Deborah Crombie’s latest addition to her Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series is one of her best novels yet. This time, Detective Superintendent Kincaid is called to a small village along the Thames to investigate the death of a woman rower. To complicate matters, she was also a high ranking detective in the Metropolitan police. Rebecca Meredith was training for a comeback and possible spot in the Olympics when she disappeared one evening. Not all of her friends, family, or possible competitors were happy with her decision to make another attempt at qualifying, though. But would someone care enough to murder her?
Kincaid’s investigation leads him in unexpected directions. Not only are there suspects among the village Meredith lived in and the rowing community, he also finds evidence of a series of crimes Meredith was investigating that point to a possible cover up within the police. At the same time, Kincaid is being urged to wrap the case up quickly and with as little negative publicity for the Met as possible. In London, Kincaid’s wife Inspector James is on leave, but is called by a friend who needs help with some cold cases she is working on. As they review old paperwork, they come across some information which may be related to Kincaid’s case.
Crombie has a real eye for details and her descriptions always make me feel as if I have visited the area (the maps included in the books end pages help a lot). Some of her books have focused on the two main characters more than on their police cases, though. I enjoy the characters but I am more interested in their work than their personal life, so I was happy to see that this new book gets back to the business of detecting. I highly recommend the book for fans of Elizabeth George and P.D. James. The first book in the series is A Share in Death, if you prefer to read them in order.