New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie pens suspenseful English mysteries that have drawn favorable comparisons to the best of P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. Her novel Dreaming of the Bones made the Independent Mystery Booksellers of America’s list of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the 20th Century.
This time, Scotland Yard’s Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James delve into a mystery brewing since World War II.
©2008 Deborah Crombie (P)2008 Recorded Books
I have read each of the books in sequence in this series and am very fond of the main characters, Gemma Jones and Duncan Kinkaid. The highly competent detectives' personal lives provide the subplots that enhance the storyline. These are "real" and "normal" people. Each of them and those around them seem to grow and change in each work as their professional and personal relationships and associated dilemmas ring very true. This one is one of the most satisfying reads in the series with a compact plot and believable resolutions. Crombie's emphasis on character and human nature provoke deserved favorable comparisons with P.D. James and Ruth Rendell. I didn't give this five stars because I was confused about the timing of the plot. Erika, Gemma's good friend, was a key character here. If this book was set in real-time (published in 2008), she was a very active senior who was well into her 90s. Jenny Sterlin gives Gemma a wonderful, sensitive voice but it is sometimes hard to differentiate between her male voices, particularly Duncan Kinkaid and his associates. Minor quibbles .... as this truly is one of those series that I hope keeps on going and going...
The narrator brings so much life into the story.
The climax, when Jemma realized who did it.
Because of her rang, she is able to create different voices which helped me picture the different characters. And I suspect she knows how to pronounce words, since she's English, that I don't, because I'm American.
Evil casts a long shadow.
I'm going to read or listen (or both) all of Deborah Crombie's books.
Duncan Kinkaid and Gemma James are terrific characters whose personal story serves as a wonderful backdrop and unifying factor to the various mysteries in the series. I have enjoyed every one of them.
It felt like a bit too much about personal lives in this crime drama... I like to get to know the characters, but i guess this went over my limit and thus was boring at times for me. I probably wont read the series.
Subject and plot not interesting to me. Perhaps I need to stick with more modern scenarios that I can relate to. Loved Crombie's "No Mark Upon Her". That was also set in London. Characters were rowers (so am I) that I can relate to.
Slow paced. NONE of the characters were appealing or interesting. Didn't make any sense since there was hardly any character development of Dom's Mum. There were hints of her narcisstics personality but there needs to be more explanation to the reader the depth of this woman's mental disturbance to have done what she did. None of the characters were particularly likable. Hard for reader to have empathy for a whole list of people who got popped off because of a old brooch.
Narrator performance is not the problem.
I can see this period in history and subject matter being interesting to those who lived in Europe, survived the WW2 and all the atrocities and have more understanding and empathy of the scenarios. Nonetheless, the characters and the plot could have intrigued me no matter the time period if they were well done.
I discovered this series about two years ago and have been listening to the audio books in order. I've loved every one of them!
The relationship between Jemma and Duncan began in the first book. It has steadily grown and matured though out the series. It has not been a "fairy tale" romance. Theirs is a relationship between two mature adults with complicated lives. There have been bumps in the road, but the two of them have worked through the difficulties.
They are both police officers, very good ones it seems to me. The cases in each book are interesting and varied, the plots complex with conclusions that so far have surprised me.
The author populates each story with interesting characters and interesting locations. For me there is a very strong sense of place in each book.
When I've listened to all the books in the series, I plan to listen to them all a second time.
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