I searched high and low for this book after being completely blown away by Cambridge Blue. I wanted to read more about Gary Goodhew, as with all great characters, I missed him!
In The Siren I found a Gary Goodhew who seemed a bit more comfortable in his own skin and in his role within the police force. He seemed to have gained more trust and respect from his senior officer and at least some of the team. The ever unlikable Kincaide is also back with his snide comments general air of slime bucket; personally I think I would’ve liked to have seen Kincaide become even more vile in this book and play up the part of the villain thus creating more of an element of risk.
The storyline, as I have come to expect from Alison Bruce, is innovative, it’s different, it doesn’t follow your standard crime by numbers style of book writing and I enjoy her books all the more for that spark of diversity which sets her apart from other writers.
I had to laugh when I read a review of Cambridge Blue on Amazon, it said something like “My biggest problem with the book, though, was that I found the character of the main protagonist, DC Gary Goodhew, increasingly implausible. I suspect that Ms Bruce is more than half in love with her creation – she makes him attractive but unaware of it, fabulously empathetic and non-sexist, far more intelligent and intuitive than any of his colleagues, and so bursting with integrity and the desire to do good that it’s a wonder it doesn’t give him a nose bleed….The author’s infatuation with her creation means that he is allowed to get away with frankly ridiculous behaviour.”
HA! I bet you that review was written by a man!
Goodhew is all of the things that he has said but they are also all the things that make him so likeable, so engaging and so readable! It is caring about Goodhew that makes the books work so well in my opinion. I sort of want him to have a love interest (and I can smell one coming in the next book!) but I sort of don’t too.
One teeny negative for this book, if I may, not enough of his grandma. I loved her character in Cambridge Blue and she only makes a fleeting visit or two to the pages of The Siren.
Being a resident of Cambridgeshire I just love being able to picture places that are mentioned, I’ve walked across Parker’s Piece for example and shopped in the Grafton Centre. And, having just googled it like a complete saddo, I now know that The Cambridge Blue is a real bar!
Learn more about Alison Bruce in this interview.