Vincent Arnott may seem like an unlikely candidate for kinky sex games and murder, but when DI Gemma James and her partner, DS Melody Talbot, are called to a scene at The Belvedere, that’s seemingly what they find. Arnott, a regular at the hotel, known to the staff as Mr. Smith, is found tied up and strangled on a Saturday morning.
As it turns out, Arnott was a local barrister whose wife suffered from Alzheimer’s. His regular routine included a Friday night dinner at his local pub and semi regular Friday night check-ins at The Belvedere – with secret female companions. It could be this time around Arnott simply chose the wrong woman, but it seems he was also involved in a bit of a dust up at the pub. Gemma and Melody end up questioning a local up-and-coming guitarist who, it’s soon revealed, has a bit of a connection to Gemma and her husband.
This latest from Crombie is the fifteenth title in her long running Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series. Readers new to Crombie will find that there are quite a few references to previous installments but The Sound of Broken Glass does stand alone for the most part. All of the references are character development rather than plot related.
I’ve only read two titles in the series thus far – this one and its immediate predecessor, No Mark Upon Her – but I already love the characters and the setting. Crombie pays great attention to detail on London and its history, almost equal in fact to her depth of focus on building real and believable characters.
Crombie’s next title in the series, To Dwell in Darkness, is due out this fall.
3/14 Becky Lejeune
THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS by Deborah Crombie. William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 25, 2014). ISBN 978-0061990649. 384p.