Thursday, September 18, 2014

Death in a Flash

To Dwell inDarkness (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James #15) by Deborah Crombie (HarperCollins hardcover, 23 September 2014).

As usual there’s a lot going on in the James/Kincaid household.
Duncan’s demotion-disguised-as-promotion is not going well.  His DI, Jasmine Sidana, had wanted the job that went to him, and as a result is resentful and overly polite to her new DCI.

Gemma’s new position, a promotion to DI that Duncan suspects is meant to keep him quiet about his own reassignment, has allowed her to keep working with her DS  Melody Talbot, but they are embroiled in an ugly case involving the murder of a 12-year-old girl, which causes Gemma extra anxiety about her own children.

Meanwhile, Duncan and Gemma’s two boys, Kit and Toby, have rescued a neglected cat with a litter of four kittens that they desperately want to keep.  Foster daughter Charlotte has an ongoing respiratory problem which is keeping Duncan and Gemma awake at night, resulting in bleary-eyed mornings at work and speculation on the part of Sidana about alcohol problems. 

Melody’s boyfriend Andy Monahan and his bandmate Poppy Jones have an afternoon performance at St. Pancras station, which is a huge break for the aspiring musicians.  Melody has promised to be there, but due to problems on the tube, the band is already playing when she arrives.  She sees some protesters nearby, and for a moment is worried that she’ll have to deal with them, but luckily a Transport officer takes over.  Just as the song ends, there is a whoosh and a flash; obviously a bomb of some kind has been set off.

The St. Pancras bombing case goes to DI Kincaid and his team, which does not include Melody.  However, she’s involved as an eyewitness, and finds herself helping Duncan’s investigation on an unofficial basis.

What’s wonderful about this series is the way that the lives of the detective couple are portrayed:  inclusive of  both career and family.  Duncan and Gemma have many of the same problems as any two-career couple, but they are fortunate to have a well-developed support system of friends and relatives.

I read this riveting novel in an afternoon, and felt sad when it ended.  It’s so enjoyable to be a part of this family.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the e-galley.

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