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The sound of broken glass by Deborah Crombie

The sound of broken glass (edition 2013)

by Deborah Crombie

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3912727,416 (4.02)48
Title:The sound of broken glass
Authors:Deborah Crombie
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The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie



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A respected barrister is found dead in a seedy hotel in rather strange circumstances. What led him to be there like that becomes a complex case that Gemma James must unravel. Complicating the story are mysterious snippets from the past that are teasingly interspersed in the narrative. A well thought-out and crafted tale of mystery and suspense, complete with the characters readers have come to know and love. One of the aspects of this series that makes it so interesting is indeed the private lives of Gemma James and her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. Gemma is now back on the job while Duncan stays home, caring for three-year-old Charlotte. But he can’t quite stay out of the picture, and manages to do some unofficial investigating. Familial relationships, unlikely friendships, and bullying are all delicately woven together in this intricate story of endurance and revenge. ( )
  Maydacat | Jun 6, 2016 |
From Amazon:

When Detective Inspector James joins forces with Detective Inspector Melody Talbot to solve the murder of an esteemed barrister, their investigation leads them to realize that nothing is what it seems—with the crime they’re investigating and their own lives.

My Thoughts:

This book's title, The Sound of Broken Glass doesn't seem to have much to do with the story here, but rather with its setting, the London neighborhood named for the place where Prince Albert's famous Crystal Palace once stood. Short introductory blurbs at the beginning of each chapter tell of Crystal Palace history, which are in themselves, very interesting...almost more so than the story. The culprit this time around is simply coincidence. Kincaid and James are now married and raising three children...one hers, one his, and one adopted. In ways that are clearly less than satisfying or convenient for them, their lives now revolve around the kids. This and other incidents in the case might have been a lot of fun for the reader...if Deborah Crombie hadn't built her plot around an excess of coincidences. It seems that almost everybody involved in the case...police, victim, murderer, and witness alike...all seem to have known just about everyone else at some time in the past. It's really too much. I've read better by this author and hope for better again.
( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Duncan is a stay-at-home dad while Gemma fills in as a Detective Inspector in a South London precinct. It’s down to her to solve a series of murders involving barristers found dead in compromising positions. Reliably good stuff. ( )
  rosalita | May 12, 2016 |
In London’s Crystal Palace area, Barrister Vincent Arnott is found murdered at the squalid Belvedere Hotel. Arnott, who was strangled, was left naked and trussed up in a compromising position. This is Gemma James' first case as a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) for Scotland Yard's South London team. Detective Sargent Melody Talbot is back as Gemma's assistant in the investigation. In the meantime, Gemma's husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kinkaid, is currently on leave as a stay at home father for the children because the orphaned three year old they are hoping to adopt, Charlotte, needs some extra TLC.

Coincidence leads them to look into Andy Monahan, an up and coming guitarist who happened to be playing at the pub Arnott was last seen at the night before his murder. Arnott was seen exchanging angry words with Andy after Andy punched some loser who approached him in between sets. Melody feels an immediate attraction to Andy when she is sent to interview him. It also turns out that Duncan knows some of the players in the investigation. When another barrister is found murdered in exactly the same way, Gemma and Melody are scrambling to try and piece the clues of these cases together.

At the same time we are following the murder investigation in The Sound of Broken Glass, we are following Andy's past, when he was thirteen years old. He was a poor kid who had to take charge of his mother's wages or she would spend it all at the pub. He had to keep the house clean and make sure his mother went to work every day. His only joy was playing the guitar. Andy also had a couple of rich punks tormenting him, so he also had to watch out for them. When a young widow, Nadine Drake, moved in next door, he finally had an adult who cared about him. She encouraged him, made sure he ate and listened to him play.

Certainly Crombie is a seasoned writer and knows how to please her fan base with her fast paced police procedural series featuring Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, and their cohorts. The novel sets up the suspense and complex plot wonderfully. This is the 15th novel in Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series, so if you haven't been reading the series you might be scrambling a bit to catch up. I have read one or two in the series (I can't remember which ones) so I had some background on the characters. I didn't find it terribly hard to figure out many of the connections between people and fill in missing background information. Or, alternately, it didn't seem to matter if I had the complete picture of all the interpersonal connections. I know I was missing some background stories.

I had one issue, which seems inconsequential, but after numerous times it was written it became annoying. During the investigation Gemma and Melody would pick up sandwiches or something to eat because they were always on the go and hungry. Inevitably Gemma would be described as nibbling her sandwich and never finishing it. For all the food they acquired because they were hungry, they were always nibbling, never eating. It was just too much nibbling for me. Or anytime Gemma or Melody got tea it was never finished. I promise I would not have looked down on any of the characters had they taken some hardy bites of a sandwich or even wolfed it down quickly. And please, drink that tea down. Fluids are important too.

The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie is highly recommended. Crombie leaves readers with a tantalizing mystery about the direction the next novel will take. To Dwell in Darkness is due to be released in September 2014.

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from HarperCollins for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
This is a wonderful series, deftly mixing solid mysteries with character development of the regular cast. You wouldn't HAVE to read the series in order, but I'd highly recommend doing so. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Crombieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Doyle, GerardReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aquan, Richard L.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harte, RichardCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jäger, AndreasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Lisa Haskell and Ann Christ,
whose kindness and generosity over the years have helped
make London my second home.

And for Steve Ullathorne,
who insisted I write a book about Crysral Palace.
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It had been years since she'd been in an English church.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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While investigating the murder of a well-respected barrister who was found dead at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace, Detective Inspector Gemma James and her partner, Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot, begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most.… (more)

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