No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013/28: The Silence -- Alison Bruce

The word 'murder' sounds so extreme that I hesitated before using it. Could that really have happened? I sat on the fence a bit with my reply: 'Someone made it happen,' I said.
'Someone made them kill themselves?'
... 'Someone killed them.' [loc.1531]

Another in Alison Bruce's DC Goodhew series, set in Cambridge. Opening with an apparently-random murder in the car park of the Carlton Arms, the story picks up some years later, and is told from multiple viewpoints. Libby is an A-level student, writing long emails to a Facebook friend in which she tries to make sense of the suicides of her older siblings; her best friend Matt still blames his father for his mother's death from cancer; Matt's older sister Charlotte has adopted the role of the sensible housewife. Then one of Libby and Matt's housemates, American student Shanie, apparently commits suicide, and the police are brought in. Gary Goodhew quickly decides that there's something odd about Shanie's death. None of the other occupants of the house on King Street are telling the whole truth, including Libby and Matt. And without knowing the truth, how can anyone predict whether there'll be another death?

I have a couple of minor quibbles: a key plot item is not named until Goodhew figures it out; a typo in the name of Libby's childhood home obfuscates a clue. But I really liked the pacing, the connections that gradually became clear, the sense of a group of people who've grown up together and share secrets. Good local colour, and some interesting insights on Goodhew, Kincaide and Gully.



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