Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Siren – Alison Bruce

Crime Fiction 3*s
Crime Fiction

Set in Cambridge this is the second book in the series that features the young DC Gary Goodhew who along with the team are under pressure when an arson attack is seemingly linked to a child abduction.

It is a long time since I read Cambridge Blue, the first in this series but powerful enough for me to remember the complex crime that showcased Alison Bruce’s accomplished writing with a good plot backed up with a detective in a newer mould than many we meet in police procedurals. The Siren is no different except that perhaps the why was somewhat elusive somewhat spoiling the many strands reaching back into the past that got us there.

We first meet Kimberly Guyver with her friend Rachel Golinski plotting her getaway following the discovery of a body of a man in Spain. Both women know that the trail will lead back to them and Kimberly has no choice but to leave Cambridge if she is to protect her young son .Riley. Within hours Rachel’s house is set alight and Riley is missing. Kimberly has problems with authority, we glean why from the parts of the book that detail her background but she grows to trust the young detective Gary Goodhew. As in the first book our detective is apt to follow leads without keeping his boss DI Marks in the loop. In common with many police procedurals there is a smattering of politics this after all is a team and not one man solving a crime by himself, and through these exchanges I found Goodhew is developing as a far more rounded character as are some of his team, which include the obligatory self-serving detective, in this case, Kincaid. Kincaid and Goodhew are reluctant partners being as they are polar opposites with Goodhew’s main motivation in life being to solve the crimes whilst being a bit of a failure in his personal life while Kincaid wants to further himself, relishing the failures in others but seemingly having no problems tempting the women around him.

I am glad I read Cambridge Blue first and really although I really enjoyed the writing in The Siren which is steadily placed and entertaining, unfortunately. I wasn’t as gripped by this one. I need to understand the motivation of the main characters particularly the perpetrator and while the clues fitted I didn’t feel that there was enough justification for the crimes committed. I also had a few problems with Kimberly, although I knew a lot about her, we were left to assume why she took some of the decisions she did on fairly unsubstantiated grounds – I know I often complain about being spoon-fed information in books but this one just went a little too far in the other direction.

The pacing which started on the slow side, this isn’t a book to open and expect wall-to-wall action, which is fine by me, steadily picked up and the tension was high as the search for reached crisis point, with some outstandingly good writing which really gave a sense of the emotions of everyone involved.

Not an outstanding all-round read but a book with sufficient good points for me to look forward to another in the series.


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

8 thoughts on “The Siren – Alison Bruce

  1. I knew I had Cambridge Blue, but I don’t have The Siren. I do however have The Calling which is the third in the series. It’s good to know Cambridge Blue is worth a read – something must’ve appealed in the blurb! It was possibly a Kindle Daily Deal (the amount of books on my Kindle is scary. I think I’m frightened I’m going to get stuck in an airport or something for six months, and’ll need lots of reading material!) Thankfully, most of them were 99p jobs, bought over the four years I’ve had this (she says, justifying them!) I hate the bit on your account page that says, “You have had 67 transactions in the last six months.” That was when I thought I was restrained! I’m buying nothing til March 31st except the odd 50p charity shop book – and I’ll drop some piles off too!


  2. I like this series, although possibly The Siren was my least favourite of the ones I’ve read so far (I think I’ve read all bar one, the fifth). I really enjoy Gary’s interactions with his grandmother.


  3. I’m with you, Cleo. To me, it’s important to really understand the characters and their motivations if you’re going to be really drawn into a book. I’m sorry to hear that didn’t quite happen here. Still, this does sound like an interesting plot line.


  4. Hmmm…well, I think I said on another post that I have the first book in the series. That’s the only one that I own. I’ll likely get to it at some point. And am keeping this series in mind. I really love a good series and am continually adding to my mental list of ones to try.


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