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Posted February 8, 2012
My first crime fiction from Debbie, will definitely not be my last! Loved this!
Looking for a great Scotland Yard mystery that will keep you guessing just who did it til the very end and keep you turning pages faster and faster until you finally know who did it? Then look no further. In her latest book, No Mark Upon Her, Deborah Crombie takes her readers in depth into a rowing missing persons crime initially which will later prove that a murder has taken place. One by one the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit seamlessly together until you realize that not all pieces that fit together form the perfect picture and you have it all wrong.
I thought I had this one down pat until about 7/8ths of the way through the book and realized that I had been going on a wild goose chase and not everything was adding up the way it should have been. I guess in my opinion that's what makes for an excellent murder mystery is if the author can keep the identity hidden til the very end. Masterfully done and this is my first book review for Deborah Crombie but definitely will not be my last. Love her characters, dialogue and her writing style. A perfect blend in my opinion and well rated at 5 out of 5 stars. I received this book compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review.
New York Times bestselling 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.
11 out of 19 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2012
VERY GOOD READ
Good book with wonderful descriptions of the life style of rowers and surrounding landscape. I recently saw the boat race between Oxford and Cambridge on BBC and she sure does her research for her books. Found the plot original and it keep me guessing to the end. Love her books.
6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2013
I love the Kincaid & James series of books!
Just the right blend of crime mystery and personal life to keep me interested and buying the next book.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2012
Another fantastic edition to the series by Deborah Crombie that
Another fantastic edition to the series by Deborah Crombie that is always intelligent and gripping and lets us into the lives of London police officers Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James in a perfect balance of mystery and the personal lives of the characters. This one made it onto the NewYork Times bestseller list and it deserved to be there. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the 15th book in the series to be published. Enjoy!
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 12, 2012
I was surprised to discover that Deborah Crombie, author of No M
I was surprised to discover that Deborah Crombie, author of No Mark Upon Her, the 14th in her Duncan Kinkaid/Gemma James Scotland Yard detective series, lives in Texas. This is the first of her books I have read, I would have bet my bottom dollar that the author was as British as Queen Elizabeth and scones with clotted cream. I would have lost that bet.
How could any author who peppers her novel with such phrases as "taking the mickey" out of someone, which means to tease, and "dab hand in the kitchen", meaning someone who knows her way around the kitchen, not be British? I enjoy learning new words and phrases, and I got a lot of new vocabulary from this book. (Maybe they'll use some of the words in the next season of Downton Abbey.)
I do have to admit being a little lost in the beginning of this book. A female police detective is found dead after she goes out rowing one evening. Becca Meredith is secretly training for the upcoming Olympics, and it was unlikely that she accidentally drowned.
I know nothing about rowing, and it would helped immensely to have been somewhat familiar with the sport, as many of the characters, including police detectives, were. It also would have helped to have read some of the other books in the series, as there is a lot of backstory and relationships among characters that I didn't know about.
That being said, I'm glad I stuck with the book. There are a lot of characters here, and after awhile I was able to sort them all out and enjoy the author's ride. I like Duncan and Gemma and their patchwork family: Kit (Duncan's son), Toby (Gemma's son) and Charlotte (their foster child). They are newly married, and their efforts to work out the logistics of marriage, family, child care and work issues rang true to me.
Becca's death peels back some unsavory layers, like an onion. Her ex-husband had some shady financial dealings and would profit from her death via an insurance policy. Becca was secretly dating an Iraq war vet who worked on boats at the rowing club she belonged to. Was the women's crew coach upset because Becca could possibly take the spot of one of his rowers on the Olympic team? And what about the deputy police commissioner whom Becca accused of rape last year? Someone Becca arrested? The list of suspects is lengthy.
Duncan Kincaid is an ethical man, and he puts his all into finding out who murdered Becca. Although his wife Gemma is still on family leave, she and her colleague Melody uncover some evidence that help point Duncan's investigation in a dangerous direction.
With the plethora of suspects, the author successfully keeps the identity of the killer, as well as the motive under wraps until the end. I admire Crombie's skill as a mystery writer, as I dislike being able to guess the killer halfway through the story. She kept me interested in the mystery and the story of Duncan and Gemma and their lovely family.
My favorite character though was Kieran, the Iraq war vet and rescue searcher. He seemed like a lost soul, but his relationship with his dog, and with Tavie, another rescue searcher, was touching. It's obvious that the author had a special affinity for this quiet hero.
I will keep my eye out for more of Crombie's Kincaid/James series, especially when I'm in the mood for a little Brit lit mystery.
5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 7, 2012
Posted July 16, 2012
Posted May 21, 2013
I love every one of Ms Crombies' Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series. Mystery, relationships, family...she weaves the reader into the lives of these characters until you feel they are part of your own family--or wish they were. I've read every last one of them and can't wait for the next...hoping there is a next!!
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2013
I have spent the last month immersed in the Gemma and Duncan ser
I have spent the last month immersed in the Gemma and Duncan series. I just finished No. 14 No Mark Upon Her. Although I have taken issue with the fact that they always tend to put the job above family - I will never quite get over Duncan missing the custody hearing to go look at a dead body - I have grown to enjoy their efforts at family life, the passion they have for their jobs and the uncertainty they always face. I am not reading the No. 15 yet as I am reluctant to finish the series without knowing when No. 16 will be released. I don't want to be left hanging! love the series and encourage everyone to start with No. 1 and work their way through. It is a series well worth reading.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 5, 2013
In the opening pages of Deborah Crombie¿s 14th novel, DCI Rebecc
In the opening pages of Deborah Crombie’s 14th novel, DCI Rebecca [“Becca”] Meredith, an Olympic contender and a senior officer in West London’s Major Crimes unit, is found dead in the waters of the Thames near her home in the town of Henley, 35 miles from London. The events that follow take place, amazingly, over a period of about a week. I say ’amazingly’ because so much happens, in a terrifically plotted novel. The case falls to Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, of Scotland Yard’s Murder Investigation Team, with some aspects of it falling to his bride, Gemma James, DI with the Notting Hill Police.
The book is filled with wonderfully drawn characters, including not only both the protagonists but also Kincaid’s partner, Sgt. Doug Cullen, about to become a first-time homeowner and nervous at the prospect; Gemma’s colleague, Melody Talbot; Becca’s ex-husband, Freddy; Kiernan Connolly and Tavie Larssen, members of the SAR [Search and Rescue], or K-9, team as well as its four-legged members, Finn, a Labrador retriever and Tosh, a German shepherd, every bit a part of the plot as are their human partners.
The common thread among several of the characters is a love of – in fact, a passion for – rowing or, to be more specific, sculling, a very specific skill employing the use of sleek racing shells, apparently a world of its own. Just how much so is made very clear through the author’s use of quotes, preceding the start of most chapters, from various publications on the subject, as well as Ms. Crombie’s own prose in the early pages, describing the victim shortly before she is killed: “she sat backwards on a sliver of carbon fiber narrower than her body, inches above the water, and that only her skill and determination kept her fragile craft from the river’s dark grasp.”
The James/Kincaid family dynamic of ‘his’ [Kit], ‘hers’ [Toby - - their respective 14-year-old sons], and ‘theirs’ [Charlotte, the mixed-race 3-year-old foster child they are planning to formally adopt], is a constantly active one that makes the protags’ personal lives every bit as engaging as their professional ones.
The author comments “Things were always so much more complicated than they appeared on the surface,” and employs mini-cliffhangers throughout, maximizing the suspense, as well as some shocking revelations, producing several OMG moments. But I’ll leave those discoveries to the readers of this highly-recommended novel.
2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2012
Posted March 9, 2012
Duncan Kincaid Superintendent at Scotland Yard and his now thric
Duncan Kincaid Superintendent at Scotland Yard and his now thrice married wife Detective Inspector Gemma James have sustained many changes lately personal as well as professional. Along with his son Kit and her son Toby they’ve recently taken a foster daughter Charlotte whom they hope soon to adopt, but she needs special care because of the circumstance of her becoming orphaned so Gemma and Duncan agree to each take family leave to care for her, Gemma’s is just about over and Duncan’s is just about to start when Duncan receives a summons by his boss to look into a female detective’s suspicious death while rowing. It seems unknown to most Becca Meredith has been training for the Olympics when one evening she goes out on the Thames not to return alive. Although there are suspects aplenty this complex and much disturbing now murder case is taking a direction that Duncan is very uncomfortable with and could have grave consequences for the Police department and always finding solace in her thoughts, goes to Gemma. Soon Gemma and Duncan along with their assistants Melody and Doug are going at the case from two directions and hoping to meet in the middle with the suspect in hand and no further harm done but that seems an impossible task at the moment and the presumed guilty party seems out of their reach and even worse there’s a chance that they have it all wrong.
Deborah Crombie is a brilliant Brit-Lit writer who amazingly makes her home right here in the good old US of A however her extensive research across the pond is invaluable and that is obvious when you open the pages and imagine yourself in London, or Notting Hill or any of the other wonderful places this author has taken me to in her Kincaid/James series which this is the 14th installment. Her dialogue is Queen’s English all the way and her narrative with her vivid descriptions will have you wiping the imaginary rain off your face and trying to see through the fog on the Thames as she spins her tale of murder, mystery and mayhem. Her characters, if you’ve read them from the beginning have evolved from single cops working as partners to partners in life, love and home and you as readers have the exclusive front row seating to have watched them mature first into the couple and finally the family they’ve become and the series has matured right with them with personal and professional concerns finding face right along side the serious crime fighting this duo does.
If this is your first taste of Deborah Crombie and her Kincaid/James series that’s fine it does well alone, but my suggestion is to go back to the beginning and find out how they got where they are now and who they’ve become along the way. If you like British crime fiction you’ll find this a little less bloody than most and more tasteful because of it.
If you’re looking for that perfect gift for that someone special on your list treat them to a murder.
2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2012
Posted February 19, 2012
One of her Best
I just finished my NOOK....book "No Mark Upon Her" I loved it. Kept me guessing "who done it" almost to the end. Characters were very well drawn, I find myself thinking what happens next to these people whom I grew to really care about. The story starts with a former Olympic qualified rower Rebecca Meredith. She is now 35 and wants to try again for the gold. This time she practices in secret. One night while rowing she disappears. Where is she and why was she found dead by the river? Because she was also a police officer Duncan Kincaid is called in to investigate and assist the local police. Gemma becomes involved because she also has a her own personal reasons to help find Meredith’s killer. There is a dark secret in Meredith’s and Gemma’s. past. We learn about it as the investigations continues. There are a number of suspects, but one special suspect has a reason to want Meredith dead.. Who is it? With twists and turns the truth comes out. I found all the rowing information very informative, I love to watch the races on TV. I think on the next "Charles Regatta" in Boston/Cambridge this coming fall I will try to go in person. There is also wonderful information on Search and Rescue dogs and their owners. Even the dogs have distinct personalities. I love the ebb and flow of Duncan and Gemma growing into their marriage and the children are lovingly drawn. Charlotte just breaks my heart. Thanks so much for a wonderful read, now I have to wait for number #15 in this much loved series. Thank you Deborah for all of your books. You are a treasure. Pati Beal a/k/a Shamrockgirl62
1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2014
Posted March 24, 2014
Loved this book!
This is my first time reading this author and it was great! The characters were developed so well, it was like they were old friends and i loved the dogs! I plan to read more of theseWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2014
My blog didn¿t start off as a YA mostly blog, I used to do a lo
My blog didn’t start off as a YA mostly blog, I used to do a lot of adult books, but my life has become consumed with teen angst and drama. I do however enjoy a good Adult book once in a while, and this book filled that void mostly. It was a solid murder mystery with a lot of twists and turns that I couldn’t have seen coming.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I really struggled with this book because of the British slang. There were points where I really didn’t understand the conversation that was happening. I think the reason that this was most annoying was because I get that its originally published in England, but there was no reason that the slang had to be so heavy. I guess I can forget it to come extent. I tried really hard to read the book thoroughly, but the first 150 pages were a little rough for reasons other than the slang. This book is #14 in a series about these two cops. That means that there is a lot of backstory that the author is trying to clue you in on, alright fine, I get that too, but there were some scenes that didn’t seem to further the plot or the character development that I started skimming until something prudent to the case was mentioned or we learned something meaningful about a character.
I really enjoyed the murder mystery and the different clues that we were left throughout the book. I have to say that I was really surprised when they announced who the killer was. That came totally out of left field. I really liked thought that it wasn’t super predictable, and that they slowly progressed to finding out who it was instead of having it in your face the whole time. It made me feel better when they did catch the person responsible because it didn’t feel like they were bumbling around without a clue.
I also liked the personal back story that we had for Duncan and Gemma. Like I said, this is book 14, so there is a lot that we don’t get to see and explore, but the back story that we were provided with as a reader made me feel that it wasn’t a middle of the series book. Their scenes were actually the ones that I looked forward to the most other than the murder mystery because they were interesting. The other parts were less so, but I wanted to know about them and the Murder mystery.
I wasn’t thrilled with the naming of the characters. The naming wasn’t so bad but at times I felt like she was intentionally trying to confuse us by calling Duncan Kincaid, Kincaid when he was talking to another character named Kieran, and she would refer to him as Duncan when he was talking to another person named Doug. Alliteration is fun until it confuses your reader. Which it did at points because I never knew who was talking.
In the end, this book was a really interesting mystery. I enjoyed the little blurbs at the top of each paragraph that related to some information during the book and I also liked the info about Rowing that I had no idea about. I would probably recommend starting the series from the beginning, there was a lot that I felt that I was missing between characters like Doug and Melody and the background about Gemma and Duncan’s daughter, Charlotte.
Posted January 3, 2014
Posted August 2, 2013
Posted July 30, 2013