Here are two spellbinding mysteries, one contemporary, and one ancient - that will challenge Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as no case ever has.
Glastonbury is a town revered as the mythical burial place of King Arthur, and, according to New Age followers, a source of strong Druid power. Something terrible and bloody shattered Glastonbury Abbey's peace long ago - and now it is about to spark a violence that will reach forward into the present.
©2001 Deborah Crombie; (P)2002 W.F. Howes, Ltd.
"Crombie has laid claim to the literary territory of moody psychological suspense owned by P. D. James and Barbara Vine." (The Washington Post)
I'm reviewing this particular book of Crombie's after reading many of the other reviews. It seems you either accept and enjoy the mystical slant of this particular mystery or you don't like it at all. I belong to the former camp. In my old age I've landed in this place where I want only to to be entertained by a good story. I found the juxtaposition of this ghostly tale and the present day murder story quite enjoyable. As I read mainly fiction these days, I have no issue accepting most anything the author wants to throw at me. As long as it's done well. I find I'm more exasperated by the back and forth of Gemma's and Duncan's love story...one step forward, two back. However, that's me thinking they're wasting too much precious time apart!
I would like to make a comment about the narrator who can really make or break a book. Jenny Sterlin is only ok for me. I find her interpretation of the male roles weak. I much preferred the story telling of Michael Deehy.
Yes, there were so many twists and turns. I had it wrong as I usually do when I try to guess "who-done-it."
I have read several of the later books and listening to an earlier book was such fun. It took a while to get to where the detectives were brought in but the story was so good I didn't notice that until later.
The Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series consistently provides a story worth hearing and characters you enjoy knowing and want to know better. A Finer End is a great place to start or to deepen your acquaintance with this pair of detectives who are such real people that you want them for friends.
The story was too long and the subject matter too ethereal and unbelievable. Ive enjoyed her other novels; won't fault her a blip.
This book spent a lot of time on new age practices (automatic writing, communication with the dead...). It seemed to drag on. I only made it through the first few chapters.
I think many people would enjoy this book, the subject matter was not appealing to me.
Deborah Crombie is an amazing writer. I think if you were interested in the subject matter, you would enjoy this book. As always, Crombie does an excellent job developing her characters. However, in this book, I never made it to my favorite characters, Kincaid and Gemma.
This book has a touch of the sort of story Phil Rickman writes in his Merrily Watkins mysteries, which I love. Great characters and complex plot.
I love the lead series characters but they're barely in sight for the first 3 hours which go on and on and on about characters in Glastonbury who are mainly rather tiresome. And sadly even the leads Duncan and Gemma (sp?) do little to relieve the boredom when they do appear on scene. I guess I've given up on this one.
The story is decent, and if I had known what to expect, I might have rated it more highly. However, I found the introduction of the supernatural to be offputting. (I'm not allergic to a bit of wonder in my stories generally, but it's out of line with the rest of this series, which is fully grounded in reality.)
And still, I find that Jenny Sterlin doesn't capture the characters for me. Her voice is lovely, but not for this series. Her portrayal of male characters especially doesn't quite hit home, and everyone comes across snotty in a way that doesn't sync with the characters I love. I am sad to say I will be skipping further books in the series narrated by Sterlin, though others seem to have loved her narration.
Way too much time spent on a diversion into an incredible story of monks and an abbey in the 12th century. The incredulity goes over the top when a current day person develops the ability to,while in a daze, write statements in Latin which are communicated by a 12th century monk .And it just so happens that the current day transcriber is a cousin of Kincade. So very late in the story Kincaid and Gemma are finally brought in. The story could stand on it's own without the reader having to wade painfully through 800 +years.
Narrator was good as usual.
When I started this book the only thing I knew about Glastonbury was that there had been music festivals there. After reading several chapters I did some research on my computer to learn a little bit more about the area. That helped me to visualize the area and understand it better. That understanding increased my enjoyment of the story.
Other reviewers have had negative reactions to the amount of time that is spent describing the lives of the people involved in the mystery. For me that "background" was an essential part of the story. It's part of what makes this book unique
If you have enjoyed other books in the Duncan Kincaid-Gemma James series, I believe you like this one.
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