Monday, August 10, 2015

Cambridge Blue by Alison Bruce

First Line: Jackie Moran opened her eyes and stared up at the underside of her duvet-- pulling it over her head was the last thing she remembered doing the previous night.

Detective Constable Gary Goodhew is first on the scene when the body of Lorna Spence is found on Cambridge's Midsummer Common. He's the youngest and brightest detective at Parkside Station, and this is his first murder case. Everyone who knew Lorna said that she was well-liked, but the investigation seems to be faltering. When another murder occurs, Goodhew knows that--even at the risk of his job-- he's got to flush out the killer before the body count continues to rise.

I have to be honest and say that the major reason why I chose to read Cambridge Blue is because of the day I spent wandering the streets of that old city. It's a fascinating place, and I often felt as though I were in a completely different world. Alison Bruce certainly does not disappoint with her setting; I felt myself back on those streets once again, but this time with a very unusual police officer.

Young Gary Goodhew isn't into casual relationships. He simply cannot separate the physical from the emotional. His best friend is his grandmother. He's also something of a lone wolf-- a young man who's a police detective by day and then seemingly behaves like some sort of nocturnal super hero when he's off duty. He's a character who simultaneously threw me off balance and captured my attention. I just had to know how different he really is.

Many things that Goodhew does are not by the book. Fortunately for him Detective Inspector Marks sees his potential and is willing to cut the young man some slack. However, as the investigation continues, Goodhew begins to take advantage of Marks, and the inspector has to draw the line. There's a very interesting dynamic between Goodhew and Marks as well as the other police officers he works with.

The mystery is complex and makes for compelling reading-- even though I guessed the identity of the killer rather early on. It seems as though all the victims and suspects have hidden agendas, and that's what made the mystery for me: trying to piece together "what" and "how."

With a Cambridge setting, a complex mystery, and the unconventional Gary Goodhew as the main character, Cambridge Blue is a very good read. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.

Cambridge Blue by Alison Bruce
ISBN: 9781849012645
Constable Robinson © 2008
Paperback, 298 pages

Police Procedural, #1 DC Gary Goodhew mystery
Rating: A
Source: Paperback Swap


  1. I've read books, too, Cathy, because I was in (or going to be in) a particular place. Sometimes a place has that effect, and I can certainly see how Cambridge would. Glad you enjoyed this so well.

    1. I'm certainly glad I read it for its setting because now I have a new and intriguing character to continue with!

  2. I think I've had this one on my Kindle for quite a while. Wonder where I first read about it? Anyway, since I haven't read it yet, I should. You've intrigued me with your Gary Goodhew description. :-)

    1. He's certainly not run-of-the-mill!


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