Absolution

Absolution

by Caro Ramsay

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Overview

"Highly literate and entirely engrossing. One of the year's best literary thrillers."
--The Washington Post

It's twenty years since police detective Alan McAlpine has set foot in Patrickhill 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 could not tell the sad, unseasoned police cadet her name, however, or name for him the father of her newborn baby girl or identify the assailants who had flung the acid in her once incomparably beautiful face. Or tell him how she'd smuggled a cache of uncut diamonds into Scotland.

Now McAlpine is back in Patrickhill, where he's been summoned to head up the investigation of a disturbing murder case. Two women--their arms outstretched, their legs together and feet crossed at the ankle--have already died at the hands of a man the press has tagged the Crucifixion Killer.

With crimes in the present continually detouring both McAlpine and the elusive killer he pursues into an unredeemed past, the mystery in this steely, piercing psychological thriller is as gripping as its twists are surprising. And absolution proves to be extreme.

Praise for CARO RAMSAY

"While fellow-Scot Ian Rankin's narrative is unruly, Ramsay's is stately. It works because the story she tells is highly literate and entirely engrossing. McAlpine's passion leads the novel to a conclusion as powerful as it is unexpected. Absolution is among the year's best literary thrillers."--Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

"Let me recommend a first novel by Caro Ramsay, a Scottish author who is able to write scenes of heartbreaking tenderness nestled amid evocations of such grotesque violence that it is difficult to imagine that they can coexist as such sublime interlocking pieces of the whole. A noir police novel, like those by fellow Scottish author Ian Rankin, but with deeper psychological exploration, Absolution marks the beginning of what certainly will be a major career."--Otto Penzler, New York Sun

Product Details

BN ID: 2940158745690
Publisher: Speaking Volumes
Publication date: 11/17/2017
Series: Anderson and Costello , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 689,998
File size: 765 KB

About the Author

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.

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Absolution 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
bkladyatl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very good book. The main character is a police detective who has never let go of a case of a beautiful woman who had acid thrown on her. She killed herself to save her daughter. 20 years later a killer is on the loose and there are connections to the old case. Although I figured out who was the killer, the ending was not what I expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
macabr More than 1 year ago
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 gives them any information about who she is. There is just a picture of a beautiful woman, the woman as she was before the attack. In the last stages of pregnancy at the time of the attack, she has given birth to a healthy daughter, a baby she can neither see nor hold. McAlpine breaks the rules; instead of staying in the corridor outside her door, he spends time talking to her, telling her about his brother, telling her about his life. He cannot know, because she cannot speak, that she has been desperate for someone to speak to her, to acknowledge that even in the state she is in, she is alive and needs human contact. Alan realizes that she is aware of him and gradually they work out a system of communication: a move of her thumb is no, a move of her finger is yes. Alan names her Anastasia after the woman who claimed to be the daughter of the last Czar. He calls her Anna. Suddenly, he is removed from his post and just as suddenly she dies. For Alan, it is too late; he has fallen in love with a woman about whom he knew nothing and he will love her all the days of his life. Glasgow, 2006 Detective Chief Inspector Alan McAlpine returns to Partickhill Station for the first time in twenty-two years to take over the investigation into the deaths of women who appear to be the victims of a serial killer. They have been found with their arms outstretched and their feet crossed at the ankles. The press has dubbed the man "the Crucifixion Killer". McAlpine begins the slow process of getting to know his new team and learning what little information there is about the victims. There seems to be nothing that connects them until McAlpine starts to focus on Sean McTiernan who has worked in places where he could have met the dead women. McTiernan has just been released from jail after serving a sentence for culpable homicide; he killed a man who had attacked him first. McAlpine has a good reputation as an investigator. He is married to the beautiful and successful Helena Farrell, the owner of a respected art gallery. On the surface he has everything a man would want but there is still, always, Anna. As the case progresses, the team finds themselves working against their leader who seems to be increasingly haunted by the acid attack 20 years before. Alan has become possessed by the image of a younger woman, a woman who is the ghost of Anna, pulling him further from the reality of his life. And as Alan is becoming increasingly lost, the team is becoming increasingly sure of the identity of their killer. It isn't particularly difficult for the reader to determine the identity of the killer. But it is as the story moves toward its resolution that the reader is satisfied that all the threads will come together to a reasonable conclusion.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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. --- Harriet Klausner