The Bridge
July 31, 2023

Book Review

The Bridge

reviewed by Pam Guynn

Plenty of suspense, a constant sense of urgency, and a state of disquietude combined with great characters and a well-written plot make this novel a must read for those who enjoy police procedurals.

Matt Brolly’s The Bridge is the sixth book in the Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell series set in and near the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in England. While the tale occasionally switches points of view to the killer and one other person, it is primarily from that of Louise.

A body of a young woman is discovered in a shipping container in Bristol. The police initially believe she was an illegal immigrant whose death was an accident. However, that belief changes to murder when they find the shipping container was due to be shipped out and a video camera with a live feed was filming her. Someone watched her die. Louise Blackwell gets the case. Are there others trapped? Are any of them alive?

Louise is a hard-working, diligent, resilient, and fascinating individual who has finally learned to delegate. She is respected by many, and her fighting for what is right inspires loyalty in her co-workers. Her struggle for work/life balance makes her feel more realistic. The other characters are a mix of new and familiar faces and are well-drawn. I especially enjoyed the growth that Detective Sergeant Greg Farrell achieved in this novel. Overall, the characterization is excellent. Even some of the secondary characters grow immensely.

A chilling and riveting opening scene will immediately pull most readers into the story. The narrative is suspenseful with a creative, absorbing, complex, and well-paced plot with some twists that will keep a reader guessing. The plot is multi-layered which keeps readers fully engaged. Brolly brings the layers together in this dynamic thriller. The high stakes kept me engaged throughout the story. The people in the story came to life, and I was cheering on the police as they searched desperately for those responsible for those responsible for the confinement and death of the victim. The author successfully weaves work relationships, personal relationships, family dynamics, the drive to succeed, murder, and much more in this installment of the series.

Overall, this was a gripping, gritty, and chilling story with complex characters. It’s intense and dramatic and kept this reader turning the pages. It’s also my favorite of the series. I would recommend it to those who enjoy police procedurals and British crime dramas. This book works well as a standalone novel. However, Louise’s background and relationship dynamics are best fully understood by reading earlier novels in the series.

Amazon Publishing UK – Thomas and Mercer and Matt Brolly provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Publication date is currently set for August 08, 2023.

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