29 July 2013

Review: THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS, Deborah Crombie

  • Published by William Morrow 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-06-199063-2
  • 359 pages
  • #15 in the Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are on the case in Deborah Crombie's The Sound of Broken Glass, a captivating mystery that blends a murder from the past with a powerful danger in the present.

When Detective Inspector James joins forces with Detective Inspector Melody Talbot to solve the murder of an esteemed barrister, their investigation leads them to realize that nothing is what it seems - with the crime they're investigating and their own lives.

With an abundance of twists and turns and intertwining subplots, The Sound of Broken Glass by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie is an elaborate and engaging page-turner.

My Take

The Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series is one I have dabbled in over the years. This is #15 and I have read maybe 8 of them. Each time I read a new one, I castigate myself for not having read them all. That's how much I enjoy them.

There are really three time frames in the novel. The main action is set in the present. A male body is found in a cheap hotel near Crystal Palace. Having established this is a murder Gemma James and her team set about establishing who the man is and how he came to be in the hotel. Less than 48 hours later a second murder occurs. It appears to be similar to the first, although it takes place in the person's home.

The common thread between the two appears to be a young guitarist who played at hotels that the two victims were seen at on the nights before they died.

The second time frame is the young guitarist at the age of 13, living as a latch key kid in Crystal Palace, and being bullied by kids from a public school.

The third time frame is really only a sliver - snippets about the original Crystal Palace appear at the beginning of each chapter.

Duncan Kincaid is taking a spot of parental leave while his wife Gemma James has taken on an acting DCI position. She has a new boss and it is important to her that this case of the double murders is successfully solved.

There's a human interest thread that gathers pace from one novel to the other in the series. One of the foci in THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS is Duncan and Gemma's foster daughter Charlotte. (I missed reading the title when she first came into their lives). Relationships form a solid background to the murder investigations, and serve to point out that these detectives are only human.

My rating: 4.4
Other reviews on MiP
4.8, WATER LIKE A STONE
4.6, NECESSARY AS BLOOD
4.7, WHERE MEMORIES LIE

Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James series (Fantastic Fiction)
1. A Share in Death (1993)
2. All Shall Be Well (1994)
3. Leave the Grave Green (1995)
4. Mourn Not Your Dead (1996)
5. Dreaming of the Bones (1997)
6. Kissed A Sad Goodbye (1999)
7. A Finer End (2001)
8. And Justice There Is None (2002)
9. Now May You Weep (2003)
10. In a Dark House (2004)
11. Water Like a Stone (2006)
12. Where Memories Lie (2008)
13. Necessary as Blood (2009)
14. No Mark Upon Her (2011)
15. The Sound of Broken Glass (2013)
16. To Dwell in Darkness (2014) 

3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - I like this series too. It's stayed solidly and consistently well-done through the years. I'll confess I've not gotten to this one yet but it sounds as though it's up to Crombie's usual standard and that's good to hear. And like you, I enjoy the blend of personal and professional life that Crombie weaves into her books.

Clothes In Books said...

I like Deborah Crombie, but there are still many of her books I haven't read, including this one. I should catch up on her!

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