I knew Deborah Crombie's name and was aware that she wrote a British based detective series, but she was an author I hadn't experienced - until I raced my way through her latest book - No Mark Upon Her. And I'm kicking myself - I truly wish I had picked her up earlier - I really, really enjoyed this book. It's the 14th book to feature her recurring characters Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, both who work for Scotland Yard.
I did feel slightly lost in the first few opening chapters as there are many characters in this established series, all with their own stories. It took a bit to keep them all straight, but I was soon on top of who was who.
Rebecca Meredith, a Met detective and talented sculler has taken to practicing on off hours when there aren't many others about. Someone is though - and that someone takes her life. As Kincaid looks into the case, he finds that Rebecca was a dedicated copper, but had made some enemies along the way. Gemma is looking into some cold cases and as she digs further, those past cases may be relevant to Kincaid's case. And those higher up would seem to prefer Duncan and Gemma keep their investigations low key and protect the reputation of the Met.
Crombie's plotting was intricate and believable. The secondary plot is seamlessly woven in. The list of suspects kept me guessing. Crombie's exploration of the elitist rowing world, search and rescue and PTSD added much to an already multi layered tale. But what will have me adding this author to my must read list are the characters. They're all quite 'real'. Although others may complain that the domestic details of the characters may detract from a good mystery, I found that they gave the story much more depth and made the characters 'real'. I became invested in their lives and want to see where Crombie takes them from here.
No Mark Upon Her was a satisfying read on so many levels - one I would definitely recommend. Fans of Louise Penny and Susan Hill would enjoy this series.