Saturday, 11 May 2013

CRIME REVIEW: The Blood of Crows - Caro Ramsey

Release Date: 27/09/13
Publisher:  Pengiun UK


"The Blood of Crows" is the fourth instalment in Caro Ramsay's epic Anderson and Costello series. For one Scottish cop the beat is about to get dark and very bloody...DI Colin Anderson is having a bad week. His conviction of paedophile Skelpie Fairbairn is declared unsafe - putting Fairbairn back on Glasgow's streets and leaving Anderson under investigation. Add to this a gangster torched alive, a teenage boy tortured then dropped off a bridge and the suicide of a cop who worked an unsolved child kidnapping way back in 1996 and Anderson's got his hands full. Then one night, a young girl is tied to the river bank and left for the tide. Anderson gets there, but she dies in his arms. Working round the clock his team discover these strange crimes are linked to an elusive criminal mastermind known as The Puppeteer. But unable to find him, unable to stop the murders, Anderson is forced to follow the only lead he has - Skelpie Fairbairn...But which is worse - The devil you don't know, or the one you do...? Caro Ramsay's Anderson & Costello thrillers have been widely recognised as one of the most significant new series in the genre in recent years and Ramsay's utterly unique investigators are ready to become the nation's favourite Scottish cop duo. "Absolution" is the amazing opening to this stunning series. Subsequent titles include "Dark Water" and "Singing to the Dead". Fans of Ian Rankin and Val McDermid will love this series. Praise for Caro Ramsay: "Brilliant in twisting the tension tauter with each page". ("Guardian"). "Ramsay handles her characters with aplomb, the dialogue crackles and the search for the killer has surprising twists and turns". ("Observer"). "Many shivers in store for readers, followed by a shattering climax". ("The Times"). Caro Ramsay was born in Glasgow and now lives in a village on the west coast of Scotland. "Absolution" is her first novel, which was shortlisted for the CWA's New Blood Dagger for best debut of the year. This success was followed by two further DI Anderson and DS Costello novels, "Singing to the Dead" and "Dark Water". The fourth book in the same series, "The Blood of Crows", is also released this summer.


I love a crime novel when it feels that it has a real sense of authenticity bringing alive a city that I’ve only viewed through occasional visits. Whilst this doesn’t give you a great flavour of the heart beating its way through the inhabitants, the colours that you see do allow you to visualise a lot of the locations that Caro describes beautifully within the pages.

The story has some great characters all of whom are various shades of grey and seeking to do what is right for their home rather than what the law sees as black and white. Add to this great prose, cracking pace and a story that keeps you hooked to the end really does make this a treat to savour. Great stuff all round and one that I was more than pleased I took the time to read.

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