28 November 2009

WATER LIKE A STONE, Deborah Crombie

I read WATER LIKE A STONE (2006) first last year but I thought it a very appropriate entry for my Suggest a Christmas Title meme.

I am actually re-reading the book currently as an audio and enjoying it very much.

The first Christmas with your partner's parents is never an easy one, and Gemma James is not sure she is looking forward to the one that she and Duncan Kincaid and their two boys will be spending with his parents in Cheshire.

However on the eve of their arrival, Duncan's sister Juliet finds the mummified body of a baby concealed in the wall of a barn she is renovating, and everything takes on a different twist. Duncan finds the investigating officer called to the scene is someone he was at school with.

Despite the setting in the small Shropshire town where Duncan Kincaid grew up, WATER LIKE A STONE has a big canvas feel to it. There are a number of threads, at least one murder, a couple of mini-mysteries to be solved, and plenty of action, all taking place in the holiday season of Christmas to New Year. I've been struck in my re-reading about how much these threads all tie in to the idea of Christmas.

Most enjoyable read. #11 in the James/Kincaid series
My rating: 4.8

Others to look for by Deborah Crombie - from Fantastic Fiction
Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James
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)


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks, as always, for your review. I'm always amazed at the number of different kinds of books that you've read and reviewed. I really enjoy novels where there are subplots and other threads to follow, so this one sounds quite good. : )

Bernadette said...

I'm going to dig out a Christmas title or two Kerrie - even though I am a bit of a Scrooge about the festive season :)

Kerrie said...

I have been enjoying re-reading this too Margot - amazing what you pick up on the second run through. I think audio lets you (maybe forces you to) wallow a little too.

Kerrie said...

Excellent Bernadette - I hope it is a popular meme - look forward to seeing your choices - I've got a couple more up my sleeve too

Deb said...

I love Deborah Crombie's books. I'm reading Necessary As Blood right now--looks like it's going to be another winner.

Like Elizabeth George, Crombie's an American who writes in the English mystery idiom. I actually think her ear is better at times than George's. (I was born and raised in England, but I've lived in the States for many years--the "voice" in my head when I read is definitely English.)

Kerrie said...

I often wonder how many readers realise Deborah Crombie is not British Deb. Do you think that is common knowledge? Any clues about why she "feels" so British?

Martin Edwards said...

I enjoyed this book. Although the author is American, she does the Cheshire setting (very close to where I live) extremely well.

Deb said...

Kerrie--I don't know about Crombie's European or Australian publications, but in the American copies of her books, the author blurb always mentions that she's American. I can't quite define what I mean by her ear being more "English" than George's, sometimes it's just a very small thing. For instance, in one of George's books, she has Barbara Havers using the word "burke" in a way that I do not think an English person would use it. Again, it's just a small thing, but I thought, "An English writer wouldn't have done that." This is not to say I don't enjoy George's books, I do (for the most part), but I don't think I've ever experienced that little jarring sensation with Crombie. In Necessary As Blood, her setting (so far) is in the Bethnal Green area and she seems to have the idiom down pat. (Admittedly, I haven't lived in England for many years, so I may respond to an "older" vision of Blighty than someone who lives there now.)


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