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Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie

Necessary as Blood (edition 2009)

by Deborah Crombie

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4864521,119 (3.96)64
Title:Necessary as Blood
Authors:Deborah Crombie
Info:William Morrow (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:2012 reading
Tags:mystery, female detective, 2012 reading

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Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie



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When a long-time friend doesn't show up for an appointment, Dr. Tim Cavendish calls his former tenant, Detective Inspector Gemma James. Naz Malik's wife, Sandra, had disappeared several months earlier, and now Naz is missing. As Gemma learns more about the circumstances, she too becomes concerned, particularly about the welfare of Naz and Sandra's 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Then Naz's body is discovered and the local police request assistance from Scotland Yard. Gemma's domestic partner, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, takes the case. The detectives can't afford to ignore any potential suspects, from Naz's legal clients with ties to the Bangladeshi community, to Sandra's patrons and colleagues in the art world or her estranged relatives in an East End council estate.

I lived in the London area for several years between college and graduate school, and this series more than any other brings it vividly to life for me. I feel like I'm back in familiar surroundings. It helps that Duncan and Gemma are such interesting and likeable characters and the mysteries are always well-plotted, but the strong sense of place is what keeps drawing me back to this series. Most new readers will want to start the series from the beginning since Duncan and Gemma's personal lives are a central feature of the series. ( )
  cbl_tn | Aug 24, 2014 |
This reading was very gripping. A woman (wife and mother of a little girl) went missing and nobody knows where she has gone. A couple of monthe later the husband went away and never returned. The little girl is staying with the anxiously nanny who is calling the husband's closest friend who is a friend of Gemma and Duncan and so the investigation is starting. Since a lot of rich and important persons are involved, the investigation can't be conducted straightforward. Therefore is Ducan's team working on an officially bases whereas Gemma and Melody are more going undercover. Gemma's reason to solve the crime is based on the girl's welfare which should go to live with her grandmother who is involved into drug traffic. During the investigation another major crime was discovered. Young girls, still children, from Asia were married to English men, were abused and sometimes murdered.
It was a breathtaking reading and let me guessing until the very last page who are the evil ones and how all parts are linked to each other. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jan 14, 2014 |
I suspect that had this book been written by another author I would have given it five stars, but it's not quite as good as Crombie's [b:Dreaming of the Bones.|573127|Dreaming of the Bones (Kincaid/James #5)|Deborah Crombie|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1175905051s/573127.jpg|545180] On the other hand, not many books are. Gemma and Duncan, she in a local precinct and he at Scotland Yard, both become involved in investigating the murder of a young father whose wife disappeared a few months earlier. There are numerous red herrings on the way to the shocking conclusion. The book is set in the East End of London, where yuppies, artists, working-class people and the underclass coexist precariously. Gemma and Duncan continue to struggle with jurisdictional and ethical conflicts, as well as with their own personal concerns. I was happy to see the growing importance of Melody Talbot and Doug Cullen, respectively Gemma's and Duncan's assistants. Very highly recommended. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Another very well written story by Ms. Crombie. I'm pleased my second selection from the author's Kincaid/James series (again way out-of-order at #13), stands well on its own. At no time, did I feel left out because of "missing" character or scene history. An added bonus is the snippets from books, articles, (etc.) that begin each chapter. They effectively set the tone for the scenes to follow, and provide this American reader with glimpses into a country with a rich, deep history.

I'd like to add that using Ms. Sterlin as the book's reader, is an excellent choice. She's very consistent in keeping the pitch/tone of each character throughout the book. Plus, she's one of the best at voicing characters of the opposite sex. Very few of the Audiobook Readers I've listened to, do the gender cross-over, as well. ( )
  Conkie | Jul 30, 2012 |
In this particular character-driven mystery, a young mother named Sandra Gilles simply vanishes one day, leaving her toddler daughter with a family friend for what she promises will just be an hour or two. Then, months later, her husband also disappears; Charlotte, the 3-year-old daughter, can say only that her Mummy went away and her Daddy went to look for her. Gemma and Duncan share mutual friends with Naz, Charlotte's father and a Pakistani-born lawyer, and are in on the case early, even before the first dead body shows up. From then on, they work together and separately to resolve the mystery and help create the best possible future for Charlotte, who, if they don't act, may end up living with her maternal grandmother despite the presence of two drug-dealing uncles and the fact that Sandra had no contact with her family.

The plot itself is complex but adeptly handled so that it never feels so; the characters are all plausible and the settings so vivid that I remain astonished that Crombie is an American and not a Londoner. There's nothing here to stretch the reader's credulity. Best of all, Crombie manages to blend the plot with the developments in Duncan's and Gemma's real lives (they are trying to find a way to marry that will keep everyone happy, as Gemma's mother must cope with a recurrence of her cancer -- disclosed very early on in the book, so not a spoiler!). There are no simple answers to either their personal challenges or to the mystery of what happened to Sandra or Naz, but Crombie ably walks the narrow line between giving away too many clues or emerging at the last moment with an improbable solution to the crime.

Me: Not as enjoyable as others in the series, primarily, I think, because there were too many characters to track. I disagree that the romance took priority here; I felt that the somewhat convoluted plot reduced my enjoyment of the two leads. Maybe I just wanted more about them, not less.

Read 10/09 ( )
  walkerff | Dec 15, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Crombie, Deborahprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterlin, JennyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hibert, NicoleTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jäger, AndreasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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That Sunday began like any ordinary Sunday, except that Naz, Sandra's husband, had gone in to work for a few hours at his law office, an unusual breach of family protocol for him.
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The disappearance of a young mother, the murder of her Pakistani husband, and a child's life in danger lead Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid into London's legendary East End--a neighborhood where the rich and the poor, the ambitious and the dangerous, collide--to solve one of the most challenging and disturbing cases they've ever faced.… (more)

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