The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #15)

( 41 )

Overview

In the past . . .

On a blistering August afternoon in Crystal Palace, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed teacher hoping to make a new start. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.

In the present . . .

On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now ...

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The Sound of Broken Glass (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #15)

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Overview

In the past . . .

On a blistering August afternoon in Crystal Palace, a solitary thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor, a recently widowed teacher hoping to make a new start. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.

In the present . . .

On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team, her first case is a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. A well-respected barrister is found naked, trussed, and apparently strangled. Is it an unsavory accident or murder? Their search leads them into unexpected corners and forces them to contemplate unsettling truths about the weaknesses and passions that lead to murder. Ultimately, they will begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In their latest case, Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James must delve into the death of a prominent barrister in a seedy London hotel. Did he die in a sordid misadventure or was he murdered? To uncover the truth, the pair must search into the past as well as into the near present. Another stellar addition to a series that already includes Where Memories Lie and As Necessary As Blood.

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Crombie puts together past and present in her solid, finely controlled 15th novel featuring married police detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid (after 2012’s No Mark upon Her). While Duncan looks after their three-year-old foster daughter at home, Gemma and Det. Sgt. Melody Talbot investigate the murder of barrister Vincent Arnott, found in a seedy hotel in London’s Crystal Palace area, naked, tied with a belt, and strangled. When the body of a second barrister, killed in exactly the same way, turns up, physical evidence proves the same person murdered both men. Gemma and Melody painstakingly and methodically unravel the clues, finding connections that began 15 years earlier in the Crystal Palace area. Flashbacks show how the meeting of a lonely 13-year-old boy and a recently widowed teacher had grave consequences. The unfolding domestic relationship between Gemma and Duncan softens and humanizes them. The city of London, foggy, blustery, and historic, provides a seductive background. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Friendships go seriously awry. When DS Melody Talbot spends the night with guitarist Andy Monahan, a witness and possibly even a suspect in a murder case, she can't decide which is worse: having to confess her indiscretion to her boss, Acting DCI Gemma James, or to her good mate Doug Cullen, a copper laid up with a bad leg. Andy had argued with barrister Vincent Arnott, the victim, between sets at a pub in the Crystal Palace area. Could the musician have followed Arnott to the sleazy Belvedere Hotel, plied him with drugs, stripped him naked, trussed him up, then strangled him with a scarf that left threads embedded in his neck? With an assist from her husband, Duncan Kincaid, now on leave from his Scotland Yard purview to take care of little orphan Charlotte, whom they hope to adopt, Gemma interviews Andy's manager, a record producer hoping to pair Andy with new sensation Poppy, band members and kin. When another barrister, Shaun Francis, is murdered in identical fashion, the only link between the two dead men seems to be Andy. It is not until Duncan listens to a tale of a 13-year-old's betrayal that tawdry gossip and legal shenanigans come to light, implicating a widowed French teacher and a much-bullied boy nursing grievances that cry out for revenge. Another solid outing for the reliable Crombie (No Mark Upon Her, 2012, etc.), who turns a judicious eye on secrets that can overwhelm what they're meant to protect despite the best intentions.
Miami Herald
“…Deborah Crombie never falters. Her novels are a delight, and with The Sound of Broken Glass, she keeps her impressive creative streak intact.”
People
“An intriguing, atmospheric London murder mystery set in both the past and the present.”
People
“An intriguing, atmospheric London murder mystery set in both the past and the present.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061990632
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/19/2013
  • Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #15
  • Pages: 359
  • Sales rank: 631,594
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Crombie

A native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland, Deborah Crombie is a three-time Macavity Award winner, an Edgar Award nominee, and a New York Times Notable author. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the recent Necessary as Blood and Dreaming of the Bones, which was selected as one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. She 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    I only 'discovered' Deborah Crombie last year when I read No Mar

    I only 'discovered' Deborah Crombie last year when I read No Mark Upon Her. (my review - I loved it) I have been eagerly awaiting the next entry in her Duncan Kincaid/ Gemma James series. The Sound of Broken Glass (#15) releases today.

    Kincaid and James are husband and wife and both work for Scotland Yard. Duncan is staying at home right now with their three year old daughter and Gemma is heading up her first big murder case.

    Who has been killed? A prominent lawyer - found in a rundown hotel in Crystal Palace, naked and tied up. Is it a sex game gone wrong? Or a sadistic killer? But then a second lawyer is found killed the same way - and there's evidence to link the two cases. As Gemma digs deeps deeper, she finds unexpected connections to her life. In flashback chapters, we also slowly learn of a young man's past and his upbringing in the Crystal Palace neighbourhood. What connection does he have to the present day?

    Crombie is a master of plotting. There was no dearth of suspects and I was kept guessing until the end. The investigation is solid police work and I enjoyed solving the crime along with Gemma and her team. But woven through this main storyline is a running secondary storyline - that of Duncan and Gemma's personal life. And it is this 'personal' touch that has cemented Crombie on my must read list. Although others may complain that domestic details of characters may detract from a good mystery, I find quite the opposite. I feel they gave the story much more depth and make the characters 'real' and all the more believable. This same attention to detail is given to the secondary players as well. The result is a well rounded cast, all with their own tale to tell. I've become invested in each of their lives and want to see where Crombie takes everyone from here.

    There's a third thread also wound about the story - that of The Crystal Palace itself. Although the name now denotes an area of South London, the history behind this plate-glass building originally erected to house the Great Exhibition of 1851 is truly fascinating. Every chapter starts out with a quote or a paragraph chronicling the history of the building. And again, Crombie is very clever with her choices. Read carefully, they mirror what is happening in the book.

    The Sound of Broken Glass was a satisfying read on so many levels - one I would definitely recommend. Crombie ends the book with a cliff hanger - I will be again eagerly awaiting the next in this wonderful series.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    The Sound of Broken Glass Deborah Crombie ISBN: 978-0-06-199063

    The Sound of Broken Glass
    Deborah Crombie
    ISBN: 978-0-06-199063
    Feb 2013
    *This is an ARC I won via a goodreads giveaway* 5 Stars!
    Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot are investigating the murder of a barrister whose body was found in a very compromising position. No matter if his death was accidental or more sinister they must find out who he spent the evening with. Their investigation will lead them into lies and a circle of secrets kept for years that are still being protected. It’s inevitable to become personally involved in the case, meaning that relationships and careers could depend on them resolving the investigation.
    This is the 15th book in this series but this is only the second that I have read. The other was No Mark Upon Her which I also really enjoyed. That being said, this would usually drive me a little nutty to not have read all of the previous novels but I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything. Obviously I will read all of the previous books but I will honestly say that it wouldn’t make me feel differently. I really like this series and Ms. Crombie has a new fan.
    The characters are amazing! They make me laugh and cry and I want to have a cup of coffee or tea with them. I cannot wait for the next book to see what is going to happen to them now. The plot is fantastic as well. I tend to figure things out quickly but these books seem to keep me on my toes even if I have decided “who done it”. I question my theory, which is a big deal for me when it comes to mysteries.
    I don’t have any complaints at all with this one except that now I have to wait for the next. By now you know that I am going to recommend this one until I am blue in the face or until my fingertips are bleeding.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    ?

    Another possible good book ruined by excessive plot spoilers. Bn, just lost another sale to these plot spoilers. Are you ever going to put a stop to them???

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Not Crombie's best effort. I enjoy the many characters who have

    Not Crombie's best effort. I enjoy the many characters who have been added to Gemma and Duncan's world as this series has developed, but the storylines among them have begun to overwhelm the detective work. This book reached a pretty sloppy and late resolution, leaving many things unexplained. 

    I was also disappointed that Crombie's research into London history seemed a bit shallow in this volume. Typically, Crombie provides an entertaining and informative history of a different London neighborhood and develops a lively sense of community in each book. This time, most of the background material provided at the beginning of each chapter was a dry accounting culled from web sites. Crystal Palace itself never came to life as an interesting place to imagine or visit.

    I look forward to each of Crombie's new books, and this was the first one to leave me plainly disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The central geographical theme in this newest book from Deborah


    The central geographical theme in this newest book from Deborah Crombie is the area of South London known as Crystal Palace and its environs, with each chapter preceded by some fascinating information. It certainly has historical importance, originally known for the site of The Great Exhibition, a great iron and glass building moved to Crystal Palace Park in 1854 and destroyed by fire on November 30, 1936. Its importance in the present-day tale spun so wonderfully here, however, is as a crime scene, when DI Gemma James is called to investigate the murder of a well-respected barrister found in a seedy hotel in the district, naked, trussed, and apparently strangled.

    At irregular intervals, there are flashback scenes in the same geographical area taking place fifteen years in the past, when a 13-year-old boy is befriended by his next-door neighbor, a young widow, providing a lifeline of sorts for the lonely youngster, whose alcoholic mother has little time for him. The connection with present-day events becomes clear much later in the book.

    The personal life of Gemma and her husband, DS Duncan Kincaid, and their blended family, primarily their 3-year-old foster daughter, Charlotte, is once again a major part of the plot. He is now on leave from Scotland Yard to be primary caretaker of Charlotte and the other family members, the boys, Kit and Toby, and their assorted animals: Sid the cat, the terrier Tess, and the cocker spaniel Geordie. Things become complicated when Duncan realizes he has a personal connection with one of the suspects, and a second, similar murder takes place.

    This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, much like the prior books in the series, which is high praise indeed. The plotting is complex and suspense-filled, the characters wonderfully well-drawn, and the book is recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Loved it!

    Well-written and an engaging story. Some twists and turns but not too many so as to confuse the reader. Really enjoyed it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2013

    Highly recommend

    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!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Excellent as usual

    The Sound of Broken Glass is Deborah Crombie in her usual fine form, and if you already know her work, this one won't disappoint. Like her previous books in the series, this one is well written and had me guessing right up to the very last few pages. And she continues to update the lives of characters we've come to know in other books of this series. I hope she'll favor us with another one soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2013

    Another great one in the series

    I have read each one of this series and eagerly await the next. Sound of Broken Glass does not disappoint. Crombie is right up there with Christie. I always think I have the killer figured out and never do, as an addicted mystery reader, I always get what I need from Crombie.
    Can't wait til the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Recommended

    Enjoyable relationship between the husband/wife detectives. Easy read, likeable characters along with a sympathetic concern for their well being. Good story when you just want to kick back and escape the humdrum for a bit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    A Great Addition to a Great Series

    I eagerly awaited the release of this installment, as I am a longtime Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James and have been for years. Set in London and filled with atmosphere, this literary mystery should appeal to fans of Elizabeth George, Donna Leon, and Louise Penny. The books in this series are not filled with violence or sex, nor are the protagonists imbued with superhuman powers. They are real world police procedurals with a solid storyline that unfolds quite plausibly. Because the characters and their relationships develop so much throughout the series, it is best read in order. In a pinch, though, this would work as a stand alone too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Excellent as we have come to expect with the series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    I have read all of these books and enjoy Ms Crombie's style of w

    I have read all of these books and enjoy Ms Crombie's style of writing and the continuing characters. This particular book took a bit of getting into before I found it interesting. The intro to all the characters and crime part of the story seemed to take awhile. I have liked some of her others a bit better. That said, i will continue to be her fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Satsfyingv Satisfying Read: Good chracter development Satisfyungb Satisfying Read:: Satsfying Satisfying read; Kincaid as a dtay Satusfyung read Satisfying read; kincaid as stay at home dad

    The mystery is good, and a little raunchy by Crombie standards, but it's the development of the series' cast of characters that drives this book. Kincaid is on leave, a stay-at-home dad, and Melody has a surprising relationship development.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2013

    The Sound Of Broken Glass, by Deborah Crombie, a NY Times Best S

    The Sound Of Broken Glass, by Deborah Crombie, a NY Times Best Seller author, newest book is AMAZING.......

    If you like Police procedural mysteries with some suspense and excellent writing and research, this is the book for you.

    though Deborah lives in Texas, she travels to London to research every book she writes and it shows in her writing and true "Brit" english

    Deb knows how to draw you in, I feel like I am there hovering over the investigation team, although she doesn't overkill on places, you can picture every scene as you were right there, only bad thing was having to turn that last page, knowing the story was over for the time being, hopefully to be continued

    I hope everyone enjoys this book (an entire series) as much as I did,  I highly recommend this one and the rest of series
    Mar

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Simbakit

    ?.....

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Blood

    Age: 23 moons former ckan: nope loner crush: blushes pers: meet me gender: female

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    Snow's Bio

    &#10023 Name: Snow &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Rank: Claw &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Age: Twenty Moons &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Gender: Female &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Appearance: Snow white fur, icy blue eyes &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Personality: Cold to cats outside her clan, and protective of the ones in it, especially the kits of Broken Lights. Sadistic, and will kill without mercy. &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Kin: None that are alive. &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Mate: Not yet &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Kits: Again, not yet &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 History: I won't even THINK of telling you until I trust you &#10023
    <br>
    <br>
    &#10023 Other: Ask. I might tear your throat out if you ask the wrong thing, but feel free to try &#10023

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Death's Bio 1.1

    Name: Death. [Obviously.]
    Rank: Claw.
    Looks: Completely black with thick fur except for one white mark on her forhead shaped like a crescent moon. She is light and agile, with piercing green eyes dotted with blue and gold.
    Personality: Smart, ruthless. Caring, cruel. She is also scarcastic and has a good sense of humor. She enjoys killing in slow and painful ways. Her favorite type of prey is a a crow, and her least favroite are shrews. She has a crush, but no mate or kits.
    History: I think you would look nice with a shredded ear......
    Kin: None that she knows of.
    Other: Ask!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    Doyen River's Biography

    Name: River <br> Age: 21 moons <br> Former Clan: Fearclan <br> <br> Description: A red point Siamese with crystal blue eyes. She has a scar over her left eye, but surprisingly can still open and see out of it. <br> Personality: intelligent, lively, loyal, murderous, protective vicious fighter <br> History: She must learn to trust you before she will even think about telling you. <br> Kin: they are all alive,but she will not tell <br> Crush: good luck with that.

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