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Garden of Lamentations is the latest book by Deborah Crombie in her Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James crime mystery series. I have read all Deborah Crombie books so far, but it took me a while to get to this latest novel as my TBR shelf was quite high.
In this book, Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are separate in their investigations. Gemma has to work with DI Kerry Boatman in solving the murder of a young woman, Reagan Keating, whom Gemma actually knew from before.
Reagan was the nanny of a child who went to the same dance studio as her child, Toby. Not only that, but it seems that Reagan was not the only one to end tragically in the same park. Could it be that Gemma and Kerry have a serial killer on the loose?
In the meantime, Duncan Kincaid, has other serious worries to deal with, all related to colleagues. Is there anything more going on there? Are some cops dirty? Is there corruption in the Met? And if so, is he and his family in danger? And whom can Kincaid trust with this? He is afraid to even talk to Gemma about his very urgent worry.
The two mysteries in this latest book take center stage from the beginning right to the end. There is not that much interaction between the married couple since both are working from different police departments and have their own separate cases to deal with.
Duncan feels that he is really alone since police corruption is one topic nobody really wants to touch. So he has to investigate it all by himself, without involving even Gemma in his suspicion. He is keeping his wife in the dark and at an arm’s length, for now, something that starts to put a strain on their relationship.
When Duncan’s former boss, Chief Superintendent Denis Childs, contacts him with the news that something is rotten at the Met, he also tells him to keep his distance. But soon after, Denis is attacked and enters a coma, so Duncan can no longer be on the sidelines and keep quiet. He has to do his own unsanctioned investigation to out the corrupt members of the force.
While Gemma’s case is tied together nicely at the end, Ducan’s case leaves more questions than answers. This only means that the investigation will be continued in a new book. I was a bit sad that the two investigations didn’t really cross paths at all. At times, it felt like I was reading two separate books, not one.
I love the storylines, I love even more the characters and their relationships with each other, and I enjoy reading about the British setting. I also adore Deborah Crombie’s clean writing style.
As usual, there were a few chuckling moments in the book (not many, mind you), and one quote that I smiled at was
Don’t say you don’t want to speak ill of the dead. The dead are dead and it won’t hurt them.
because it’s so true. We are all so hung up of never speaking badly about those who passed away but don’t tell me that many of us don’t think exactly what this quote outed so elegantly.
Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #17
Published by William Morrow
Genres: British Mystery, Crime Mystery, Detective Mystery