The Sideman by Caro Ramsay – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Inside a beautiful Victorian family home in Glasgow’s West End, a mother and her young son are found brutally murdered. DI Costello is furious and knows exactly who did it, George Haggerty, the husband and father. The only problem is that Haggerty has a cast-iron alibi – the police themselves caught him speeding on the A9 at the time of the murders. But Costello can’t let it go. Determined to expose Haggerty as a ruthless killer, she’s gone solo. 

DCI Colin Anderson has no time to ponder his partner of twenty years going rogue, as his own cases are piling up. But Costello’s absence becomes increasingly worrying. Has she completely disappeared following the tracks of a dangerous man?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read The Sideman straight after finishing the previous book in the series, The Suffering Of Strangers. This is something I rarely do but I needed to know who had murdered the mother and her young son. 

I find this series quite refreshing, I don’t think I’ve read a novel where a relative of the deceased features so heavily, appearing to trying to get answers and justice. When you are also aware that she could be responsible. An alcoholic, alone and recovering from the events that happened to her in the earlier book. 

I liked getting to know Anderson more and being able to see how his personal life worked. His is more confusing than many but I’m sure I will get all my answers when I read the earlier books. I also had a lot of appreciation for the scenes that featured Mathieson and Bannon. One of them, at least, not likeable but I imagine they were realistic.

I could really visualise the setting. Remote, beautiful and slightly dangerous. Even if I couldn’t pronounce it, I wasn’t on my own, many of the recurring characters couldn’t either. It gave me a feeling that there was a slight North/ South divide, not just with the inability to pronounce correctly but also the attitudes of everybody from either community.

The Suffering Of Strangers by Caro Ramsay – Review.

About The Book

DI Costello faces a disturbing child abduction case; a six-week-old has been stolen and replaced with another baby. The swap took cold and meticulous planning, so Costello treads the seedy, Glaswegian backstreets for answers. She’s convinced that more than one young life is at stake.

Promoted into the Cold Case Unit, Colin Anderson reviews the unsolved rape of a young mother, whose attacker is still out there. Each case pulls Anderson and Costello in the same direction and, as their paths keep crossing, they begin to suspect their separate cases are dangerously entwined.

My Review

I decided to read this novel after reading a chapter of book ten in the series, The Sideman and not really understanding the storyline. Whilst some detective series novels can be read as a stand-alone my feeling is that the books in the series are all linked. With the characters personal lives as well as the cases.

It was no hardship, this was a novel that I enjoyed a lot. A brilliant team, especially Costello, who has a fantastic personality and wasn’t prepared to be ignored or ridiculed by anybody. Anderson, I found it more difficult to warm to at first, probably with not really understanding his personal circumstances. I also enjoyed the camaraderie between Wyngate and Mulholland.

The case which made me pick this book up wasn’t the main case in this book. That does feature more as the novel progresses but most of the novel concerns a baby swap. This was chilling, more so because I believed every word.  Not just the case it’s self, but because it highlighted how the lack of funding caused failures in the police and social services.

Brilliant stuff, this is a series I am determined to catch up on. In order.