Sunday, March 09, 2014

Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie

In my continuing quest to re-read the entire Kincaid and James series by Deborah Crombie,(big tip of the hat to for the challenge that started this) I just finished Mourn Not Your Dead

Their relationship strained by events of the previous book, Duncan and Gemma are called to a suburb to investigate the death of a high ranking police officer. Both had been acquainted with him in life, and they find that no one in his village seemed to find him any more appealing a character than they had. The plot unfolds with many questions, such as “Was his wife having an affair? And if so, with which of a couple possible candidates?” Or, “Was the deceased a dirty cop?” The investigation follows a believably twisting tale, solving a series of burglaries only to determine in the end that it was unrelated to the murder, and sending the protagonists back and forth between Surrey and London many times. The book is full of believable, three-dimensional characters that I quickly grew to care about. And as is so often the case in real life, the ultimate solution was heartbreaking, revealing painful secrets that would have far-reaching effects on many lives.

One thing I was immensely relieved about the first time I read this book was that by the end, Duncan and Gemma have resolved the strain in their relationship and the ground is well laid for the future. Now that I have the foreknowledge of what comes in future books, it was delicious to see the pieces begin to fall in place.

I have loved these books since I first encountered them, probably well over a decade ago, and I find re-reading only reminds me of the reasons why. Duncan and Gemma are well developed, realistic three-dimensional characters who don't always make the right choices but do always operate from a clear internal logic. Each case is complex and interesting and occupied buy people, not stereotypes. I strongly recommend these books for anyone who likes character-driven stories. I would honestly say that while they are great mysteries, that is secondary to their appeal as character studies. To start down the path with Gemma and Duncan is to make friends, and the more of them you read, the deeper the friendship becomes.

1 comment:

jmisgro said...

Susan, I am linking up your reviews of the books on the challenge site!!