Pegasus, Nov 2007, $25.00
Glasgow Detective Chief Investigator Alan McAlpine returns to his police cadet roots in Patrickhill Station to lead the official inquiry into the murders of two women by the serial killer dubbed Crucifixion Killer by the media. Alan avoided the town for two decades ever since he was assigned to keep safe the dying pregnant woman named Anna whose face was erased by acid and no longer could talk. Anna killed herself shortly after giving birth; no one involved in the heinous crime was ever caught, but Alan never forgot the woman he considered his beloved angel.
Still Alan focuses on the current serial killer homicides in an attempt to prevent more gruesome murders from this vicious predator. However, he begins to link the current investigation to the cold case that haunts him. His subordinates Detective Sergeants Anderson and Costello are confused by Alan’s actions and directions as he makes a difficult case that much more convoluted because he sees ABSOLUTION as his objective.
Mindful of Ian Rankin’s dark Glasgow thrillers, Caro Ramsay provides a strong psychological police procedural that grips readers once Alan begins connecting the past with the present. Readers along with the two DS will wonder whether Alan has gone over the edge or found a real connection; which premise makes this a deep read. Although the climax takes the audience back inside the sub-genre’s norm, fans will appreciate the dark background that mirrors Alan’s even darker revelations.