MYSTERY

On an Outgoing Tide

Severn House. (Anderson & Costello Mystery, Bk. 12). Apr. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780727890757. $28.99. M
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When the body of 23-year-old medical student Aasha Ariti is found in the Firth of Clyde, it’s just the first in a string of investigations for Glasgow-based Detective Inspector Colin Anderson and Detective Sergeant Winifred “Freddie” Costello. Just as they’re getting started on the case, they’re sent to Invernock, where a neighbor has found 81-year-old pensioner Jimmy Pearcey tortured to death in his home. Both cases grab attention in Scotland. Speculations arise that Ariti’s murder was racially motivated and that Pearcey was a pedophile. Anderson and Costello keep in touch with colleagues on the first case while trying to find who is stirring up people on social media about the second case. Pearcey’s murder has unusual connections to three men who were involved in a tragic murder 40 years ago. Even while they work the case, the two officers deal with personal issues. Anderson’s wife is caught up in a con man’s sting, and Costello, after finding an elderly neighbor bleeding, is accused of theft.
VERDICT The multiple cases and personal story lines in this well-written police procedural will only be appreciated if someone has read the series. There’s a great deal of backstory in this follow-up to Red, Red Snow, too much for new readers.

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