When a six-week-old baby is stolen from outside a village shop, Detective Inspector Costello quickly surmises there’s more to this case than meets the eye. As she questions those involved, she uncovers evidence that this was no impulsive act as the police initially assumed, but something cold, logical, meticulously planned. Who has taken Baby Sholto ? and why?
Colin Anderson meanwhile is on the Cold Case Unit, reviewing the unsolved rape of a young mother back in 1996. Convinced this wasn’t the first ? or last – time the attacker struck, Anderson looks for a pattern. But when he does find a connection, it reaches back into his own past . . .
This is a series I’ve dipped in and out of over the years, The Suffering Of Strangers is book 9, but could read as a standalone, however at least some previous knowledge of the characters gave it an added edge.
This is a tense and complex multi arc character drama as well as the usual police procedural and mystery elements – Caro Ramsay explores some emotive issues here in truly excellent fashion, with knock on consequences for our series regulars.
A child is stolen and replaced with another- but this is only the start of a dark and thought provoking story that finds Costello with a difficult path to follow. Meanwhile a cold case Anderson is working on leads him back into his own past with unexpected resonance- eventually the two investigations merge with devastating results.
It is a clever piece of plotting where the big picture emerges from many smaller snapshots and socially relevant themes abound. Highly intriguing with some fascinating psychological aspects, The Suffering Of Strangers is a page turner that reminded me why I loved this series in the first place.
Beautifully done. Recommended. I’m quite happy that I’ve missed a few now, it will give me something to do while I wait for the next.