Finally, the newest Deborah Crombie is here, and it's every bit as good as the earlier ones in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series. Crombie, like Louise Penny and Elizabeth George, has developed a tightly paced, historically enlightening, and personally edifying collection of stories set in modern day London. I was thrilled when TLC blog tour announced that To Dwell in Darkness was being made available for reviewers. Although I had read about half of the earlier installments years ago, I did not have time to read the 8 I had missed along the way. So, I was able to review this one almost like I'd never read any of the previous episodes. I found this one works just as well as a stand-alone. Crombie gives us enough back fill to flesh out characters who may be new to the reader, but doesn't feel the need to rehash every sentence of older segments. This one centers around the rehabilitation of the area around historic St. Pancras station and gives us a broad brush of traffic, housing and other cross cultural issues as well as present day environmental debates, explosives, and out of control crowds. The publisher's blurb gives you just enough without giving away the plot:
In the tradition of Elizabeth George, Louise Penny, and P. D. James, New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie delivers a powerful tale of intrigue, betrayal, and lies that will plunge married London detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James into the unspeakable darkness that lies at the heart of murder.
Recently transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his new murder investigation team are called to a deadly bombing at historic St. Pancras Station. By fortunate coincidence, Melody Talbot, Gemma's trusted colleague, witnesses the explosion. The victim was taking part in an organized protest, yet the other group members swear the young man only meant to set off a smoke bomb. As Kincaid begins to gather the facts, he finds every piece of the puzzle yields an unexpected pattern, including the disappearance of a mysterious bystander.Crombie is especially talented at keeping several story lines going at the same time. We have the bombing, we have an upcoming custody battle concerning Duncan's son, we have developing friction in the personnel structure of Scotland Yard and the local police departments. Duncan and Gemma are still adjusting to married life, their blended family, and the concerns of parenting a teen-ager. Crombie is beginning to show us more of new characters that have recently appeared in the series: Melody and Doug. Their motivations and personalities are increasing my interest and certainly have me already looking for the next book. This one is a definite addition to the series.
The bombing isn't the only mystery troubling Kincaid. He's still questioning the reasons behind his transfer, and when his former boss—who's been avoiding him—is attacked, those suspicions deepen. With the help of his former sergeant, Doug Cullen, Melody Talbot, and Gemma, Kincaid begins to untangle the truth. But what he discovers will leave him questioning his belief in the job that has shaped his life and his values—and remind him just how vulnerable his precious family is.
In my opinion, Deborah Crombie is one of the best detective crime writers working in the genre today. You can follow her on her website, Facebook or on Twitter.
Deborah’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 23rd: Booksie’s BlogWednesday, September 24th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, September 25th: Back Porchervations
Monday, September 29th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, September 29th: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, September 30th: Helen’s Book Blog
Wednesday, October 1st: Tutu’s Two Cents
Thursday, October 2nd: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, October 6th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, October 7th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, October 8th: My Bookshelf
Thursday, October 9th: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Friday, October 10th: Book Addict Katie
Saturday, October 11th: Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
Title: To Dwell in Darkness
Author: Deborah Crombie
Publisher:William Morrow (2014), Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: police procedural mystery
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James
Source: review copy from publisher
Why did I read this book now? I'm a fan of the series.