The Sideman – Caro Ramsay (Anderson and Costello thrillers Book 10)| Blog Tour Extract | @midaspr @blackthornbks @CaroRamsayBooks

Publisher : Black Thorn
Available in ebook, hardback, audio and paperback (7 May 2020)
352 pages


Inside a beautiful Victorian family home in Glasgow’s West End, a mother and her young son are found brutally murdered. DI Costello is furious and knows exactly who did it, George Haggerty, the husband and father. The only problem is that Haggerty has a cast-iron alibi – the police themselves caught him speeding on the A9 at the time of the murders. But Costello can’t let it go. Determined to expose Haggerty as a ruthless killer, she’s gone solo.

DCI Colin Anderson has no time to ponder his partner of twenty years going rogue, as his own cases are piling up. But Costello’s absence becomes increasingly worrying. Has she completely disappeared following the tracks of a dangerous man?

My thanks to Amber of Midas PR for the invitation to take part in the tour for The Sideman, published by Black Thorn Books (the crime imprint of Canongate). For my turn today, I have an extract for you.




Costello pulled her car up outside the Haggerty family home. The large house on Balcarres Avenue would always be that to her – the family home. Now it looked cold and dead in the bright winter sunshine, rays glinted off the ivy-covered slates giving a sparkle to the bricks of the red chimneys. She looked at the stained-glass window, the multi-coloured mosaic of Botticelli’s Primavera was just visible through the reaching branches of the monkey puzzle tree. Behind the tall wrought-iron gates the grass was verdant, the pebbles still raked into the neat furrows that had so impressed Archie Walker. On that day.

That dreadful day when she and Archie had walked up the path, Costello ignoring the sense of dread in her stomach.

The trees were tall and mature, even devoid of leaves they cast long spindly shadows over the wide road, old-fashioned, gently cambered. The kind of surface that leant itself to roller- skating, so Costello’s granny had once told her.

She turned the Fiat’s engine off, slipping down in the seat, thinking about another night she had parked in this very spot, that cold night she had seen Malcolm try to climb out the window above the porch, attempting to get away from his father. And Costello was convinced that was exactly what the boy was doing. Involuntarily, she picked up her mobile, looking at the blank screen. Malcolm had left her a message on her phone. A twelve year old wanting help from a detective to escape from a monster, to get away from his father. George Haggerty.

The bastard.

But she’d got the voicemail the following morning. When it was too late.

Six hours after he had summoned up enough courage to defy his father and call Costello, she and Archie had walked up this path, entered the family home and found Malcolm’s body, curled up on the beige carpet at the foot of his parent’s bed, Abigail Haggerty had her arms still wrapped round Malcolm, holding him close, giving her only son some solace as his short life slipped away.  No doubt her own last breath had swiftly followed.

That image was seared into Costello’s memory, Abigail and Malcolm, and the speckles and spatters of crimson blood on the mirrored wardrobe doors. She could recall the events up to that, walking into the house, opening the unlocked back door; the first warning sign. Then the music floating from above; ‘The Clapping Song’. The element of theatre. Then upstairs past the little tear-drop of blood on the magnolia wallpaper, the stain the killer thought he’d cleaned away. Then into Malcolm’s bedroom, too quiet. The Star Wars posters on the walls, the smooth R2D2 duvet cover decorated with a Celtic top, a pair of black leggings, two woollen socks, the trainers. They were arranged as if the child had been lying there, dressed and then spirited away, shedding his clothes and leaving them behind.


CARO RAMSAY is the Glaswegian author of the critically acclaimed Anderson and Costello series, the first of which, Absolution, was shortlisted for the CWA’s New Blood Dagger for best debut of the year. The ninth book in the series, The Suffering of Strangers, was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2018. This is the tenth book in the Anderson and Costello series.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Book Links:
Amazon UK | Waterstones


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