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Nocturnal Book Reviews

Blogging at Nocturnal Book Reviews since May 2011 about steampunk, urban fantasy, historical & paranormal fiction, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi & erotica.

The Edinburgh Dead

The Edinburgh Dead - Brian Ruckley 2.5/5
Egalley thanks to Hachette Books Group

The thing is, I'd been chasing this book for awhile until I got to read it, and I really really wanted to like it...

But I didn't.

Perhaps the problem is that I've expected some sort of steampunkish version of Peter Grant from Ben Aaronovitch's books with plenty of action, magic, gadgets and a little bit of humour.

Instead there was historical fiction, dark, heavily written and quite slow.

The merits of this book are well researched historical period and Edinburgh itself. There is a lot you can find out about the university, the research of human body and grave robbers activity.

On the other hand the execution of the story is uninspiring.

Adam is a policeman who starts investigating a murder. The man appeared to be mauled by dogs. Adam finds out who was his previous employer and comes to visit John Ruthven, a scientist and a rich untouchable aristocrat who behaves arrogantly and suspiciously enough to raise Adam's hackles.

Adam delves deeper in Ruthven's activity and finds out some dark magic and evil experiments, gets threatened and almost killed, loses his job and becomes a man bent on revenge and delivering justice...

It's a good story, but somewhat dry. I never got lost in a book and its characters. Adam didn't feel alive enough, Ruthven started developing some personality only just before he died, Cat didn't exist beyond her meek interaction with the sergeant. It's just I don't know these people! Even the real villain didn't have much of a story.

It was exasperating, and I don't think I will read more of Brian Ruckley in the future. His writing style is just not for me.