Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie
Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #19
Published by William Morrow on February 7, 2023
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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’ve enjoyed every book in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James series. I’ve read all 19 books and love the development of the characters including their families, friends and co-workers. The mysteries, usually murder, are also a bit complex. It’s just such a pleasure and comfort I feel as I read.
The Kincaid family is a busy and loving one. Kit is getting older. He often cooks for the family and also works at a friend’s cafe. He helps to care for his younger “siblings.” Toby is 7 and showing talent in ballet. Charlotte is just 4 and adjusting to her new family after her family’s deaths last year. Gemma is working at more of a desk job so she can be more available for the family as Duncan’s cases have him out all hours, all days.
We see Melody who had a breakup with Andy recently. She works with Gemma. There’s also Doug who works with Duncan. Duncan has a new DI, Jasmine, and he isn’t sure about her. We see bits of their work and personal lives.
Duncan and Doug meet at a bar to discuss some things. There is a woman who is waiting, as Duncan waits for Doug. She leaves after she appears to give up waiting for someone. Shortly afterward, they get the call and the woman is the dead body. She turns out to have been a junior doctor at a nearby hospital.
The case gets more complex as they find more dead bodies. The first woman is a close friend of one of their friends. Her brother has disappeared and the family is worried he is in trouble. It is fascinating to watch as different people follow various odd pieces of information to get to the truths.
I loved the investigations running along with the backdrop of their personal lives and issues. The case was solved along with some other police matters, very satisfactorily. There were, however, some personal storylines which were just open, as the book ended shortly after the end of the case. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more on those, particularly since it was Christmas holidays, a few additional pages of personal activities wouldn’t have been amiss.
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