Miles's Reviews > The Calling

The Calling by Alison Bruce
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's review
Aug 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviews
Read in July, 2011

The icy rain sprayed across the lake in shards of sharp splinters. Kaye’s skin smarted and dribbles of water slid inside her clothes. She was gagged and bound. And the only person who knew where to find her wasn’t coming back…

Fifty miles away in Cambridge town centre a deeply disturbed young woman is standing by a payphone. She knows she often feels compelled to do harmful things and is driven by a desire to make a call.

DC Gary Goodhew is one of the detectives assigned to find Kaye and when her body is discovered the only clue to the potential murderer is a woman’s voice on his answerphone saying, ‘Kaye isn’t the first and won’t be the last…’

The Calling – Alison Bruce’s third novel in the Gary Goodhew series – is another barnstormer of a novel and for me it marks a significant shift from the first two in the series (Cambridge Blue and The Siren). The Calling is a highly complex novel and includes a multi layered plot that moves in so many gratifying directions without once, seemingly, coming up for air.

The narrative flows unhindered and is without question of a more mature and adult nature this time around. Gone are the 50’s Cambridge vibes I found so endearing in Cambridge Blue, innocence lost, Bruce has really stepped up this time around with a deeper and more thought provoking novel.

Having said that, I didn’t think the beginning – for me at least – was as strong as her previous books (the opening to The Siren will be hard to beat) but by the time Bruce had re-introduced Gary Goodhew into the equation it was as if I’d opened the front door to a long lost friend and I was firmly ensconced in my comfort zone.

Characterisation is once again at the forefront of Bruce’s novels and with the introduction of numerous key “bit” players and the growth of the regular cast members it has allowed the story to grow – seamlessly moving off on multiple tangents - yet at the same time relying on Goodhew to keep the book on the right track. Goodhew is a wonderful protagonist for Bruce and she has steadily introduced subtle changes to his character throughout the course of the three books and as a reader you can’t ask for much more.

Full review on my blog:-

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