Fiction Short Take: Garden of Lamentations – Deborah Crombie

This follow-up to 2014’s To Dwell in Darkness is much awaited—at least if my bookseller fans are any indication. A few books ago Crombie finally started hitting the bestseller lists, propelled there by readers who admire elegant, character-driven, old school police procedurals. She is often compared to Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes. The Washington Post adds two more first-rate comparisons, saying, “Crombie has laid claim to the literary territory of moody psychological suspense owned by P. D. James and Barbara Vine.”

This is a January Library Reads Pick and arrives with a starred advance review.

“Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid is still smarting from an unexplained reassignment and demotion, in bestseller Crombie’s absorbing 17th novel featuring Kincaid and his wife, Det. Insp. Gemma James (after 2014’s To Dwell in Darkness). He’s also troubled by loose ends after a grenade attack and devastating fire at London’s St. Pancras station and the cryptic utterances of his former boss, Chief Supt. Denis Childs. When Childs is attacked and sinks into a coma, Kincaid glimpses larger forces at work….Meanwhile, Gemma looks into the case of a nanny murdered in a Notting Hill garden, which affects the lives of one of Gemma’s friends .Through several points of view, this multifaceted novel provides a sobering cautionary tale about the exploitation of idealism and the abuse of power.
Publishers Weekly

The strength of this series is in its characterizations, particularly those of James and Kincaid, as they balance the demanding work that they love and their family life. Another winner in a series that goes from one high point to another.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Densely plotted and with a balanced interplay between the domestic sphere and the intrigue of police internal affairs. Contemporary and propulsive.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Deborah Crombie’s latest Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid novel is her finest yet, tying together many threads from previous books in a spellbinding tour de force. Gemma is investigating the death of a young nanny and trying to keep it together at home, despite Duncan’s distant and mystifying behavior. Duncan is unable to let go of the apparent suicide of a young officer at the conclusion of his previous case, and is torn between the need to uncover possible corruption at the highest levels of the police force, and his concern that doing so may put himself and everyone he cares about at risk. Crombie is at the top of her form as a character-driven suspense writer, with a nonstop nail-biter of a plot. Highly recommended!
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books and Music, Okemos, MI

Garden of Lamentations (9780062271631) by Deborah Crombie. $26.99 hardcover. 2/7/17 on sale.

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