Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: “No Mark Upon Her” by Deborah Crombie

This review originally appeared in "Suspense Magazine" earlier in the year.


How nice to step into the world of Gemma and Duncan again! The reader is entering not only the world of the Metropolitan Police of London, but also the world of English sculling. And, along with the police department, the milieu of search dogs and their handlers.
Everything is set in motion when Becca, a Metropolitan Police officer who had a chance at the Olympics in single shell fourteen years ago, decides to stage a comeback and make another try. Her previous attempt at the Games was aborted under mysterious circumstances. Even now, she's training in secret. She's recently divorced from Freddie, but they maintain cordial relations, as far as anyone can tell. Freddie is an unlikely mate for a police officer, as his occupation is a bit shady. Kieran Connolly, former Combat Medical Technician, is a Search and Rescue dog handler and boat builder with a troubled past, but increasingly fond feelings for Tavie, fellow dog handler. Their animals, Finn and Tosh, are great characters. Something is off about Kieran when Becca's body is discovered, but Tavie can't quite figure out what.
Detective Gemma James and her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid have recently wed in a small ceremony and are the parents of a varied brood. The theme of complicated family affairs runs through the book. Duncan is called in to work the case, but Gemma figures heavily too, of course.
The ends of all the threads are simultaneously tied up and left leading to the next adventure. This is a lovely, satisfying British police procedural with many relationship subplots that lend texture.

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