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

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

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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061939624
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #13
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 23,366
File size: 900 KB

About 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 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 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!
drizzlegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Necessary as Blood is the next installment of Deborah Crombie¿s murder mystery series featuring the characters Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid. Ms. Crombie¿s lyrical writing style and character development make this book flow like hearing a story from an old friend. When you sit down to read this book it¿s easy to fall into a page turning trance and the next thing you know you¿re halfway through the book.This series of books are set in modern day London, the main characters are detectives, Gemma in Notting Hill and Duncan with Scotland Yard. We join them living together planning a wedding. During this time, Naz Malik a friend of a friend is found dead only months after his wife Sandra Gilles turns up missing. Gemma takes it upon herself to make sure Naz and Sandra¿s daughter, Charlotte, is put with a family who loves her and won¿t exploit her situation or hurt her. The idea of anguish over child exploitation is a main theme throughout this book. So the reader not only travels through the police investigation into the murder and disappearance but also through the drama of keeping Charlotte safe. This is the first book written by Ms. Crombie that I have read, but it certainly won¿t be the last! She expertly weaves the story in such a way that when the reader learns who the culprit truly is it sheds new light on seemingly inconsequential bits of the plot line. I love stories that have hidden little gems that don¿t really become clear until the end!!Ms. Crombie also seems to have a very lyrical writing style. The best example I can give is when she describes the coroner¿s office on page 125-126:¿Books covered the shelves, made towers on the floor, and overflowed the surface of the desk, where a computer monitor looked as if it were fighting for its life. File boxes were interspersed with the books, and the only visible spot on the wall was cover with an intricate bit of graffiti art. There were no chairs other than the one behind the desk.¿Although Ms. Crombie was born and raised in Texas, she has spent much time in England. This intimate knowledge of the English culture beautifully informs her work. The use of English colloquialisms adds to the setting of this book in an indispensible way.This book will keep you guessing until the end! If you¿re a lover of murder mysteries then definitely be to pick up Necessary as Blood.
Suuze on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although it took me some time for me to get comfy with the many British terms/places, I really did get into this book. OK, I was up past 2am, reading! Very fast paced story, and you have to pay attention to details, which I like, even though sometimes I had to go back a few pages to check. (I'm ashamed to admit)The characters are likeable and interesting, making you care about what happens to them. There are even heart-warming scenes popping up in various places in the story, even when the mystery is at it's heaviest. Nice touch.I really enjoyed this book and will recommend it to friends.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a long-time fan of the Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid series, and it's been awhile sinde the last book came out. I was really looking forward to reading this book and it sure didn't disappoint. In the book we see Gemma's and Duncan's relationship progressing. They are also brought into a missing mother case when the husband is found dead. Gemma and Duncan are racing against time to try to solve the two cases since a little girl's life is hanging in the balance. On the way they meet some pretty despicable characters and the case begins to get complicated. This is fictional crime writing at its best. Crombie is a master storyteller, and this series is a winner - both hard hitting and softer too as it develops relationships between the returning characters. Loved it
maryellew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Necessary As Blood is a police procedural, but it is much more than that. The reader is presented with the mysterious disappearance of Sandra, and her husband Naz, and their story revolves around their beautiful three year old daughter Charlotte.Sandra is a British artist with a family background that is so distasteful to her that she has cut all ties from them. Naz is a solicitor of Pakistani descent, and when he goes missing, the mystery begins to take off.In writing about the art of Sandra, the missing mother, Ms. Crombie reveals her own artistic abilities by making the collages, fabrics and photos come alive with words. Her descriptions of the meld of culture and society of the new Great Britain make three dimensional the challenges facing the incoming immigrants and the population that must absorb them.The story is set in London and environs, and martial and relationship troubles mingle with racial and class tensions. The author lives in Texas, but British colloquialisms and local vernacular abound. This does not detract from the story, however, but only makes it richer.I really liked this book, and found the characters to be well developed. Each one had his or her own unique challenges, certainly no superheroes here. Real people, real cops, real relationships, real parents, real kids. Yet all of it captures the reader, and the plot moves along nicely.If you like a good mystery/police procedural with novelistic elements of marital and commitment issues, written with style and distinction, then this is the book for you. I, for one, am excited to see that Deborah Crombie has a good, solid backlist, and I am looking forward to exploring her other titles.
deborahwiley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Necessary As Blood by Deborah CrombieI have not read any of Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James books, but that did not prevent me from enjoying the book from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed her beautiful description of the various houses in the East End. It was interesting to learn that the author does not live in England, but clearly she may be an outsider, but it allows her to give us the reader, a bird's eye vision of modern England. Her keen observations about racial tension in England were very interesting. Her description of some of the restaurants started to make my stomach rumble as the food based on her writing about it. It was a compelling book from start to finish. I will look for the other books in the series and try to read them.Thanks to LT Early Reviewer for giving me the opportunity to read the book and share my impressions!
ElizChanLest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book. The problem may have been that I have not read the prior books in the series. Regardless, the characters seemed two dimensional and I was not interested.
klaidlaw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book as part of the Early Reviews program, and it was my first introduction to the James/Kincaid mystery series.I lived outside London back in the early 1980's and spent a lot of time in central London, so it was nice to return there 20+ years later through the eyes of Deborah Crombie. It is obvious from her descriptions of the City that she loves London. She also does a good job of putting a face to the racial tensions of East London between the immigrants from the remnants of the Empire and the white Anglo-Saxon residents.The story is a police procedural revolving around the disappearance of a young artist, the murder of her husband and the aftermath for their young daughter. The story starts out slowly, but picks up steam fairly soon--not from the murder, which doesn't take place until well after the beginning of the book, but by the interplay between the main characters, their friends, family and co-workers. For the most part I enjoyed the characters, though I'm not sure there isn't too much American author in the dialogue. There are lots of false clues, chases down rabbit holes and the inevitable "ah-ha" moment when the story pulls together. Surprisingly, one of the high points of the book was the author's descriptions of Sandra's art. It really gave me an image. I wondered if the descriptions were based on something she has actually seen because they were so vivid.I did think the ending was a bit too much treacle, and a push for the continued soon concept of series, but other than that, I would recommend the book to anyone wanting a mystery set in modern London.
LA12Hernandez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really wished that the mystery of this book was more fleshed out. I felt the book was more about Gemma and the drama in her life, then the murder she was trying to solve. Though it was interesting and well written it was not the style of mystery I prefer. I did enjoy the way the author showed how one person can touch so many people during their lifetime. And the ending was totally unexpected. Still I prefer a book more focused on the crime then the drama.
bfolds on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A nice addition to this only complaint is that i think Crombie goes slightly overboard with British pop culture references. Perhaps it is an effort to add credibility (since she's from Texas) but in this instance it became a distraction for me.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 13th volume in Deborah Crombie's Gemma James/ Duncan Kinkaid series. Gemma and Duncan are both police officers in London, and in a long-term committed relationship. For that reason they no longer work in the same office, but they both get drawn into a case of a murdered man whose wife had disappeared some months previously. The murdered man was a friend of a friend of theirs, and they get concerned as to what will happen to the three-year old child of the couple.Crombie is one of my favorite authors. This book is quite good. Not my favorite of the series, but well worth reading.
alluvia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well, I really wanted to get hooked on this. Not only was the setting London and the genre mystery, but there were deckled edges AND a beautifully illustrated map of East London on the endpapers. So I jumped in.It was a slow moving narrative, no hint of mystery and nothing to particularly hook me in the first 50 pages. Worse, the dialogue sounded as British as barbecue ribs and the characters were fuzzy and not terribly engaging. There was nothing to care about in those first 50 pages, so I just shut the book and decided not to waste any more time. But am sad - would have loved to find a well-written London mystery series to plow through, a la Ruth Rendell.
DeaconBernie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Entertaining and a quick read. It is the sort of police story that I usually don't like: one where the bad actor does not even appear until over 90% of the book has been read. Nevertheless, Ms. Crombie's characters are quite believeable and when she springs something violent, you aren't expecting it; and she then allows the effect of the violence to play out fully in very believeable terms.
Scrabblenut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a good story, but sad, and I thought the villain was a bit unrealistic (I hope). A wife and mother goes missing, and a few months later her husband is murdered, leaving behind an almost 3-year-old girl of mixed race. A lot of the story was about Gemma and Duncan's personal life and impending wedding, which I enjoyed as usual. There was also a lot of information about the Bangladeshi part of London, which was interesting. Recommended for readers already familiar with the characters.
Chuck2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book reminded me of my time in the British Isles. The stories description of the weather, country side and crowded cities and streets were fun to recall. I enjoyed the authors character development, interaction and growth. I had not read a British mystery sine Sherlock Holmes and found this story development polie work and surprise ending made this story captivating. I will find other of her books in this series.
missmasse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found Crombie's Necessary As Blood to be a solid and generally enjoyable novel, but it didn't blow me away. Basic plot: Detective Inspector Gemma James becomes involved the case of Charlotte, a 4 year old girl whose artist mother Sandra Gilles mysteriously disappeared some months back, when her father Naz Malik also goes missing and is then discovered dead in a London park. Gemma's emotions and personal relationships complicate the investigation, and the ultimate resolution involves a much larger and more sinister crime than anyone investigating it anticipated. I have not read any of other books in the series, so there were times when I felt that there were references to previous plotlines that I was missing. That said, I generally liked all of the characters and the way they interacted with eachother. For me the weakest part of the book was that there was too much build up to an ending that was consequently somewhat anti-climactic. The strength of this work is the detailed way Crombie describes elements such as the East London neighborhood in which the book is set, the artwork of the missing Sandra Gilles, and all of the children (such as Charlotte the daughter of missing Sandra Gilles and Naz Malik, and Gemma James' own children Toby and Kit). All of these descriptions are lovingly, and quite vividly rendered. Overall, a good but somewhat un-outstanding read.
mookie86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I had never read one of Crombie's works, I found Necessary as Blood very enjoyable and very well written. Crombie's portrayal of many different important characters and their counterparts were portrayed with enough details to understand them and some life events that may have taken place in previous novels. This was very helpful to me as a first time Crombie reader. As for the mystery itself, even though the underlying motives for the crime are horrific and disturbing and the reader may get an idea of what the motives might be at the very beginning, it wasn't truly brought to life until the last quarter of the book. This allowed for a bigger build-up closer to the end with many different suspects and allowed everything to tie in well. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a solid mystery with some London mixed in.
bear08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took me a lot of effort to get through this book. I was excited when I got it because I tend to enjoy mystery novels. However, there wasn't anything that really pulled me into this story. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't the right mystery for me.
blueyss82 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a little disappointed in the ending when I finally got there. Throughout the book I hit points that seemed to take forever to get through and I had other moments where I couldn't put the book down. While I liked some aspects of the plot, I thought others were very unnecessary and didn't give the story more depth but made it more confusing. I really wanted to like this book and was excited to read it but was a little let down at the outcome.
caroline123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As usual, Deborah Crombie does not disappoint. I enjoyed this latest installment in the Gemma James/Duncan Kincaid series.
MurderMysteryMayhem on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
On a warm sunny Saturday in London's East End Sandra Gilles, a local artist, leaves her three-year-old daughter with a friend at the Columbia Road Flower Market. It's just for a few minutes, she needs to run an errand before meeting her husband Naz for lunch, but she never comes back. Three months later Naz Malik, Sandra's husband, is found dead in Haggerston Park and despite appearances it's not suicide, it's murder. Gemma James finds herself deeply connected to this mystery through friends and recent personal experiences. Despite the chaos in her own life Gemma tries to find a link between the two disappearances and a motive for Naz's murder but the East End seems to have its share of missing persons and the clash of cultures in this diversely populated corner of London provides more than one avenue of inquiry. The murder is actually under Duncan Kincaid's jurisdiction - Is he guilty of enabling her to subvert the system? And at what cost?If you are a stickler for the traditional police procedural this book is a bit heavy on the romance and interpersonal relationships. It can be read as a stand-alone but the details of the characters lives and their interactions are based on prior events so lovers of series with in depth character development are advised to start at the beginning. A bit of a cozy, good triumphing over evil, even though racial issues, drugs, and human trafficking all figure prominently.
Corwin2634 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read by this author. I was enjoyable. I will definitely look for other titles by her.There were a lot of different characters with a lot of sub-plots going on which kept my interest. Believable characters. I had not figured out who the "bad guy" was by the time it was revealed, which was a plus.