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Cambridge Blue (DC Goodhew Book 1) by [Bruce, Alison]
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Cambridge Blue (DC Goodhew Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Length: 308 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


Menacing and insidious, this is a great novel. (R J Ellory)

An exciting debut from a very promising new talent. (Paul Johnson)

A fast-paced gritty tale guaranteed to have you hooked from beginning to end. (Cambridgeshire Pride)

Meaty and deeply plotted. (Morning Star)

DC Gary Goodhew could just develop into a worthy succesor to those venerables of the police procedural now drawing their pensions. (Tribune)

A gripping tale of murder and mystery. (Cambridge Style)

Book Description

A stunning debut crime novel from an exciting new voice in British crime.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 921 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849012644
  • Publisher: C & R Crime (22 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003U2TDIK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In spite of some good things about this book, I found it rather hard going. It has a decent plot (although I found the denouement very muddled) and at times Alison Bruce writes very well - I thought the post-mortem scene was excellently done, for example - and she generates a good sense of Cambridge, but stilted language too often made both narrative and dialogue feel rather forced to me.

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. He even has cool taste in music. And just in case we haven't grasped the point, we get an anti-Gary against whom he can shine; a colleague who is vain, arrogant, bigoted, faithless, careless...and so on.

The author's infatuation with her creation means that he is allowed to get away with frankly ridiculous behaviour. He constantly acts unprofessionally and sometimes illegally, but (of course) unearths vital clues which skilled and experienced teams of experts have missed. His DI takes him off the case (of course), but within a couple of hours he is reinstated and, although he is exceptionally young and totally inexperienced, the same DI immediately entrusts him with conducting the interviews with the prime suspects in a high-profile murder case on his own. There's rather a lot of this sort of thing and I'm afraid I ended up finding it absurd, irritating and very distracting.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Gary Goodhew is only 25 and the youngest detective in Cambridge. When he discovers a murdered girl he is given the chance to take a lead role in a high-profile murder case, but his maverick abilities cause him to clash with his boss; he and his partner dislike each other, and he knew one of the suspects at school. The case of Lorna Spense uncovers dark secrets in the Cambridge community and touches on more than a few secrets in Gary's own private life.

This is a page-turner of a novel that introduces an attractive young detective working the residential, rather than the collegial, side of Cambridge. Sex is placed right at the centre of the book, with erotic entanglements central to both the suspects and the police.

I liked much of the book: the pace, the tension, the sense of suspense, and certainly found myself unable to put it down - but there are some niggles, too, which become much bigger at the end (no spoilers following).

Some of the plot points seem very odd and unbelievable - e.g. the `anonymous' letters. And there are various threads that are started up at the beginning but which never really go anywhere (the conversations between Victoria and Lorna at the start, the revelations about Lorna's sexual fantasies). But the major issue which had this book dropping a star is the ending: the sudden flurry of revelations certainly keep us breathless but once you close the book and think about them, they cease to make much sense. So I was left wondering not who was responsible for the murders - but why?

So this is a great switch-your-brain-off relaxing read, exciting and fast-paced - but it actually doesn't stand up to much post-read analysis.
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By Moonlit VINE VOICE on 29 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first in what I assume is a series featuring a young, brilliant detective, Gary Goodhew, who is based in Cambridge. There are a number of significant positives about this book, the main one being the character of Gary Goodhew. Goodhew with his first in maths from Cambridge is rather a refreshing protagonist for a detective series as he doesn't seem terribly tortured, doesn't have a terrible home life, is only in his twenties and appears to be free from cynicism (unlike his colleague Kincaide). I very much enjoyed reading about him and would read the next in the series to see how his character develops and to find out more about him and why his best friend is his grandmother. He seems a thoroughly decent person and I liked this aspect of the book very much. But the plot in this novel is a bit all over the place especially at the end. The denouement is done entirely through speech which makes it quite frustrating to read (and a little boring). I found it very confusing and it didn't entirely seem to tie up with what went before. There are moments throughout where without warning the viewpoint flashes from one character to another and this too is confusing. It strikes me that this along with a few typos should have been picked up during editing. However as I say, Alison Bruce has created a memorable character in her young detective and this book is worth taking a look at.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this after hearing an interview with the author on our local Cambridge radio station. As a lover of crime fiction this seemed brilliant as I know Cambridge well. Goodhew is a great detective and to have an insight into his home life alongside the crime story made him even more interesting. A good plot with a twist at the end too. I have now bought the follow up to see what happens with Goodhew's career with his boss breathing down his neck and a colleague who really doesn't like him. Good read
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