Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mourn Not Your Dead

Warning - mild spoiler for Leave the Grave Green

I'm beginning to wonder why Duncan Kincaid gets so many high profile cases.  I've read five of Deborah Crombie's mysteries and Duncan has investigated the deaths of two high ranking police officers and the son-in-law of a famous opera couple (conductor and soprano).  I guess he has a reputation for being discreet.  A week after their impulsive night together, Duncan and his DS Gemma James find themselves investigating the bludgeoning of Commander Alister Gilbert.  The suspects fall into two categories, professional and personal.  Gilbert may have been involved in some high level corruption, he wasn't popular in his village, and there's something "off" about how his wife and stepdaughter act during their initial interviews.

Normally, Gemma and Duncan would coordinate their investigation, but their encounter has gotten in the way.  For Duncan, it was the natural release of the barely recognized sexual tension between the two, but for Gemma - younger, lower-ranked, and a woman - it was a risky, potentially stupid act.  She has feelings for Duncan, or thinks she does, but she's a young divorced single parent from a working class background whose ex-husband is less than diligent with support payments.  Because of the shifting point of view (and because the pair married several books later), we know that Duncan isn't being predatory, but Gemma doesn't know that, or exactly what she feels towards Duncan.  This could hurt the career she needs on multiple levels, and this conflict begins to spill into their working relationship.  It doesn't prevent them from solving the crime, and Crombie doles out the clues so that I came to the right conclusion about the same time as Gemma and Duncan.

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