Book Review – Absoloution


Caro Ramsay; Penguin 2007.

When Alan Mc Alpine is transferred to Patrick Hill station to lead out the murder team investigation into the deaths of two local women he finds himself revisiting his own ghosts from the past.  Twenty years earlier as a young P.C., Mc Alpine fell in love with a mysterious young woman, the victim of a viscious acid attack.  The girl died after giving birth to a baby daughter and committing suicide, still her identity remains a mystery to the Glasgow police force.

On his return to his old stomping ground Mc Alpine finds she dominates his thoughts more and more.  Mc Alpine is ably assisted on the current murder case by DS Anderson and DS Costello.  Ramsay manages to combine the grittiest of Glasgow with the greatest tenderness – Mc Alpine is a truly complex and unique character.  This is a satisfying crime novel interlaced with the story of unrequited love experienced not just by Mc Alpine.  Absoloution weaves its way through Glasgow and beyond.  Darkness manages to creep across the ages, the shadows of Glasgow and the unforgiving Scottish coastline a stark reminder of the violence which may lurk beneath even the most unprepossessing of characters.   In the end it is the crimes of the present which bring closure for Mc Alpine on the questions from the past and the girl he has never truly let go.  Sometimes, answers come at too high a price, but then maybe it’s a price Mc Alpine is happy to pay for absoloution.

This is a great book, the first in a series of three so far!