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Last Bus to Woodstock  - Colin Dexter My first experience of Morse - I used to watch the TV programme and was always worried that the books would be too much for me - too clever (that't not to say that I'm not bright - I read to relax, I don't necessarily want to think too much about what I read). I shouldn't have been so worried. This was such an easy read. I must admit though I had the voice of John Thaw in my head most of the time - but the Morse that appears on paper is certainly not the Morse that subsequently appeared on screen.

Morse is such an interesting character - brash at times and incredibly rude, but at others time incredibly gentle and vulnerable. He seems to choose which laws to respect - especially in terms of drinking while on duty. But he has an undeniable thirst to uncover the truth of a crime. It's very clear that while Lewis respects his boss he doesn't necessarily like him, but does help him (especially when Morse falls through a ladder and damages his foot).

But I digress. Sylvia Kaye is found in the carpark of a pub in Woodstock, apparently raped and murdered - her skull bashed in with a tyre iron. Earlier in the night she was seen at a bus stop with a female friend, waiting for the last bus to Woodstock - they decided to hitch a lift instead.

Who was the girl with Sylvia - why doesn't she come forward? How did they get to Woodstock?

There were times I had to remind myself that this book was written over 35 years ago and other times it was very dated.

The story it's self was very, very clever. Dexter leads you in several diffrent directions, keeping all characters in play - until things suddenly fall into place. The overall feeling of the book for me was one of unbearable sadness - in all the characters, including Morse.

I did figure out who the killer was and it was a tiny little thing that had stuck in my mind from the prologue that suddenly clicked with one simple sentence towards the end (footwear).

My heart broke for Morse.

I'm looking forward to the next one.