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, Davina Porter
     
 

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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 Elizabeth…  See 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:
9781440776632
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
11/21/2001
Series:
Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series, #13

Meet the Author

Deborah Crombie is a New York Times bestselling author and a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She now lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.

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Necessary as Blood (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #13) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid are getting married shortly. However just getting to the altar has stressed out both as peers and family list their demands that seem to grow every day Someone murders solicitor Naz Malik, who had been a suspect in his wife textile collage artist Sandra Gilles's disappearance. The autopsy revealed that the victim, who died from suffocation, had an animal tranquilizer in his blood, which made him an easy target for his killer. When Gemma's mother becomes ill, she struggles to balance her homicide investigation, her wedding plans and h4er mom's needs while she fears Malik's daughter will end up with Sandra's insalubrious family. The latest James-Kincaid British police procedural is an interesting entry as the romance for the first time supersedes the investigation. Both Gemma and Duncan consider running off to Gretna Green as nothing seems to go right with their wedding plans and the demands grow. The homicide is a welcome relief until her mom becomes ill. NECESSARY AS BLOOD is a fine fresh entry, but with the romance being prime, diehard investigative fans will find the smooching spin too sugary for their taste. Harriet Klausner
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid are getting married, which is being put together to please Gemma's cancer stricken mother. Nothing seems to be going right and Gemma wants an intimate and meaningful ceremony, not the high class extravaganza that her parents expect. A young mother named Sandra Gilles vanishes, leaving her toddler daughter with a family friend for what she promises will just be an hour or two. Then, months later, her husband also disappears. Gemma and Duncan are mutual friends with Naz, Charlotte's father and a lawyer and are in on the case early, even before the first dead body shows up. From then on, they work together and separately to resolve the mystery and help create the best possible future for Charlotte. Another exciting, enjoyable read.
Paminole More than 1 year ago
I love Crombie's books and this is no exception. It is a wonderful read and will keep you engaged to the very end.
dimps More than 1 year ago
Once again, Deborah Crombe has written a book I couldn't put down. Her series about Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James always makes me feel like I am visiting old friends and they never let me down. They are both complex, yet very understandable and lifelike people--people I would like to know in person. The ending left me with a wide smile!
Deb1951 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this series. I feel like I know the main characters personally. All of Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James books are suspenseful. I read a lot of murder mysteries and these always keep me guessing until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would use one word to describe this addition to the series. Dark. The murder that Duncan and Gemma and their teams must solve leads to the darker side of society.
bookloverPBC More than 1 year ago
Gemma and Duncan are definitely "real." Their blended family has the same problems as we have. They work well and separately to solve the mysteries. Gemma has interesting friends that enhance their world. Duncan's family add spice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this story in the series. Develops the relationship between Gemma and Duncan, along with a plot that keeps you guessing right up to a satisfactory conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love English mysteries and Deborah Crombie is one of the best. She just always comes through with top notch writing which is extremely difficult to put down. Her character development, her stories, everything! I'll just go back and pick up a previous book to read until she comes out with her next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story line and characters, especially Duncan and Gemma.
joybird43 More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Crombie you will enjoy this book. Will Gemma ever marry Duncan? Keep reading. Thanks Deborah Crombie for such great stories. This book also had some great insights into another culture which I enjoyed.
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I am disappointed in this storyline. Yes, I liked the main characters, but felt like the story did not flesh out well. I have read so many excellent books the past six months, and this one would not compare to those. I would not recommend it for a book club selection, but it would be a quick read for a snowy weekend.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do enjoy these books, but as a Brit, the reference of a free clinic irritates me, as have other Americanisms forced on a British setting
Woody-SO More than 1 year ago
These stories are very enjoyable to me except when Deborah Crombie uses the Lord's name as a swear word. This grates on me and I try to blank out what she is intentionally doing. She seems to have a good knowledge of many words as well as how to put them together, so why does she limit her swearing vocabulary to mostly taking the Lord's name in vain? There are many other swear words out there (which is still offensive) but she seems to prefer to use Jesus Christ as her weapon of intent. She is obviously not a follower of His teachings. If writer's refused to use swear words, they might be mightily surprised at how that would rub off on their readers. They may even promote morals instead of immorality. I find this habit of hers very offensive and am considering whether to read any more of her books no matter how much I am enjoying this series.