Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #19
2023 William Morrow & Company
Finished on February 23, 2023
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
Publisher's Blurb:New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a new novel focusing on Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they must solve the stabbing death of a young woman before panic spreads across London.
On a rainy November evening, a young woman hurries through the crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her, then brushes past. A moment later, she stumbles, collapsing against a tree. When a young mother finds her body and alerts the police, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene. The victim, Sasha Johnson, is a trainee doctor at a nearby hospital, and she’s been stabbed.
Kincaid immediately calls his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crime. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma joins the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, daughter of a black professional family, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. She had her secrets, though, and Kincaid uncovers an awkward connection to his Notting Hill friends Wesley and Betty Howard.
As the detectives unravel Sasha’s tangled relationships, another stabbing puts London in a panic, and Kincaid’s team needs all their resources to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.
I have spent the past two years reading close to one installment a month from Deborah Crombie's Kincaid/James mystery series. Earlier this month I read A Bitter Feast, finishing that book on the publication date of A Killing of Innocents, Crombie's most recent release. I didn't wait long to pick up this final installment, and now, just like that, I'm all caught up! I enjoyed this London-based mystery very much, unable to unravel that final thread until the very end when the detectives made their arrest. While not a thriller as such, A Killing of Innocents is a solid mystery. Crombie continues to develop her characters (and their relationships with one another), and the mysteries are intricate and well-plotted. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough.
I'm happy that I've finally made it through the entire series, but sad that I'll have to wait for the next installment. Meanwhile, could somebody please write a screenplay for the books for either PBS, Britbox or Acorn? I'm sure Crombie's fanbase would be happy to support a TV series. I certainly would!