12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Gideon and Sirius Triumph,
This review is from: Burning Man (A Gideon and Sirius Novel) (Paperback)
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Police procedurals are rather an overcrowded genre and the author sets himself something of a difficult task in making his offering stand out at all from the crowd. Here we have a damaged detective, which is something of a literary cliché in itself. He is doubly damaged in that not only has he has lost his wife but he has also been badly burned in a fire whilst chasing a serial killer - this is described in the rather lengthy prologue. However, the author does a good job in letting the reader get under Michael Gideon's skin and we come to understand his hopes and fears rather well as well as getting to know his rather appealing canine sidekick, Sirius.
There are a number of different elements bubbling away in this story. The headline plot is the investigation of the murder of a young man, whose body has been found crucified in a local park, but there is a subplot of an abandoned baby, which resonates with Gideon who was, himself, abandoned under similar circumstances. We have more than a hint of romance as Gideon is clearly attracted to Lisbet who he has met in the course of his work. Gideon comes across as intelligent and persevering, but also with a compassionate side and not someone who, as the book says, would blindly follow the letter but not the spirit of the law. There is also an interesting cast of supporting characters of whom I thought Seth, his shaman friend and neighbour, really stood out.
This is a tale which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is well written, evenly paced and does not lag at any stage. This is an author who knows his craft well. The plot is interesting and there is enough there to keep the reader absorbed without making it all so complex as to overcomplicate things. If Alan Russell chooses to write further stories about Gideon, I would think that his hero is sufficiently distinctive and memorable for there to be plenty of mileage in the character. Highly recommended