Writers—especially genre writers—can labor for many years, book after book, without really breaking out in a big way. So it’s very gratifying when someone as accomplished as procedural writer Crombie finally “arrives,” which she did several years ago after a dozen novels. She now makes regular makes the national bestseller lists. But I also judge the level of her success by the number of booksellers who write me for an advanced copy of any new book the day they see it in the sales catalog. Let me just say: There are a lot of them.
This newest entry in her popular Kincaid/James series involves a seeming act of terrorism at a British railway station. As you might expect, nothing is quite what it seems—and the pleasures of the plot are managed by the excellent characterization. In fact, Louise Penny observes that “We can always count on her for fabulous plots, …But what puts Deborah Crombie among the greats is her sure hand in raising her characters off the page.”
“Early in bestseller Crombie’s exciting 16th Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery, a white phosphorous grenade—initially mistaken for a harmless smoke bomb—fatally hits a street protester at London’s St. Pancras International railway station. Others in the station crowd suffer injury, including some of Duncan and Gemma’s police colleagues. The search for the victim’s identity leads to the mysterious Ryan Marsh, an ex-cop gone underground for reasons that are never made clear. As usual, Crombie thoroughly immerses the reader in the crime solving, as well as the home lives of those trying to solve the crime, including friends, children, dogs, and a litter of stray kittens. As the protest at St. Pancras was against the destruction of London’s architectural heritage, the city’s tube and train stations, as well as various other landmarks, figure prominently in the story. Best of all, the eerily open ending sets the stage for the next installment.”
— Publishers Weekly
To Dwell in Darkness (9780062271600) by Deborah Crombie. $25.99 hardcover. 9/23/14 on sale.