New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie makes her mark with this absorbing, finely hued tale of suspense - a deeply atmospheric and twisting mystery full of deadly secrets, salacious lies, and unexpected betrayals involving the mysterious drowning of a Met detective - an accomplished rower - on the Thames.
When a K9 search-and-rescue team discovers a woman's body tangled up with debris in the river, Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid finds himself heading an investigation fraught with complications. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers - and just as many enemies. An Olympic contender on the verge of a controversial comeback, she was also a high-ranking detective with the Met - a fact that raises a host of political and ethical issues in an already sensitive case.
To further complicate the situation, a separate investigation, led by Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's wife, soon reveals a disturbing - and possibly related - series of crimes, widening the field of suspects. But when someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca's body, the case becomes even more complex and dangerous, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.
Surrounded by enemies with friendly faces, pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, his career and reputation on the line, Kincaid must race to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost - including his own.
©2011 Deborah Crombie (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
james and kincaid with their growing family continue with their crime fighting ways. a deborah crombie novel is not to be missed. gerard doyle/michael deehy is not my favorite narrator for this series and i wish that audible had purchased jenny sterlin's version, a bit too pricey for me to buy independently. but just the same i'm grateful that the book is available on audible.
if you are new to crombie, think about starting with the early novels so you can see how these characters grow as police officers, as individuals and how their romance develops. and you get to watch how a good writer just gets better.
"dreaming of the bones", "necessary as blood" and "kissed a sad good-bye" are my top choices, but all her books are consistently engaging and quite wonderful. ms. crombie is not only a fine story teller but is a talented writer.
so i will be rereading and listening to them all again. and waiting for the next one! i have some books, some on kindle and all that are available on audio through audible. what amazing choices we have these days.
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Crombie's mysteries often involve long-hidden secrets from the past and a generous outlay of interesting characters. No Mark Upon Her is especially strong on the character aspect, as each scene reveals a new facet to the featured personality, so that the listener gets to know these people layer by layer. This story is set in the opera world, and contrasts artistic with musical talents. I thoroughly enjoyed this extremely well narrated and well told literary mystery.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
Deborah Crombie has been successful at keeping each new book in the Kincaid-James series at the same high level as the first. In this adventure, the murder of a Met officer takes the reader into the technical minutiae and the culture of rowing at championship levels. As usual, her characters are well-drawn and three dimensional, especially the Iraq/Afghanistan veteran with PTSD living in a tiny shed on the banks of the Thames. The growth of Duncan and Gemma's family, including the little girl taken in by them after the death of her parents in the previous book, enriches the story. Gerard Doyle is excellent as narrator.
If you like classic British mysteries (Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, etc.), you'll like this. It's a tad longer than most of the older titles, but that is OK. It would also help if you have read at least some of the previous books in this series, as the "back story" is important to the character development.
Very simply, it's very good, but not great. Do enjoy.
This is the 14th in the Duncan Kincaid Gemma James series. It’s the first one to be narrated by a male narrator. This to me has an interesting effect. Most of the earlier ones were narrated by Jenny Sterling, and I felt were particularly tuned in to Gemma James. This one, with Doyle narrating, seemed more tuned in, at least so far as the narration went, to Duncan. I thought that would be disappointing for me, but it turned out to be fine. In this one we continue with Duncan and Gemma working little Charlotte into their lives, currently as a foster child with possible adoption later. Part of this family change comes about because Duncan and Gemma agree to take alternative parental leaves particularly to care for Charlotte who has the most abandonment issues and who is still at home. The book ends with Duncan taking his first ever “husband at home” leave. It will be interesting to see how Crombie handles this situation. The mystery itself was wonderful, in fact one of her best, involving the death of a top-ranking female police officer who also was planning to enter the Olympics as part of a rowing team. She was murdered by pushing her underneath her boat in the water and drowning her. The book is full of all kinds of lore about rowing, which was more interesting than I expected it to be. And, just when we think we have it figured out as to who murdered the woman and why, we get some surprises-usual from Crombie. These books just keep getting better and better.
If you are a fan of the Kincaid-James series, this is a welcome addition to that series. Relationships continue to grow with the main characters and their extended family, and the mystery has a fascinating backdrop of competitive rowing and a look at some of the uglier inside workings of higher ups at Scotland Yard. It's a good solid listen, one that was worth the wait.
I already liked this writer and this series, so know that upfront. The plot is unusual and complicated, the characters are interesting, and the background relating to sculling and crew is fascinating. The introductory quotes from books about the sport and from accounts of some of the teams are nice little extras. For instance, who knew that a male crewmember training to compete in a four man boat consumes up to 6000 calories a day? There's not as much drama and romance vis a vis the two detectives who figure in this series as there has been in other books. One main character is a vet with some head injury syndrome and PTSD (I think) and he's an interesting and refreshing character.
"things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least."
Very much worth a credit. Of the mysteries I've listened to so far, it's in the top 20 - don't ask me to narrow it down to just ten! When the ending approached, it was tidy - compiling the various clues sprinkled throughout the chapters to where it all made sense. Good character development. The world of rowing skiffs was the setting for this novel. Also included were search and rescue volunteers and their dogs - learned about handling the dogs, what training is needed, and how important a good dog is to finding the truth!
Of course other Deborah Crombie novels in the series. A bit reminiscent of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series except not as dark but similiar in their character development and full rich story.
I can't remember but he was quite enjoyable.
No because I wouldn't have a job, but I certainly enjoyed it for about 3 hours a day - during my commutes and just before bed.
Melody plays a key part of this story and not just because of her father. Doug is, well Doug and I rooted for him just the same. The story also continues with Charlotte becoming part of their family, and the author touches on, but doesn't preach about the bigotry and racism still around. Even Gemma's father comes around, his heart melted by the adorable Charlotte.
Note to editor, leave a second's pause between scenes. It felt disjointed to be in one place then immediately into the next. Not the reader's fault but I believe mindful editing would have helped.
There are things that make a book enjoyable for me. I look for are characters who are interesting to me, and a complex (but not incomprehensible) and interesting story. When there are recurring characters, I want them to change and grow. This book does these things very well!
Several of the primary characters in this book are involved in the sport of rowing. I found that aspect of the story interesting. Much of the action takes place along a Thames river. The author did an excellent job of describing the scenes that take place around the river. I could picture them in my mind.
Gerard Doyle is a superb narrator.
Throughout this series a relationship develops between Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid. For that reason I would suggest reading the stories "in order". I listened some of the books out of order and still enjoyed them greatly. I expect to listen to them all again, and will do so in order of publication.
My only regret is that I have now listened to all the books available in audio form. According to Ms. Crombie's web site she is working on a new book that is expected to be available in 2016. I look forward to that!
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