The Promise by Alison Bruce – 4*s

The Promise


In a single night, Kyle Davidson’s life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk.

His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Davidson has a choice to make.

Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation – but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn.

Suddenly the Cambridge back streets hold deadly secrets for Goodhew and the only person who has the answers is planning one final, desperate act.


A welcome return to DC Gary Goodhew in more ways than one. Not only is this number 6 in an excellent series, but when we left DC Goodhew at the end of Book 5, his future was in the balance. Goodhew’s return to work is being encouraged by his colleague Sue Gulley, but it is the murder of his “friend” and informer Ratty that is the catalyst.

Ratty’s murder as it turns out, is not the random attack it first appears but one of a series that draws Gary back into an enquiry that is anything but routine. Along side the mounting body count we have the story of Kyle Davidson, whose involvement in the unfolding investigation is unclear, his innocence or guilt being masked by his growing paranoia.

Without giving any spoilers, there is also a back story involving Gary’s grandfather that is known to several of his colleagues but of which he is totally unaware. His colleague and friend Sue wants to tell him, but doing so would have a major impact on his working and family relationships.

As ever this is a good solid police procedural, with the internecine relationship between Goodhew and his disgruntled colleague Kincaide adding extra drama. The imminent retirement of their “boss” DI Marks adds an additional element of distrust to their working relationship. To anyone who is new to this series, this could be read as a standalone, but it does draw on past incidents. I also feel it is easier to understand Gary as a character and his idiosyncratic way of working if you’ve read the previous books as with each book, you feel you are getting to know Gary a little bit more.

The plot gradually ramps up and keeps you engaged until the end, though I had my suspicions as to who was guilty before the reveal, there are other themes to be resolved that still keep you reading. As it happens it has an ending that hints at more to come and I’m hoping that is the case.

I received a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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