A Scottish police officer is handed a case he’s not supposed to solve.
Independently wealthy DI Tony McLean has a reputation for never giving up. Perhaps that’s why he’s assigned the politically toxic case of Member of the Scottish Parliament Andrew Weatherly, a wealthy, well-connected politician who apparently killed his wife, his children, and himself. The formation of the new Police Scotland from the former area police services has led to some major reshuffling of the ranks. Tony’s untalented boss, DI Duguid, who’s somehow kept his job, asks him to investigate the atrocity, which is ripe for a political coverup. At the same time, Tony’s making inquiries about a man found naked, scratched, and dead in a river, his body covered in new tattoos from head to toe. As his team interviews Weatherly’s friends and business partners, Tony gets unexpected help from a mysterious government agent who hands him pictures showing that Weatherly, who was having an affair with his assistant, was into some kinky stuff he certainly could have been blackmailed for. Tony, who doesn’t think that’s the reason for the murders, succeeds in identifying the tattooed victim as a former soldier. The place where he fell into the river is near a defunct mental hospital that’s being demolished by a company of Weatherly’s run by Mrs. Saifre, very rich and very odd, whose interest in Tony is far from benign. Tony can only hope to solve his two intertwined cases before he loses his job.
Oswald’s fourth (House of Silence, 2016, etc.) is a house of horrors that adds an above-par mystery to the usual supernatural touches.