Necessary as Blood (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #13)

Necessary as Blood (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #13)

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by Deborah Crombie
     
 

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Necessary As Blood is the latest entry in Deborah Crombie’s New York Times Notable, Edgar®, Agatha, and Macavity Awards-nominated mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A Texan frequently compared to the masters of British crime fiction—including P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Barbara Vine, and fellow American ElizabethSee more details below

Overview

Necessary As Blood is the latest entry in Deborah Crombie’s New York Times Notable, Edgar®, Agatha, and Macavity Awards-nominated mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James. A Texan frequently compared to the masters of British crime fiction—including P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Barbara Vine, and fellow American Elizabeth George—Crombie dazzles once more with Necessary As Blood—a relentlessly suspenseful tale of a vanished mother, a murdered father, and a helpless, endangered child.

In this dazzling addition to Deborah Crombie's acclaimed mystery series, a disappearance, a murder, and a child in danger lead Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid into London's legendary East End—a neighborhood where the rich and the poor, the ambitious and the dangerous, collide—to solve one of the most challenging and disturbing cases they've ever faced. . . .

Necessary As Blood

Once the haunt of Jack the Ripper, London's East End is a vibrant mix of history and the avant-garde, a place where elegant Georgian town houses exist side by side with colorful street markets and the hippest clubs. But here races and cultures still clash, and the trendy galleries and glamorous nightlife of Whitechapel disguise a violent and seedy underside, where unthinkable crimes bring terror to the innocent.

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in mid May, a young mother, Sandra Gilles, leaves her daughter with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market and disappears. Shortly thereafter, her husband, a Pakistani lawyer, is killed. Scotland Yard detective Gemma James happens upon the scene in time to witness the investigator making a mistake.

When Duncan and his trusted sergeant, Doug Cullen, see Gemma's name in the report, they decide to take the case. Working together again, Gemma, Duncan, Doug, and Melody Talbot must solve it before the murderer can get his hands on the real prize, Naz and Sandra's daughter.

But just as the case grows more dangerous, a personal issue threatens to throw Gemma and Duncan off the trail. In the end, it is up to them to stop a vicious killer and protect the child whose fate hangs in the balance.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Romance dominates Crombie's 13th contemporary procedural featuring Scotland Yarders Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid, who are on the verge of getting married (after 2008's Where Memories Lie). The how, where and when of their wedding proves a considerable source of stress to both, overshadowing the murder investigation of Naz Malik, a solicitor suspected in the disappearance of his wife, Sandra Gilles, an artist specializing in textile collage. Malik was found suffocated in Bethnal Green, with traces of an animal tranquilizer in his system. Meanwhile, James's mother is seriously ill, placing James in the impossible position of trying to fulfill both her familial and work responsibilities. In addition, James must fight to keep Malik's now parentless young daughter from falling into the custody of Sandra's unsavory relatives. Hopefully, Crombie will provide a better balance of police work and her characters' personal lives next time. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A young mother goes missing, and three months later her husband is found murdered. Assigned the racially and socially charged case, Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid must assuage the egos of local detectives while leading his own team. Detective Inspector Gemma James, Kincaid's ex-partner, is also interested because the unlucky spouses' young daughter is now orphaned. Crombie, known for her intricate plotting and careful character development, interweaves the police investigation with James's personal problems—her mother's battle with cancer, her friend's depression, her family's dislike of her wedding plans with Kincaid. VERDICT Fans of the series (Where Memories Lie) will lap this one up because the focus is on James running her own unsanctioned investigation. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 6/1/09; for more mystery, go to LJ's Mystery Book Buzz webcast at http://bit.ly/AV1nw, where this title was highlighted.—Ed.]
Kirkus Reviews
Would a mother abandon her child to get out of a problematic marriage?Still mourning her miscarried baby, DI Gemma James can't settle on wedding arrangements to Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. He fears she may back out: Their best friends Hazel and Tim are divorced, and the marriage of Gemma's parents is challenged by her mother's chemo. When Pakistani lawyer Naz Malik turns up dead three months after his white wife Sandra disappeared, there are rumors that she ran off with another bloke. Would Sandra have abandoned the daughter she doted on? Did Naz, who loved his wife and child, commit suicide? Arranging temporary custody for the Maliks' toddler, Charlotte, Gemma becomes obsessed with figuring out why Sandra vanished and Naz died. She's hampered by Narcotics, which has been watching Sandra's druggie brothers for years and doesn't want Gemma interfering. That doesn't stop her, and she gets a concussion for her troubles. Suspects include a former agent for Sandra's artwork, a restaurateur whose missing nephew was to testify at his corruption trial and the owner of a private club whose wealthy members fancy very young girls. More complications arise when a tabloid-newspaper baron susses out facts the Yard is not ready to release, Gemma's sister piles on guilt about the wedding and Charlotte seems headed for a truly unsuitable family placement. Despite a smattering of East End history and racial discord, this is really a study of what makes relationships work or fail, thoughtfully unfolded by a dependable pro (Water Like a Stone, 2007, etc.).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061287534
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series, #13
Pages:
378
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

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