I am delighted to share my review for A Fever In The Blood by Oscar De Muriel.
This is the second in the McGray and Frey series and it sees the return of the two detectives and there very different approaches in their line of work.
Let’s see what it’s about…
In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.
Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient—a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?
McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill—home of the Lancashire witches—where unimaginable danger awaits.
The year is 1889 and the story begins on New Years Day in Edinburgh. Lord Joel Ardglass has escaped from the local asylum and is on the run after murdering a nurse. McGray finds evidence of witchcraft, this is right up his street, and fits into his beliefs in the occult and superstition. Frey is a man of science and believes that there is another explanation.
This is definitely a cat and mouse story and it really tests the McGray and Frey partnership. McGray is especially invested in this case for personal reasons that are explained at the beginning of the story. Frey can see why McGray is so keen to catch Ardglass, and is unsuccessful in trying to convince McGray to see things from a more productive and better thought out approach. McGray is more bull in a china shop type of guy.
Tempers are frayed and tested as Ardglass takes the two on a merry dance from Edinburgh to the infamous Pendle Hill, given it’s reputation and history it ties in well for McGray. As for poor Frey, well, he needs hits wits about him and more of that steely British nerve .
The time and setting lend itself so well to this type of story. It is full of mystery, especially given the involvement of witchcraft. The author has once again built up an atmosphere, that, as I read, I could feel the swirling mists, ominous shadows and felt a chill as I was taken into the cold and bleakly described landscape.
At the end of the story the author gives a few insights into the story, he mentions how his Phd in Chemistry helped him to create some of the dramatic elements to his story.
This is a murder/mystery that has a fabulous Gothic feel to it. If you have read the first, then I think this has a slightly different feel. I is a book I thoroughly enjoyed and left me wondering what the author has in store next for McGray & Frey.
It gets a definitely recommended from Me!
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Book 11 out of 20