The Calling is the third in the DC Goodhew series, and was published earlier this year by Constable & Robinson. Although The Calling could be read as a stand-alone story, I would certainly recommend that the first two of the series; Cambridge Blue and The Siren are read first. The first two books give the reader a little insight into the enigmatic lead character DC Gary Goodhew.
I have been really impressed by this series so far. Alison Bruce has created a lead detective who is something of a mystery, to the reader and to his colleagues at the station. Goodhew is a bit of a maverick, with a determination that often rubs people up the wrong way, I also sense a little bit of vulnerability about him, a teensy lack of self-confidence that peeps through when he gets something right and is rewarded by praise from his superiors.
The plot line of The Calling is complex, fast-paced and introduces a host of characters. There is an air of menace and a touch of madness running throughout the book in the form of the lead female character Marlowe. The reader is never quite sure whether she can be trusted to tell the truth, and whether her determination to name her ex-boyfriend as a murderer is based on fact, or is a result of her anger and jealousy. Alison Bruce does not hold back in her writing, there are scenes that are quite explicitly sexual, and others that are impossibly cruel, but this only adds to the tension and build up to the very fine, and unexpected ending.
Goodhew's colleagues; WPC Sue Gully and DC Kincade both feature heavily in the story, and both characters have been developed well, with lots of scope for more stories involving these two in the future.
Alison Bruce has proved that she is up there with the finest of crime authors and has created a series and a lead character that is going from strength to strength.