24 June 2021

review: THE BABY-SNATCHER, Ann Cleeves

  •  this edition an e-book made available through my local library on Libby
  • Originally published 1997
  • #6 in the Inspector Ramsay series
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Bello (May 9, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 635 KB
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 240 pages

Synopsis (Amazon)

When fifteen-year-old Marilyn Howe turns up alone and frightened on Inspector Ramsay's doorstep he has little choice but to invite her in. 

Marilyn and her mother, Kathleen, are a familiar sight around Heppleburn, a strangely inseparable couple. But Kathleen has unaccountably failed to return home that evening, and Marilyn is fearful for her mother's safety. Ramsay takes the young girl home, to the isolated coastal community known as the Headland. And in the Howes' dark and cluttered kitchen they find Kathleen safe and apparently well, though acting rather mysteriously. 

Six months later, Ramsay has more or less forgotten the strange incident, busy as he is on the trail of a local child abductor. Until he receives news that Mrs Howe has disappeared once more. And for the second time he is drawn into the strange relationships of the families living on the lonely Headland. Then a woman's body is washed up on the beach . 

My Take

I've rather reluctantly come to the end of this series which I thoroughly recommend. I also recommend reading them in the order of publication. They have all recently be re-published as e-books.

The final solution in this particular novel caught me by surprise, so perhaps there weren't enough clues as to the identity of the murderer. There are some fascinatingly dysfunctional characters.

I've enjoyed watching the development of the character of Stephen Ramsay and the increasingly complex plots. From here the author went on to develop the character of Vera Stanhope.

My rating: 4.6. 

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