A Must Read Police Procedural: “No Mark Upon Her” By Deborah Crombie
Deborah Crombie is a familiar name among fans of police procedural novels. A native of Texas, she lived in England for several years and the Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James mystery series is a result of her British life experience. As a three-time Macavity Award winner and an Edgar Award nominee, her novels have got attention by New York Times and LA Time and one of her books “Dreaming of the Bones” was included by Independent Mystery Booksellers Association in the list of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century. No Mark Upon Her is her latest work and the 14th book in the Kincaid/James series.
A Brief Summary:
A K9 search-and-rescue team discovers the body an Olympics contender and high-ranking detective with Met in the river. At first, the case seems like an accident which can happen to any rower, however Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid soon finds himself heading an investigation filled with surprises and complications.
The victim, Rebecca Meredith, was a talented but difficult woman with many admirers—and just as many enemies. The investigation team is confused with the political and ethical issues related to the victim’s career life and the romantic encounters in her personal life: There is no shortage of suspects and the case can go to any direction.
When someone tries to kill the search-and-rescue team member who found Rebecca’s body and apparently was also her ex-lover, the case becomes even more complex and, involving powerful interests with tentacles that reach deep into the heart of the Met itself.
Pressured to find answers quickly while protecting the Yard at all costs, Kincaid’s career and reputation is on the line, so he joins forces with his wife to catch the killer before more innocent lives are lost—including their own.
Crombie’s novels, including this one, enjoy very intricate and believable plots. Like many other modern police procedural novels, there is a secondary story which moves in parallel with the main case. The list of suspects keep the reader guessing, though with a bit of attention, the identity of the real killer can be predicted early in the story. The elaborate research behind the story covering the rowing and investigative processes has given the story much more depth and made the characters “real”.
The common thread among several of the characters is the passion for rowing. Each chapter starts with a quote which echoes importance of race and winning among rowers and the distance they are willing to go. This provides a great platform for Crombie to tell her tale. Overall, this is a great read on many layers and we recommend it to all our readers.
Our Rating: 5.0
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