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Absolution (Anderson & Costello #1)

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  390 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
It's been twenty years since Police Detective Alan McAlpine has set foot in Partickhill Station-and more than twenty years since he fell forever in love with the mute, faceless woman he called Anna as she lay dying in Glasgow's Western Infirmary. Daily, he'd watched over her, and they had begun to communicate with each other, she by moving her wounded fingers. Her fingers ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Pegasus Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Linda Strong
Jan 20, 2015 Linda Strong rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
A thoroughly good mystery!

Alan McAlpine is a young rookie when he's given the 'babysitting' job of a young, once-beautiful, very pregnant woman who had the misfortune of being the target of someone with a vat of acid. The baby is delivered, but the woman who has not been identified cannot speak and thanks to the acid she has no face. Alan spends a lot of time with her, knows she is dying, and falls forever in love.

Skip forward 22 years later, DCI McAlpine is called in to head the investigation
...more
Maddy
May 29, 2010 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads, tops
RATING: 4.75

I think most readers are on a universal quest to find books that are exceptional and in which they can completely immerse themselves. On average, I read ten books per month and although I may enjoy many of them, very few knock my socks off. So imagine my surprise when I found that a debut novel by an unknown Scottish writer did exactly that.

Alan McAlpine is a police detective who has been unable to put away the ghosts of his past. Almost twenty years earlier, he was involved in a cas
...more
Colin Murtagh
Apr 19, 2015 Colin Murtagh rated it really liked it
I tried this out on the recommendation of a friend, who I recommended Stuart MacBride to :).
Another Scottish crime novel, this time based in my home town of Glasgow. I'm really pleased I tried it out. Looking at it now, it's advertised as book 1 of Anderson and Costello, although while reading it, it looks like book 1 of McAlpine.
All 3 are detectives searching for a serial killer stalking the west end, seemingly randomly slaughtering women, in a manner reminiscent of Jack the Ripper.
At the sam
...more
Tracey Alley
Jan 28, 2013 Tracey Alley rated it really liked it
Absolution was one of the most brilliant character driven novels I've ever read. The pacing is perfect with ever increasing tension and twists and turns exposing new questions to be answered. I had never heard of this author before but I will certainly be looking for more of his work.
Carolien
Excellent police procedural, interesting cast and an unexpected (and very brave) conclusion.
Delta
Mar 23, 2017 Delta rated it liked it
Intriguing, a little convoluted and not the ending I anticipated. Reading another in the series to get a better feel. Unfortunately series 2-4 are not available except third party used. Wondering whether there are new editions coming out.
Beth
Sep 11, 2010 Beth rated it really liked it
Recommended to Beth by: murderblog@yahoo.com


"Glasgow, 1984

Police Cadet Alan McAlpine has just returned to duty at Partickhill Station after the death of his brother who, while serving with the Customs Service, drowns when he tries to save a man who fell from a boat that has been rammed. To ease the twenty year-old back into the service, he is assigned to protect a young woman who is dying, her body so damaged after an attack with acid, there is no hope for her recovery. The police know where she lived, but there is nothing there that give
...more
Antonietta Mirra
Feb 06, 2016 Antonietta Mirra rated it it was amazing
Absolution di Caro Ramsay, autrice scozzese acclamata molto per questo romanzo che è stato il suo esordio nel campo letterario, è una storia perfetta, una di quelle che quando chiudi il libro, non ne hai abbastanza. Si tratta di un thriller e già questo è un fattore che rende spesso difficile l’apprezzamento totalitario di una storia, perché è un genere difficile, in cui è complicato mantenere alta la tensione, la suspence, la curiosità del lettore e non ultima, la sorpresa, almeno nel finale.

L’
...more
Geraldine
Mar 09, 2016 Geraldine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, series, 2016
Four stars perhaps over-generous, but 3 stars would be mean.

I did manage to ruin the climax, twist and reveal in this due to my own fault. The 'Home' button seems to have broken on my Kindle, and I tried a soft reset, and somehow managed to skip the crucial bit. I thought it was really odd that the denouement of the story had been dealt with only in retrospect. It took me several hours until I wondered if I had skipped a chunk.

It should have been obvious earlier, because this book is a very care
...more
Karen
Feb 05, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ABSOLUTION is the first book from this Scottish author, with the second - Tambourine to be released 2008. There's obviously something in the water in Scotland - or maybe it's all that time stuck indoors in the long cold winters, but the number of assured, confident books coming out of that place is getting to the startling stage. ABSOLUTION is definitely assured, with a story-telling style that is absolutely enthralling.

The main component of the book is the hunt for the serial killer - the 'Cruc
...more
Alan Hughes

When no less an authority on the crime genre than Val McDermid grants the royal seal of approval to a novel, attention must be paid. Caro Ramsay's Absolution is the latest recipient of the McDermid largesse, and this is undoubtedly one of the most impressive debut novels in the field in some time. Of course, the Glasgow setting is familiar territory for aficionados of the tough modern crime novel (and hard-edged Scottish crime writing has been pretty thoroughly colonised by such writers as Ian R

...more
Elaine
May 22, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
I read this book under a bit of a false premise, I thought this was the beginning of a series featuring DCI McAlpine rather than Anderson and Costello......only realised my mistake at the end when for obvious reasons I went looking for the reason why I had thought this.....must have mistaken Anderson for McAlpine before starting to read, which obviously left me with the understanding that this was the beginning of a series, just got the wrong bloke.....anyway enough of that! Although that's real ...more
LJ
ABSOLUTION (Pol. Proc-Alan McAlpine-Glasgow, Scotland-Cont) – Okay
Ramsey, Caro – 1st book
Michael Joseph, 2007, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9780718150020

First Sentence: White.

In 1984, PC Alan McAlpine, working out of Partickhill station, was assigned to stand guard over a young woman who had been attacked with acid. McAlpine becomes obsessed with the young woman and devastated when she commits suicide.

Now in 2006, is a Detective Chief Inspector and back at Partickill. He and his team are faced with a k
...more
Iain McGregor
Aug 06, 2010 Iain McGregor rated it really liked it
A well written, interesting, true to life tale of mistreatment and subsequent murder, populated by a cast of misfits, the down-trodden and tired but dedicated police personnel. It certainly makes you wonder who would want to be a detective after reading this! The story jogs along at a decent pace and each twist and turn brings one nearer to the discovery of the identity of the murderer - dubbed 'Christopher Robin'.



An extremely good book for those who like their tales to be rooted in reality, th
...more
Helen
Apr 14, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, british, scotland
From the back cover:
1984 - It looked like a simple job. That was why they gave it to him. Guarding a woman - nameless and almost faceless after a savage acid attack - at a Glasgow hospital, PC Alan McAlpine has no idea that this simple job will haunt his career and change his life forever.

2006 - Two decades later, Alan steps into Partickhill police station and back in time. Now a celebrated Detective Chief Inspector, McAlpine has been drafted in to lead the hunt for a man the press are calling t
...more
Mary Monks
Sep 14, 2016 Mary Monks rated it liked it
I did persevere to the end but I can't say I loved this book.
I found the habit of alternating between the Christian name and the surname of characters somewhat confusing.
The story deals with a series of violent murders and the suspects are few. I was surprised when I found out who the murderer was!
The story itself was a good one but I did not find myself really caught up in the telling of it.
Tracy Grant
Jun 17, 2011 Tracy Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I loved the book, really fast, easy to read and lots of twists. I did guess the killer, fairly early on and thought they were a bit stupid not to see it. But there was a lot else going on to confuse them. It was really two stories twisted into 1. The only issue I had was that I felt there was too much left unsaid about the lives of the main characters and I didnt understand most of the undercurrents that went on. This may be explained in other books though.
Mary Kay
May 01, 2009 Mary Kay rated it really liked it
As we know, I am very fond of British police procedurals. This one takes place in Scotland & involves a very nasty serial killer of young women the killer perceives as immoral. There's a 22-year-old back story with the DCI in charge of the case that sends him right around the bend. The characters were all very well rendered & I'm looking for a sequel.
Maren
Jan 21, 2011 Maren rated it really liked it
I don't usually go for murder mystery, but this one hooked me with it complex characters and the emotional yearning the main character felt throughout the span of the story. The love stories where lovely and the ending was what I expected (and felt was poetically perfect). Note: brief sex scene about 2/3 way through.
Sandra
Instantly, thoroughly enjoyable. Characters complex and very well depicted, writing workmanlike, by which I men well done and, for me the perfect balance of place and description and with excellent dialogue. Multiple plot strands well-worked.

Re-read and enjoyed even more the second time around. Having forgotten the story, just as tension-filled and the characters even stronger.
Amy Rhodes
Jul 06, 2015 Amy Rhodes rated it really liked it
Interesting; just finished this and was a bit un-taken with the main detective but now that I see the title here, I realize that I had the emphasis on the wrong syl-LA-ble as my mother would say. Now that I see there are more titles with the more junior cops at the center, I think I will keep going. Oh, yes, another Scottish series. (figured all my followers assume as much these days :))
Jenny
Feb 22, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it
For a first novel this wasn't bad, but it could have been tightened up quite a bit. Too much time spent on the lives of the investigators and not enough on the actual investigation. The atmosphere was good, the characters well drawn and I will certainly read her next novel as this one showed great promise.
Lynda Irene
Feb 17, 2010 Lynda Irene rated it really liked it
Loved the twisting, unexpected plot. I could have used a chart to keep track all the different characters. Some of the lingo was a bit confusing as well, but that foreignness was also charming. Towards the end of the book a few the story elements were handled awkwardly, but all in all it was a compelling story that I was hard pressed to put down.
Stoneangel
Feb 10, 2009 Stoneangel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a quarter of the way through and loving it so far. Interesting characters, can't wait to see how it turns out.

Finished it. Didn't mind how it ended, just didn't like how the ending was written. I had the murderer figured out, and I had the "other part" figured out, although some red herrings throughout to make me wonder a bit. Four stars because it is a first novel.
Rosemary
Jun 06, 2016 Rosemary rated it really liked it
This is the first in the series and I enjoyed it enough to try to hunt up another to read.

If you are squeamish about violence, stay away.

A rather dark story.

Alan McAlpine's obsession with Anna was heavy handed. I wanted to tell him to get off the booze and just get over it already.

End was a bit untidy, but they often are in crime novels.
WR
May 30, 2010 WR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, especially for a debut novel. The story ran a little long, and some parts of the plot seemed a little too coincidentally intertwinned, but certainly looks good as the start of a promising series.
Rlcohen
A procedural set in Glasgow. This is a first book for the author. It had more promise than it delivered. For one thing it seemed people were popping up in scenes unexpectedly, like they had snuck into the room when you weren't looking. I'd consider reading the next one.
Anetq
Jul 05, 2016 Anetq rated it really liked it
Shelves: bloodyscotland
Very well written story and characters. Complicated for a crime novel, but so is the world, and this is a lot more interesting than the usual 'random psycho tortures and kills women'. Definitely recommend it!
Jenny
A very good first novel. A detective story set in Glasgow. I would think Caro's next books will be even better as I have heard her talking about how she wrote this book and although it is a great first book, I think she has learnt a lot from writing it and her next books should be even stronger.
Rosa Macpherson
Dec 09, 2012 Rosa Macpherson rated it really liked it
Enjoyed although signposted too much as we draw near to the conclusion. Could tell who the villain of the piece was but the array of charcaters and their relationships grabs you . There's unexpected stuff too. Yes, Caro Ramsay is definitely on my list from now on.
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Caro Ramsay was born and educated in Glasgow. She has been writing stories since she was five years old, developing a keen interest in crime fiction and a passion for the genre that lead her to write Absolution, her first novel.
More about Caro Ramsay...

Other Books in the Series

Anderson & Costello (8 books)
  • Singing to the Dead (Anderson & Costello, #2)
  • Dark Water (Anderson & Costello, #3)
  • The Blood of Crows (Anderson & Costello, #4)
  • The Night Hunter (Anderson & Costello # 5)
  • The Tears of Angels ( Anderson & Costello, #6).
  • Rat Run (Anderson & Costello #7)
  • Standing Still (Anderson & Costello #8)

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“My mum always said you get more fun at a Glasgow stabbing than an Edinburgh wedding.” 1 likes
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