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The Calling

A Gary Goodhew Mystery by Alison Bruce

The Calling by Alison Bruce

Review: When a young woman fails to show up at her grandmother's 80th birthday party, her disappearance leads to a strange case in which the police find themselves being blackmailed by an unknown caller in The Calling, the third mystery in this series by Alison Bruce.

It started as a routine missing persons case on a Saturday involving a woman named Kaye Whiting. But then a mysterious caller, whispering to hide their gender, calls the Cambridge police to say that the killing would stop if they arrested one Peter Walsh, who is responsible for the crime. "And if you are really quick you just may save Kaye Whiting." They quickly locate Walsh, but he has no prior record and for all intents and purposes seems like an average, law-abiding citizen. Then on Wednesday, the body of Kaye is found, the coroner determining that she had been dead only 18 hours or so. That means she was murdered after Walsh was located but no action taken against him by the police. Is Kaye the first "killing" referenced by the mysterious caller? And how does Walsh if he does fit into all this?

The Calling has an interesting premise but is constructed in such a way that it tends to be more confusing than not. To be fair, Goodhew and his colleagues have so little to go on that their actions at first seem random, to do something, anything, to find that single thread that will pull them towards a solution. As a consequence, there are plenty of twists to this police procedural plot as they work to prevent another murder. An unidentified watcher, someone who goes to the same restaurant every day at the same time, orders the same lunch, and sits in a corner by the window to watch Peter Walsh as he takes a woman to lunch, adds an element of intrigue to the story as it is unclear what role this person plays.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Calling.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of The Calling for this review.

Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: The Siren by Alison BruceThe Siren
Soho Constable (Hardcover), October 2010
ISBN-13: 9781569476055; ISBN-10: 1569476055

Location(s) referenced in The Calling: Cambridge, England

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The Calling by Alison Bruce

The Calling by A Gary Goodhew Mystery

Publisher: Soho Constable
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-964-3
Publication Date:
List Price: $25.00

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