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Sunday 8 January 2017

‘The Promise’ by Alison Bruce

Published by Constable,
11 August 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-1227-9

This is book six, in this police procedural series. All are set in the buzzing, university town of Cambridge, and feature DI Gary Goodhew, and his sidekick Sue Scully.

At the beginning of this story, Goodhew is off work, recovering from the ordeal of his last case.
His colleague Sue Scully is at the station sorting out very old files, where she comes across the unsolved case of Goodhew’s grandfather. This was a murder investigation. The man hadn’t, as Goodhew believed, died of a heart attack. The killer was never found and brought to justice. This was, I felt, a good start to a story, especially to any reader who hadn’t read any previous books in this series.  Immediately the leading characters become people whose own lives we are involved in and want to know more about.

Then, a homeless man is found brutally murdered- a man who DI Goodhew knew well. Goodhew decides to come back and join the case.

Now the picturesque town of Cambridge takes us to into its inner dark and dangerous night streets, where Goodhew discovers a lock-up which housed the body of a woman, reported missing but who was never found. And the lock-up belonged to the homeless man.

Bruce has created an exciting plot, full of twists and turns. She is a good story teller with a gift for getting inside her readers head and keeping them wanting to turn pages. She also writes strong emotion, emotion that she controls as she builds the story to its climax. Like her previous books this is well-paced, and a well-plotted story, and I hope there are many more to come in this series.
Reviewer: Linda Regan

Alison Bruce  was born in Croydon and grew up in Wiltshire. She has worked in all kinds of jobs, from admin to electro-plating and from DJ-ing to IT management. She didn't always plan to become a full time novelist but can't remember a time in her adult life when she wasn't carrying a notebook and pen and jotting down ideas. One day an idea grabbed her so strongly that she decided to tackle a full length novel.  Alison had moved to the Cambridge area in 1998 and decided to make it the backdrop for the books because of its unique mix of characteristics. It is a relatively small city but has a worldwide reputation for education and science. On its doorstep lie tiny and relatively primitive rural hamlets yet it has an airport and fast rail links into London. It is traditionally English but multi-ethnic, vastly wealthy in places but under privileged in others. Alison Bruce has also written two non-fiction books, Cambridgeshire Murders and The Billington, Victorian Executioner, both published by the History Press.

Linda Regan is the author of six police procedural crime novels. She is also an actress. She holds a Masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader, and welcomes the chance to read new writers

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