A masterly pair of Glasgow sleuths tackle two cases that become one.
DI Costello is trying to get over the sting of a case in which she was unfairly blamed for the missteps of others. Her former partner, DCI Colin Anderson, is stuck reviewing cold cases. Costello gets called out when a desperate mother whose child never stops crying returns from a quick run into a store to find her car with little Sholto inside stolen. The car is soon found, but Sholto has been replaced by a boy with Down syndrome. When the woman whose old rape case Anderson was looking into dies, the powers that be ask Anderson to see if he can convince his old college girlfriend Sally Logan, another victim of an unsolved rape, to go on television and appeal for people to speak out about victims of violent and sexual crime. Costello and social worker Deliana Despande, digging into Sholto’s disappearance, learn to their surprise that quite a few babies have recently vanished, leaving their mothers to get on with their lives—all except for Orla Sheridan, whose dead body is found in a lake. The last time Orla was recorded on CCTV was in a narrow alley near the building where Anderson's old friend Sally and her husband, Dr. Andrew Braithwaite, have their businesses. There seems to be nowhere she and a pregnant woman also caught on video could have gone. Anderson renews his friendship with Sally and Andrew while Costello and her team do everything possible to discover what happened to Orla. Old lovers, cold cases, and mistakes that cast long shadows all play a part in cases so complex that solving any one of them leaves a great deal still to be discovered.
As usual, Ramsay (Standing Still, 2017, etc.) provides enough creepy characters and weird doings to give her two protagonists fits and produce one of the strangest procedurals of the year.