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Publisher's Summary

Reminiscent of Ruth Rendell, multiple award-winning author Deborah Crombie creates graceful mysteries, resonating with lyrical prose, elegant suspense, and finely-drawn characters. This is her darkly irresistible tale of friendship shattered by shocking betrayal, and repercussions that echo down through the years.

A stunningly beautiful young woman is found strangled in London's Mudchute Park, her clothing carefully arranged to preserve her modesty. With that unusual detail in mind, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner Sergeant Gemma James suspect the crime was more than a simple assault gone awry. As they collect the strange facts surrounding her death, they discover the victim's life was a mystery even to those who knew her best.

Internationally-acclaimed author Deborah Crombie brilliantly weaves together events of World War II England with complex problems of present-day London. As British actor Jenny Sterlin's superb dramatization unfolds, you'll understand why this crime novel is as at home on the bookshelf with literary novels as it is with the most baffling whodunit.

Solve more mysteries with Duncan Kincaid and Jemma James.
©1999 Deborah Crombie; (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"This complex, thoughtful novel is another satisfying entry in an exceptional series." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Wrong narrator

This is the second Deborah Crombie book I have listened to and with this narrator wont be listening to any more, unfortunately, as her manner is quite at odds with the plotlines. I am sure Jenny Sterlin is a good narrator but her wimpy presentation just doesnt cut it for a police mystery - it sounds like she is declining on a sofa with her smelling salts for much of the time whereas she is supposed to be portraying hard nosed police officers. I think the plots are good, some of the places have significance for me and I was looking forward to listening but if I get any more I will get a different narrator, preferably a male.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Constance
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 12-15-11

Complex, compelling mystery

This complex mystery connects betrayals and tragedies from the characters' World War 2 past to present day rivalries and grudges. Characters are complex, interesting, and human. Another outstanding entry in the Duncan Kincaid/Jemma James series. Well narrated.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 11-22-11

Best weaving of past and present into a story.

This is the best example of past and present woven seamlessly into a story I've read in more than fifty years. Normally, a writer's attempt to produce 'great' art falls flat, as the author forgets to entertain while being cleaver. But this time, it was done beautifully.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Captivating series, well read

Would you listen to Kissed a Sad Goodbye again? Why?

Perhaps, though I don't tend to read books more than once

Who was your favorite character and why?

Love the interplay between Kincaid and James

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I try to save my Audible books for my thrice-weekly walks, as its an investment for me on my limited income, but I had to discipline myself not to listen to this one start to finish in one listen.

Any additional comments?

Deborah Crombie is, in my opinion, right up there with Sue Grafton, Dana Stabenow, Daniel Silva and Ken Follett in her/their ability to catch me up into their stories and hold my attention from beginning to end. And the reader of Crombie's books for Audible, Jennie Sterlin, is the perfect voice for her novels.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patricia
  • Eureka, CA, United States
  • 08-02-10

Terrible narration

I have very much enjoyed listening to the Deborah Crombie series as narrated by Michael Deehy. The new narrator's reading is so slow, with little differentiation among emotions and characters, that I could not listen longer than an hour. Crombie is a good writer and it's a shame to have her work distorted in this way.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Check a map before reading

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I do all of Crombie's. But I found it confusing for the first hour or so. I paused it and did some research before continuing. It takes place on the Isle of Dogs, and if you aren't familiar with that, you won't understand what the author is talking about and the geography of the crime scene. Before listening, take a minute to look it up on a detailed map such as google maps, and zoom in to Mudchute Park and find Ferry Road and the docks. It's a fascinating place with a fascinating history. After looking at the map, take a quick look at the article about it on Wikipedia. You'll find the book much more enjoyable once you are familiar with the scenario.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Story

This is not a fast paced, action filled adventure. It is a well crafted story, filled with complex characters and relationships. There is a mystery to be solved, but there are also stories to be told. As the story went on I became more and more involved and interested. It's a long book, but the time flew by.

Part of the story involves the difficulties experienced by main characters Jemma James and Duncan Kincaid experience in their personal lives. They struggle with complex issues and don't always make the best decisions at first. For me this makes them seem more "real." Their personal struggles are part of the story, but not the focus of the story.

I enjoyed listening to this story and look forward to listening to more books in this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another thought

Additional thought. This author has moved away from the inspector/mystery story and has moved into the area of literary far-ra-ra. Every chapter is preceded by a poetry extract and is not what I want in a mystery story. But I did enjoy it - I simply stomached the superfluous poetic nonsense.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Such wonderful characters

I love this series. The mysteries are complex and interesting, but it is the people in the books that I really love. I can't wait to start the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Complex story is overshadowed by bad parenting

The main mystery in the novel is intriguing and pulls the reader into the story. I can't say the same for the personal problems of the two detectives, Duncan Kincaid and Jemma James, and their cluttered relationship. Duncan Kincaid's lack of attention to a small child staying with him made me dislike him early on. Can he really be so thick as to leave the child unattended for hours? And the fact that Jemma James was having a physical relationship with Kincaid, her superior officer, was so unprofessional that I disliked them both for it. Especially since Jemma had an unfathomable attraction to a street musician. I didn't buy the coincidence of this character being in both the murder plot and in Jemma's plot. I am not sure I will return to Duncan and Jemma. I don't mind flawed characters, I just don't like stupid ones. I did enjoy the narration.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 11-29-15

Brilliant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would always recommend this book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Duncan Kincaid.

Which character – as performed by Jenny Sterlin – was your favourite?

Duncan Kincaid.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Gemma fell in love.

Any additional comments?

I am always happy when another books comes out.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-25-17

An excellent read indeed!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The backdrop of the Isle of Dogs was fascinating although I’ve never been there, two stories in one brought to a satisfactory finale.