Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: To Dwell in Darkness

Summary: In the tradition of Elizabeth George, Louise Penny, and P. D. James, New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie delivers a powerful tale of intrigue, betrayal, and lies that will plunge married London detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James into the unspeakable darkness that lies at the heart of murder.

Recently transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters, Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his new murder investigation team are called to a deadly bombing at historic St. Pancras Station. By fortunate coincidence, Melody Talbot, Gemma's trusted colleague, witnesses the explosion. The victim was taking part in an organized protest, yet the other group members swear the young man only meant to set off a smoke bomb. As Kincaid begins to gather the facts, he finds every piece of the puzzle yields an unexpected pattern, including the disappearance of a mysterious bystander.

The bombing isn't the only mystery troubling Kincaid. He's still questioning the reasons behind his transfer, and when his former boss—who's been avoiding him—is attacked, those suspicions deepen. With the help of his former sergeant, Doug Cullen, Melody Talbot, and Gemma, Kincaid begins to untangle the truth. But what he discovers will leave him questioning his belief in the job that has shaped his life and his values—and remind him just how vulnerable his precious family is. -- William Morrow

Unfortunately, I was very late to the game with the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels by Deborah Crombie. I discovered these books in audio, and I loved the characters and the complexity of the mysteries. I also love the historical tidbits that are thrown in about the various settings in the story. I was lucky enough to read the latest installment in the series TO DWELL IN DARKNESS in print, and I have to say that I enjoyed this novel too. Frankly, I just think I'm a fan of this series in any form!

TO DWELL IN DARKNESS focuses on a bombing that occurs at the St. Pancras Station... so of course, Ms. Crombie includes lots of historical details about the station which just adds to the story. Duncan Kincaid is assigned to the case; and fortunately, Melody Talbot, Gemma's friend and colleague just happened to be there for the explosion. The bomber, who also ended up being the victim, appeared to be part of an organized protest; however, the other members of the protest swear that it was only supposed to be a smoke bomb.

Duncan begins to delve into the bombing and he discovers that there are many unanswered questions about the members of the group including who gave the victim the bomb as well as what happened to one of the members who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of Melody and his trustworthy friend Doug, Duncan begins to figure out the truth behind this shocking and twisted mystery.

I just love Ms. Crombie's novels and I sure wish I had started this series at the beginning! (I know I could go back and catch up, but it seems unlikely at this time in my life.) I absolutely love Duncan and Gemma... and their friends, and I also love the way the author weaves her mysteries. These books are just so good!

In TO DWELL IN DARKNESS, Duncan has the lead with Gemma taking more of a backseat. She's definitely holding down the fort at home and there is even some mention of a case she's working on; however, this novel is definitely more focused on Duncan and his career. (Truthfully, I kind of wish Gemma's case took a slightly more prominent role in this story.) In addition to trying to solve a complicated crime, Duncan is still coming to terms with his new assignment as well as the politics in the police department. I truly appreciate how these novels are a wonderful blend of both Duncan and Gemma's cases and their personal lives.

The mystery in TO DWELL IN DARKNESS is pretty darn intriguing and I was definitely kept guessing for much of the book. There were quite a few twists that threw Duncan (and me) for a loop, and I was impressed with how the clues unfolded and were eventually revealed. The ending of this book packs a powerful punch and I'm still scratching my head -- I honestly didn't see it coming. I should also add that the ending is quite the cliffhanger, and I'm know desperate for the next book. So be warned: don't read TO DWELL IN DARKNESS if you don't want to read the next book or don't like to wait!

I am a serious fan of Ms. Crombie's and TO DWELL IN DARKNESS didn't disappoint. I recommend this novel, and the entire series for that matter, to fans of mysteries!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Kay said...

This series is one of my favorites - right up there with Louise Penny's Gamache series. I have read it from the beginning and even thought it would take a while, you might want to think about it. Just saying. :-)

These characters have grown and changed so much and that probably, more than anything else, is what keeps me coming back. Crombie's writing skill has deepened and I think she is writing some of the best mysteries out there. And the books do tend to rotate a little back and forth with Duncan or Gemma's cases taking precedence. I have a copy of this book and am waiting for just the right time - soon, I hope.

bermudaonion said...

I have a couple of Crombie's books and haven't read one yet. This sounds like a series I would love too!

Beth F said...

Oh yay that this one is good. I've read at least one of her books and I liked it, so I really should go back to the series.