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Why Say You Sell ‘Back To School’ Shoes, When You Only Sell Adult Shoes, Mr Shoes?

Posted on 7th September 2012 in bad service/ cambridge/ school


We had a long and frustrating trip around Cambridge searching for boys school shoes, casual shoes and PE trainers.

We were seeking size 4 and size 6. I had expected the size 6 ones to pose a problem as, although they were for my 11 year old, it is right on the brink of being an adult size. As it turns out though I was wrong; we quickly found what we needed in a 6.

The size 4, I guess being a more popular size, proved harder to find.

After we’d exhausted the Grafton centre we made our way towards the main town. On route we passed Mr Shoes who had a poster in their window advertising Back To School shoes, so we went inside.

We looked around but couldn’t see any childrens’ shoes at all, let alone school ones. Thinking that we were being dim, we apologetically asked a rather bored assistant where they were.

“We don’t sell kids shoes.” She said.

“You’ve got a poster in your window saying that you do?” We said. She repeated again that they don’t.

“Sorry to be such an obvious pain,” I said “but why would you have a sign in your window saying you sell them when you don’t?”

She sighed, annoyance and boredom only too evident. “Head Office say we have to.” She made to move away.

“But it isn’t true and you know it isn’t true.” I said. “You’ve wasted my time, my families time and your time; it’s ridiculous, why don’t you take it down?”

“Head Office say we can’t.”

So, Mr Shoes Head Office, what do you have to say about this?

The Silence by Alison Bruce #BookReview

Posted on 4th September 2012 in #bookreview/ alison bruce/ cambridge/ Crime Fiction


by Alison Bruce

I have so looked forward to this book!

I even queued for it during the launch at Heffer’s in Cambridge where I finally got to meet the lovely @Alison_Bruce in person :)

The official blurb: Joey McCarthy is stabbed to death in a pub car park in a random act of violence. Shortly afterwards Charlotte Stone’s terminally ill mother dies and then, within weeks, two of her teenage friends commit suicide. With her home life disintegrating and both her father and brother racing towards self-destruction Charlotte realises that her own personal nightmare may not be over yet.

When DC Gary Goodhew finds the body of another suicide victim he is forced to recall some deeply buried memories of an earlier death; memories which lead him to Charlotte Stone and the events in her life.

From their individual points of view they both begin to wonder whether all these tragedies are somehow linked to a bigger picture.

And if they are right, then who will be the next victim?

After reading only a few pages of The Silence I remarked to my partner that this was “her [Alison Bruce’s] best book yet!”. I’ve been hooked on this series since book one but it seemed to me that in this book Alison’s writing has taken on new a depth; it seems more confident, more accomplished and the book seemed (to me) to move at a different pace to its predecessors. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on the pace and direction, hold on tight as half-way through it seems to go up a gear and bursts forward shifting the whole focus of the story and racing towards its conclusion.

It offers a more complex plot than the previous books and immediately draws you in to the story which then leads you down more dark alleys and dead ends than a maize maze… Ok so that’s not the best analogy in the world but you get the idea 😉

I thought Goodhew seemed a more sensitive soul in this book and his memories of an earlier car crash showed us a new side to him and helped (in my head at least) to further define his enigmatic but oh so likable personality.

There were a couple of things in the book which I felt were ‘left hanging': DI Marks was very thoughtful and brooding throughout the book and although a brief explanation was proffered, it felt to me as though there was more to it; also, I was expecting fireworks between Goodhew and (the deeply unpleasant) Kincaide especially after Kincaide sinks to a new low with his malicious lies but Goodhew seemed to let it go. I wonder if both of these are being saved up for the next book?

The Silence very quickly had me hooked and, as usual, attempting to guess the outcome! I thought it was very clever the way the story constantly seemed to circle the central characters from the student house and I enjoyed the dynamics and differing personalities within the group. Except for Oslo, one word, ewwww!

I thoroughly enjoyed The Silence and can’t wait for book 5!

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