First Line: It took no more than a match, nestled beneath the crumpled paper and foil crisp packets.
Detective Inspector Gemma James is having no luck in finding a missing child in her Notting Hill patch of London. An old Victorian warehouse owned by a politician goes up in smoke, and it's hard to believe how much crime is uncovered by the burning of one building.
The charred, unidentified body of a woman is found in the warehouse. In trying to give her a name, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid learns there are four possibilities. Checking into each lead and every clue leads to a serial arsonist and another missing child, and it is this missing little girl upon whom Gemma focuses.
Crombie has written her most densely plotted novel yet, and it is a pleasure to watch a master weaver at work: having her characters track each missing woman back until they find the right one, introducing a dedicated firefighter who has a hunch about an arsonist that she cannot ignore, and letting her readers know that there is a child out there in the hands of a mentally unstable person. I've even left out several plot threads! Crombie never loses sight of any of those threads, and the result is a book that I did not want to put down.
When anyone asks me to recommend a favorite mystery series in which the plots are every bit as good as the characters, Crombie always comes to mind first. I love reading these books for their complex plots and for their recurring characters who develop and change as the series continues.
I have a tendency to read series rather slowly. If I read them back to back, I can tire of the writing style or become hyper-critical of characterization, pacing or plot. I picked up the first book in this series less than a year ago, and I'm almost completely caught up. Why so speedy with this one? Because it's a pleasure to see Crombie become more skilled with each book...and because my husband has gotten hooked on them, too. If any of you have wondered how well a Texan can write a series set in England, I'll tell you this: Denis, Lancashire born and bred, gives Crombie two enthusiastic thumbs up. He'll be just as disappointed as I when we're caught up and waiting for the next book in the series to appear!
I'm really enjoying this series; Crombie's prose, plots, and characters are quite good. My only issue is that sometimes, as with this book, it's hard to get started, as the (typically) multiple people and plot lines are being introduced. Once I get past that, though, the characters take over and I'm really immersed in the story.
The book was excellent. I love all of Deborah Crombie's books and thoroughly enjoyed this one which was a bit different and dealt with arson which is always scary but also had the human element and all the wonderful and fascinating characters she has created that I have come to know and love.
gemma james and duncan kincaid-lovers and former partners have their own pressing concerns. but they must put aside private matters to investigate these disturbing cases. neither realize how closely the cases are connected or how important their resolutions will be for an abducted your child.
An excellent and engrossing British mystery...even though it is written by an American novelist! The story has many twists and turns that keep you wondering what the outcome will be. Its a must-read book!
One of my favorite series because of the ongoing relationship that Crombie builds between her main characters, Kincaid & James.
An exciting addition to the series, this one has an abducted child in serious danger. Gemma must find her in time.
Great book, with great characters and a superb plot with intertwining mysteries. I find the character of Gemma sometimes pushy, jumping the gun, without cause but it is a really good read for those who like to be kept in suspense.
Arson, a kidnapped child, and 3 missing women keep Kinkaid and James guessing.
Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James return in a chiling and suspensefl tale of murder, kidnapping, madness, and the frightening ordeal of a helpless child.
An abandoned warehouse burns next door to a woman's shelter for victims of spousal abuse, an apparent case of arson. But it is the charred corpse within--a female body burned beyond all recognition--combined with the political sensitivity of the case, that entangels Superintendent Duncan Kincaid in its twisted skein.
At the same time, Kincaid's lover and former partner, Gemma James, is coping with twin crisis of her own, one personal and the other professional. Gemma must put her private concerns aside to investigate the disappearence of a hospital administrator, a beautiful, emotionally fragile young woman who vanished without a trace. Yet neither Gemma nor Kincaid realizes how closely their cases are connected--or how important the resolution will be for a young child who was a victim of parental abduction.
Complicated thriller that piles arson on top of murder on top of kidnapping on top of a troubled relationship between two Scotland Yard investigators, former partners and now lovers. Part of a series.
I like The Duncan Kincaid series. Good quick reading
A body is found at major fire. Duncan is called in. Then a child is missing. Gemma steps in to help in the investigation. Love this series.