Standing Still: A Scottish police procedural (An Anderson & Costello Mystery) - Caro Ramsay

Sandra is a 30-something woman desperate to escape her life. Perpetually broke & living in a council flat, she works as a care giver at a facility for wealthy, retired artists. Her charge is the Duchess, an elegant woman slowly succumbing to old age. But Sandra has a plan. One that includes the Duchess’ jewelry & her handsome companion Paolo.


Paolo is an enigmatic young man who visits the Duchess daily. No one is really sure how they’re related or why he seems to have so much influence with the facility’s owners.


Chief Procurator Fiscal Archie Walker has finally given up trying to care for his ailing wife. To ensure her safety, he got her into an expensive facility for retired artists. Now he can sleep at night & maybe see a bit more of DI Costello.


Amy Niven is a young woman on a mission. You see, she was partying with friends last night when she was abducted by aliens. All she remembers is she must get a message to DCI Colin Anderson.


DCI Anderson is back on the job after a tumultuous few months. He’s well aware there are colleagues just waiting for him to screw up & there are rumours he’ll be “promoted” to head of cold cases. The last thing he needs is to sit down with some drug addled party girl & discuss the merits of alien abduction.


James Kirkton is a politician who’s always camera ready. He’s recently been given the police services portfolio & is determined to make some changes. First up is making sure Anderson never gets anywhere near the cold case unit.


It’s the first day of Glasgow’s annual West End Festival & the loons are out in full force. The cops of Patrickhill Sta. are ready for the usual booze fuelled shenanigans but….a body nailed inside a tea chest? That’s a first.


Don your deerstalker & grab your magnifying glass. You’re going to need them to untangle this twisty murder mystery. The book begins with a fatal house fire in 1989. In the present, we meet the cast in separate story lines linked by a character or location.


Anderson & Costello’s investigation begins with the body but soon heads off in directions neither could have foreseen. There are myriad connections waiting to be uncovered & several of the characters have their own agendas. Thanks to multiple narrators, we have a wider view of what’s going on in this little patch of Glasgow. Still, it’s not until the final pages that we know who is a hunter & who is prey.


This is book #8 of the series & driven by the yin & yang pairing of Anderson & Costello. Anderson has undergone huge change in his private life & is the duo’s diplomat. Costello is a smart, blunt cop who believes everyone is entitled to her inside voice. Her attitude provides a dark humour & edginess, particularly in conversations with Kirkton the Git (sorry, did I type that out loud?).


There are so many separate threads & you may be surprised once they’re all tied up. It’s a story that will mess with your head & that ending…..a wee beverage before hitting the last couple of chapters might be a good idea. Purely for medicinal purposes.