cover image In Her Blood

In Her Blood

Caro Ramsay. Severn House, $31.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0676-3

Ramsay’s gripping second case for DCI Christine Caplan (after 2022’s The Devil Stone) finds the Glaswegian investigator finishing up her three-month assignment in the small Highland village of Cronchie. Well aware of the strains her absence has put on her marriage, Caplan is eager to return home, but her departure is interrupted by a phone call: the body of a man has been pulled from the icy waters below Connel Bridge. At first, the death is ruled a suicide, but when evidence emerges that the man was stabbed before he drowned, Caplan must track down “Britain’s Most Evil Woman,” an 18-year-old who’s just been released from a residential center for disturbed children, where she’s been ever since rumors emerged that she killed her younger sister. Angry vigilantes, convinced the timing of the teen’s release means she’s responsible for this latest killing, have attacked her home, sending her on the run, and it’s up to Caplan to find the girl and determine whether she’s the monster everyone suspects. Ramsay has created a fascinating character in Caplan, who wrestles to an uncommon degree with the far-reaching consequences of her actions as an investigator. Brisk pacing and occasional flashes of sly wit (“If Ted Maxwell had been adhering to the librarian dress code, then Karl Rolland had more of an interior designer vibe,” Caplan quips about a pair of sources) bolster this solid thriller. Agent: Maddalena Cavaciuti, David Higham Assoc. (Aug.)