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Garden of Lamentations: A Novel (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels)
By  Deborah Crombie
HarperCollins
February 2017

Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid has accepted his transfer begrudgingly, moving on to a new office and boss, and making the best of an unsatisfactory situation. When Kincaid is drawn back to the recent past by a series of unsettling and seemingly linked events, he is determined to get to the bottom of this utterly tangled web.

In the meantime, his wife Gemma finds herself in the midst of the death of her friend’s part-time nanny, strictly in a civilian, unofficial role. That role quickly shifts to investigating officer, as it is soon clear that the nanny was murdered. Gemma’s instincts are as sharp as ever, and that’s a good thing, as it is by instinct that she will solve this troubling case.

In the meantime, Kincaid and Gemma are both forced to more directly examine not only their jobs and their impact on their family, but the impact that their current investigations, particularly Kincaid’s, is having on their marriage. Having a police officer in a marriage can be complicated, but when both partners are detectives, complicated doesn’t begin to describe the balance of work, family and life.

Gemma and Kincaid work parallel yet unrelated cases throughout Garden of Lamentations, and each case is at turns the melody that underscores the novel. Kincaid’s case reaches back over twenty years, threading evil tentacles that still grasp and threaten now, while Gemma’s case is contemporary, fresh and believingly relevant as well. While the plot shifts from case to case, it is the Kincaid-James family that is the constant, and by the end of the story readers will definitely wonder where Gemma and Duncan will find themselves next! Garden of Lamentations is an excellent read, two well-plotted and well-written mysteries in one book that was difficult to put down.


Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com
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