The Promise (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #6) 

by Alison Bruce

I was given the opportunity to Review the Promise, the newest Goodhew Novel by Alison Bruce. This being my first Goodhew novel, I must first say that I did not feel left out or disoriented by the fact that I did not read any other of Goodhew novels, so this will do perfectly as a standalone novel as well.

I enjoyed “the Promise” – it is a good thriller, and Bruce’s writing is flowing and interesting.
First the plot: DC Gary Goodhew returns to Cambridge police force after a body of a homeless person that acted as his informant for years, had been found on market hill. Aided by Sue Gully, Gary feels that this murder is part of a larger, more sinister work, and being the station’s “trouble maker” pursues this line of inquiry in spite of his superior’s instructions.
Meanwhile we meet Kyle, an injured ex GI, who came back from Afghanistan only to have his life shuttered: he split with his girlfriend, he can’t see his son, and something have made him lay low and keep clear from his Mom and sister. It appears that Kyle has come across something as well, and without telling the police, manages to get his family tangled right in the middle of this mess…
As I said I enjoyed the book, and was actually holding my breath to find the details of the crime mystery as they turn out in the end. Having said that the book does not lack its problems: Bruce takes her time to set the scene, the introduction is messy at best, and I actually needed to go back and reread the first 3 chapters to fit them in the story. Not what you would want from a detective mystery in which the introduction needs to draw you into the entrails of the plot.

I was also a bit disappointed from the climax of the story, without revealing any details, I had the notion that things got “wrapped up” a bit too fast, and since at some point the story was so gripping I expected a bit more. I am aware that Bruce is not your typical boom-bang-shots kind of author, still there was room to make the ending a bit longer, I felt, with slightly more suspense…
At the end of the day, the Promise is a very thrilling novel. The story itself is well placed, and makes you wonder how the author came out with such a plot! I enjoyed the book profoundly, though as I said the beginning and the end could have used some brushing up. 4.5 stars.