Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NO MARK UPON HER By Deborah Crombie

    So enjoy reading when words perfectly capture a place so that one can see it, when an emotion is described so that one can feel it, whether it be fear, anger or love.  Deborah Crombie does all of this to a T while filling her stories with engaging characters and suspense.  In addition  this Texan portrays English detectives thoughtfully, accurately, and with kindness for warts and all.

    With No Mark Upon Her, the 14th in her series starring Scotland Yard Supt. Duncan Kincaid and Det. Insp. Gemma James, readers are treated to an engrossing mystery plus a bit of history re the Henley Regatta and for many an introduction to the rigors of sculling.

    Metropolitan Police officer Becca Meredith once might have won an Olympic medal in rowing until a broken wrist put an end to that dream.  But now she hopes to make a comeback and is training in secret with equipment in her cottage and in her boat on the Thames.  She goes rowing alone one October evening when at the upriver end of Temple Island “...she heard a cry.  The voice was unmistakably human, oddly familiar, and she could have sworn it had called her name.”  A K0 search and rescue team later finds her body among  weeds in the river.

    Kincaid is asked to investigate the case.  Initially Becca’s ex husband is suspected of being involved in her death, but when someone attempts to take the life of one of the search and rescue team members it becomes apparent, at least to Kincaid and James, that there is a much deeper mystery, something dangerous and sinister at work.

    As has been said, “Crombie has laid claim to the literary territory of moody psychological suspense owned by P. D. James and Barbara Vine.”  Indeed and in  spades.


    - Gail Cooke

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