Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Book Review: NO MARK UPON HER BY DEBORAH CROMBIE

Genre:  Thriller/Murder Mystery
Published:  William Morrow  (Feb 2012)
Pages:  369  (Hardcover)
Source:  Publishers
My Rating:  8.5/10

About the Book:

Olympic rowing hopeful and senior Metropolitan Police officer DCI Rebecca Meredith goes out alone to train on the river in Henley on a dark afternoon in late October – and doesn’t return. 
When a desperate search by the police and a K9 team reveals the possibility of foul play, Scotland Yard wants one of their own on the case. Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, returning from celebrating his marriage to long-time partner Detective Inspector Gemma James, is called to Henley to investigate. 
He soon finds that the world of elite rowing can be brutal, and that Rebecca Meredith’s ex-husband was not the only person with good reason for wanting her dead. Then, when a search-and-rescue team member is threatened, Kincaid realizes the case may be even more complex and more dangerous than he believed. 
But it is only when he enlists Gemma’s aid that they find that the answers lie closer to home than they could have imagined – and are infinitely more deadly. It seems that more than one innocent life depends on their ability to track down the killer.    

This is the 14th novel in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James detective series......I haven't read any of the others so I can't compare it with any of those.......but if any of them are as good as this then I wish I had read them all!

There is a wonderful map inside the front cover which details the area that the story covers which I loved, I found myself constantly checking this to see where the characters were and it made it all the more believable while I was reading.  I really appreciate it when authors have maps in books!

From the very first paragraph I loved her descriptive words - this is from the first page:

Heart thumping, she moved across the cottage's shadowy garden and through the gate that led out onto the Thames Path.  Tendrils of mist were beginning to rise from the water.  The river had a particular smell in the evenings, damp and alive and somehow primeval.  The gunmetal surface of the water looked placid as a pond, but she knew that for an illusion.  The current, swift here as the river made its way towards the roar of the weir below Hambleden Mill, was a treacherous trap for the unwary or the overconfident.

You can almost feel as if you're there by the river watching the victim Rebecca Meredith as she takes her final row on the Thames.......

The main characters of Detectives Kincaid and James have recently married and we share in their domestic situation as they juggle the difficulties of police work with looking after three children.

The main problem I had when I first started reading was the number of characters that were introduced quite early on which I found very confusing ….. I had to write their names down and keep referring to them throughout the story …. otherwise I would not have known who was who.

But, that aside, I was soon engrossed in the lives of rowers at the Leander Club in Henley (a town about 35 miles from London), the Boat Race, search and rescue teams and their dogs, all of which I found fascinating.

The story started slowly as I got to know the characters in depth....there were the Search and Rescue members, Kieran, an ex-soldier (combat medical technician), veteran of the Iraq war, and struggling with vertigo, who lives in a boathouse on an island in the middle of the Thames and Tavie Larssen, a small blonde, elfin like Scandinavian, Freddie Atterton, Rebecca’s ex-husband, to name but a few.

This is a gripping story with lots of suspense and surprises, a complex plot that is not too complicated, well-rounded characters, vivid descriptions, and I would definitely recommend you add this novel to your reading list.


A full list of Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series can be found here.


Special Thanks to the Publishers for sending me this book.


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