DeadReporter Jo Dalgleish is not one of Inspector Tony McLean’s favourite people, but he cannot totally avoid her plea to help find her missing colleague. Then his body is found in a carefully staged and bizarre condition in a cave beneath Edinburgh. The blood has been drained and it seems to be impossible that the body could have been placed where it was found.

In a seemingly unconnected case, McLean is begged by a friend, transvestite fortune-teller Madam Rose, to find out who is trying to drive her from her home, by killing one of her cats and stuffing crap through her letterbox. Touches of the supernatural do not detract from this tale, and McLean’s humanity clearly shines through.

Further strange killings occur, seemingly with no connection with one another except for their very oddity.

Being the fifth in the series, McLean’s colleagues reappear and become familiar characters, both loyal friends and annoying superiors, as does McLean, himself.

It is a very readable who-dunnit, although the darkly driven killer seems to stretch the reality of motive and method to the limit.

Thanks once again to Random House Penguin South Africa for sending me this review copy.

WELCOME TO BOOKPOSTMORTEM! Please follow and build our writer/reviewer/reader community.

This (Prayer for the Dead) will be my last submission to the original MEAN STREETS review blog, and I will be reposting it on this new blog which I hope will be followed by all the old MEAN STREETS devotees. Please give me your comments, both for the reviews and for the blog itself, so that I can get it to a worthwhile standard. There should be more links to showcase the reviewers own work, as well as other sites to advise and solve the problems of budding writers.

Thanks especially to Harry Bingham and the staff at who have established and hosted MEAN STREETS up to the present.

Writers who would like to review should please get in touch with me at

About peterjearle

Writer of thriller novels. 6 Published: 'Purgatory Road', 'The Barros Pawns', and the Detective Dice Modise Series:'Hunter's Venom - #1' 'Medicinal Purposes Only - #2', and 'Children Apart - #3; and 'Tribes of Hillbrow'; all from Southern Africa.
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