This is the 12th book in the Anderson and Costello series by Caro Ramsay and as always, eagerly awaited by me! And check that cover out! Stunning!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Two murders, forty years apart. What links them? Detectives Anderson & Costello undertake their most baffling investigation to date.
The body is found in the early hours of the morning, drifting lifelessly on the outgoing tide. Twenty-three-year-old medical student Aasha Ariti had been enjoying a night out to celebrate the end of lockdown. Anthony Poole, the last person to have seen her alive, is the prime suspect.
Before detectives Anderson and Costello can make further headway, they are pulled off the case to investigate the murder of a pensioner in his own home. The body of eighty-one-year-old Jimmy Pearcey reveals evidence of prolonged, excruciating torture in the hours before he died. Of one thing DCI Anderson is certain: this killing was very close and very personal. But the victim was a loner, without friends or relatives.
As they dig deeper however, the two detectives uncover a number of secrets in the dead man’s past. Secrets that link to another murder more than forty years before. What really happened on 21st June 1978? Someone is determined to ensure that Anderson and Costello never find out. Whatever it takes .
I anticipate each new book from Caro Ramsay with an eagerness that is quite shameful! The Anderson and Costello series sits up there in the top Scottish crime fiction platform and On an Outgoing Tide did not disappoint me at all! That oh so intriguing and deliciously dark prologue just had me diving into the darkness and kept me there until the very last page. I already knew from the blurb that a past event features in this novel and could only guess at what the prologue might hint at.
Did I mention that I love this series featuring Detectives Anderson and Costello? If not, well guess what, I LOVE IT! This is the 12th in the series and you can read it as a standalone but I really would recommend reading them all to get the full experience. Plus it’s a damn good series and you are missing out if you don’t read it.
Caro Ramsay never goes for the simple, the plots are exceptionally complex and the dynamics between characters even more so. As such I always know that I’m in for an immersive and compelling read. It’s so easy to get drawn into the storylines, to try and solve the case alongside the characters and to marvel at how the author manages to bring so many seemingly unrelated strands together. (PS I never beat the detectives in Caro’s books!) It is also indicative of just how dark and twisted the inner workings of Caro Ramsay’s mind are!
Its post lockdown and DCI Colin Anderson and DI Costello are at the River Clyde watching the body of a young woman being recovered. Contemporary issues of the pandemic are referenced but they don’t bog the storyline down.
The setting is sublime as always, Caro has a real knack of drawing you into her pages, to the scenes and the location. She paints an authentic picture and I always enjoy the familiarity of my hometown in her writing.
Her characters are dynamite and Costello has a caustic tongue that would cut you in two while Anderson appears to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders but still they both gel together and complement each other perfectly; And of course there are a few well known faces throughout, Wyngate and Mullholland both feature, and in this book we really do get a sense of just how much of a family unit this team of detectives really are, sometimes a little bit dysfunctional but always a family!
Caro is never afraid to criticise systems and society and in this she has a poke at the negative impact social media can have on the lives of others. At times it makes for an uncomfortable read but an absorbing one at the same time. She makes you work for your read, twists and turns, an array of characters, relationships and devious little subplots, yet she knits them together quite perfectly at the end, leaving you feeling satisfied and somewhat disturbed! Ticks all my boxes every single time!
On An Outgoing Tide is available to purchase via
And all good bookshops!