Friday 4 December 2009

My Dad Reviews...Singing To The Dead - Caro Ramsay

Just a reminder of my Dad's tastes:

DISLIKES: romance, books that have too much swearing in (I guess that's my Dad not going to read my next book either, then - I thought it was just my Mum I had to keep away from it). Also doesn't like horror, and books with vampires, pterodactyls and the living dead in them. Also, something called an ungoliant. No, I have no idea either - I think my Dad has been at the sherry.

: thrillers, spy novels, war stories and books with elves in (the elves can swear their little heads off as far as he's concerned). Oh, and maps. He bloody loves maps. If you ever meet him, for goodness' sake don't ask him for directions. Not even to the bathroom.

PREFERS: Philip Marlowe to Miss Marple, Inspector Morse to Homicide.

Publisher: Penguin
Published: May 2009
First Lines: Detective Inspector Colin Anderson held a handkerchief to his nose, trying not to breathe, his eyes watering in the acrid smoke, and looked at the remains of the ground floor flat, 34 Lower Holburn Street.

This is an extremely well written story.It is mainly about two boys who go missing on the streets of Partick, just west of Glasgow city centre. The police, who are the remains of Alan McAlpine's team, (you can read about them, and what happens to Alan in Caro's book Absolution) so it is like old friends time. There are two new members of the team, DCI Rebecca Quinn who appears as a hard nosed *****(another name for a female dog) and DS Katherine Lewis who tries to charm everybody and doesn't quite make it - she even got up my nose. *

The story is quite involved and features two storylines, the second being a poisoner using a form of cyanide ( I say a form of cyanide as it was different to the one I used to test in the toolroom, which appeared to be more deadly**).

During the investigations many other characters are introduced and the son of one of the policemen also disappears, feared to be kidnapped by the same perp(s)***.

The reasons for the kidnappings are woven into the story. Whilst it is fairly easy to work out who did it, it is not easy to work out why. It is the same with the poisonings, even though the twist at the end came as a bit of a surprise. This was a very well written story, the characters developing as the tale progressed, most of them likeable.

Notes from me:

* Even I don't do that very often
** A note to the police - I had no idea that I am Dr Crippen's daughter.
*** Sometimes I think my dad watches too much CSI


  1. Calumny, my lady Donna, calumny, calumny, all is calumny!! How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless blogger!! Whilst you sojourned among minstrels and balladeers, a certain Bernadette did call you "a slightly peculiar woman"!!! So did she sink her fang, like Nosferatu in the bit where he tooths all the chockies and then scoffs down the soft centres. I stand on guard for thee in just such a crisis, Lady Donna. Do but speak and I shall give her the glove upside the noggin and the choice of weapon.

  2. Well, in all fairness, Sir Philip, she is quite correct... :o)But have no fear, I have you down as being willing to enter the lists on my behalf, for which, I thank you sirrah.

  3. I didn't say she was wrong, now did I? I just said she said it. Chivalry is like the English laws of libel and slander, you know -- truth has got nowt to do with it.

  4. Philip - YOU'RE saying I'm slightly peculiar TOO?????????????? Is this a whole nest of vipers in my bosom? :o)

  5. I have no idea what's in your bosom, dear Lady Donna, but I did not say you're slightly peculiar, did I? Noooo, I did not. Bernadette said you're slightly peculiar,and you said you're slightly peculiar, but all I said was that she said you're slightly peculiar. It is not for me to disagree with two ladies of such easy, I mean easily proven virtue, I cannot naysay either or both, but your rep has still been dissed, babe, so I think Bernadette and I have to have a rumble.

  6. LOL Philip - you suddenly went from Le Morte D'Arthur to West Side Story :o)