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Sunday, 15 July 2018

‘Loch of the Dead’ by Oscar de Muriel

Published by Penguin Books,
31 May 2018.
ISBN 978-1-405-92624-9

Where better in 1889 for a Gothic tale than the Highlands of Scotland!  

Inspectors Frey and McGray investigate the threat to a boy in the remote and barely inhabited misty Loch Maree.  The two detectives stay with the mysterious Koloman family who are the landowners in that area.  The two men are enormously different in character and behaviour - one crude and foul mouthed and one introspective; one Scottish and superstitious and the other English and pragmatic.    The story of a man who has apparently been cured of madness by living on a remote island on the loch resonates with McGray’s own family tragedy.

Deaths abound as the story develops and they tend to feature darkness, lots of blood and mysterious figures flirting about.   Ghost stories are told to chill the blood further and ghastly black bats flutter around.  This is a robust story spiralling into greater horrors as things get worse and worse.  There is a crazy logic to the eventual climactic events as the detectives reach a solution.
Reviewer: Jennifer S Palmer
This is the fourth adventure of Frey and McGray.

Oscar de Muriel was born in Mexico City, in the building that now houses Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. He came to the United Kingdom to complete a PhD in Chemistry, working as a free-lance translator to complement his earnings. During this time, he produced a handful of academic papers, and the idea of a spooky whodunit began to take roots in his head. After several visits to Edinburgh, the city struck him as the perfect setting for a crime mystery. Currently Oscar divides his time between the North of England and Mexico City.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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