Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alison Bruce/CAMBRIDGE BLUE


At 25, overachiever Gary Goodhew is the youngest guy to have made Detective in the history of the Cambridge (UK) police force, so it's not surprising that some of the other cops have trouble working with him. He has the chance to prove himself when the body of a woman nobody liked is discovered in a trash heap. It's not very long before the first body is linked to another, and soon the situation becomes unusually convoluted with liars, grudges, and secrets. Will Gary be able to get to the bottom of it?

I really enjoyed the chattiness of the narrative. Gary Goodhew isn't a hard-drinking, bitter, scarred detective, fossilized by long exposure to the criminal underworld. He's a young guy who likes to talk to people--constantly sympathizing with them and trying to give them a hand based on gut intuition instead of evidence. I also appreciated Bruce's pacing--without hampering the narrative, she builds in an appealing sense of the British "village" into the story and how everyone interacts. I found this thriller much more readable because it wasn't simply plotplotplot, and because the detective wasn't emotionally distant. And although the ending was a little convoluted--I'm not entirely sure I know who killed whom or why, yet somehow that all seems secondary--I would certainly read another book in this series if one were published.

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