I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Caro Ramsey’s The Sideman today! A brilliant instalment in the Anderson and Costello series.
Here’s the blurb…
Severn House Publishers (1 Oct. 2018)
With no evidence against him and no known motive, DI Costello must break the rules if she is to get her man.
Detective Inspector Costello has resigned. No notice, no goodbyes. Convinced that George Haggerty murdered his wife and son despite his cast-iron alibi, Costello has gone solo, determined to expose a ruthless killer without being hampered by police protocol. But is she right about Haggerty’s guilt? And where has she disappeared to?
DCI Colin Anderson has no time to ponder the loss of his partner of twenty years. With a badly beaten body found on a remote mountain pass; a woman with a serious head wound who won’t communicate in any way; and a substantial pool of blood discovered at the edge of Loch Lomond, Police Scotland have their hands full. Could there be any connection to Costello’s disappearance …?
This is my first novel by Ramsey but it will not be my last!
I couldn’t refuse the blog tour stop when I read the blurb, it hooked me straight in and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Now, it is book ten in the series, but don’t let that put you off. I found it a perfect place to start for me. As we are told in the blurb, DI Costello has just quit the force and her partner, DCI Colin Anderson is on his own for this one.
In The Sideman, we are following on from the case in the previous book, The Suffering of Strangers, and Ramsey gives us just the right amount of detail to know what’s going on, without, I thought, going into it too much for those who have read the other book. I knew what I needed to to fully appreciate why Costello had quite, why she’d gone off grid, and why Anderson was so worried about her. With a LOT going on in his life, both at home and work, Anderson is a character I kinda fell in love with. He’s like the wonderful uncle we all want. I really felt for his struggles. But saying that, he isn’t the typical ‘struggling detective’… at least not from what I saw.
I adored her characterisation… the way we are taken to the edge of darkness with Valerie is utterly terrifying. But I can’t say more than that about her plight!
We are thrown into a complex and murky world where nothing seems to make sense. There are some disturbing and random crimes being committed and Anderson is beyond busy trying to juggle everything. But as things become clearer, you will see Ramsey’s writing ability for the genius it is!
If you like your crime thrillers dark, disturbing, and compelling, then this is the author for you. Her writing is captivating, her characters are true to life, and the world she’s created is, although terrifying, completely believable. The Sideman is a pacy and gripping read; I devoured it in three sittings (lockdown with four kids has reduced my reading time otherwise I’d have done it in one!) and I cannot wait for the next one!!
Huge thanks to the publisher, Black Thorn Books and Midas PR for my review copy and spot on the tour.
Bookworms, go and get your copy now:
And go and check out some of the other bloggers on the tour. There are some amazing reviews, and you might even find an extract and interview or two…
About the author…
Caro Ramsey is the Glaswegian author of the critically acclaimed Anderson and Costello series, the first of which, Absolution, was shortlisted for the CWA’s New Blood Dagger for best debut of the year. The ninth book in the series, The Suffering of Strangers, was long-listed for the McIlvanney Prize 2018. This is the tenth book in the Anderson and Costello series.