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.
I was fascinated by the interweaving of historical facts, centuries-old myths, and new-age interpretations with traditional detective story elements. Next trip to the United Kingdom will definitely include Glastonbury!
On the whole, however, I got tired of jumping from one plot line to another, particularly towards the end. I agree with those who have found the narrator somewhat lacking. She was perfect for the historical voices and descriptive passages, but not for the present-day male voices and general dialogue.
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.
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.
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