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No Mark upon Her (Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Book 14) by [Crombie, Deborah]
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No Mark upon Her (Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Book 14) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 282 customer reviews

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Crombie, a three-time Macavity Award winner, an Edgar Award nominee, and a New York Times Notable author, stages another New Scotland Yard procedural here, with the team of Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his partner through the series (now his wife), Inspector Gemma James. It gets off to an eerie start. The body of a rower is discovered tangled in debris in the Thames. The victim is a young woman, Rebecca Meredith, a detective with the Metropolitan Police, who had been undergoing a punishing training regimen in hopes of qualifying for the women’s single scull event in the upcoming Olympics. The investigation is especially tricky because of Meredith’s professional status. It gets trickier still when Kincaid and James discover a host of suspects, including Meredith’s ex-husband and the rowers with whom she trained. An added shock is the attempted murder of one of the search-and-rescue team members who found Meredith’s body. Adding to the considerable interest of plot and characters here is the expertise Crombie shares on the rigors and skills of sculling. --Connie Fletcher

Review

“Macavity Award-winner Crombie examines the corrupting nature of power in her riveting 14th novel featuring Scotland Yard Supt. Duncan Kincaid and Det. Insp. Gemma James.... Crombie gives an insightful look into British police procedures as well as a vivid view of the vagaries of London neighborhoods.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

...[R]eaders who savor excellent writing will find that Ms. Crombie delivers it again. (New York Journal of Books)

“Crombie is very talented at putting together a richly atmospheric whodunit.... [A]s a creator, she energetically inhabits the many strange worlds she shows her readers....” (Washington Post)

“Ms. Crombie again has turned out a gripping and nicely tailored mystery and added another chapter to her chronicle of Kincaid and Jones.” (Washington Times)

“No Mark Upon Her is again deserving of fans’ devotion due largely to her intelligent, subtle wit and above all, her meticulous attention to detail, from sculling equipment and competitive jealousy to a 3-year-old’s birthday party meltdown to the deep bond between a man and his dog.” (Miami Herald)

“Her writing is sophisticated and her suspense taut.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

[A] psychological thrill-ride that explores the allure of power, the pull of jealousy, and the seduction of greed. (The Tuscon Citizen)

This is a lovely, satisfying British police procedural with many relationship subplots that lend texture. (Suspense magazine)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1367 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HFI8YS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,829 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. M. Keefer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you are a fan of smart English Scotland Yard procedurals, you should enjoy this latest by Deborah Crombie which explores the competitive world of rowing. The moody, murky Thames River creates the book's atmosphere and is the backdrop for the mysterious death of an Olympic-caliber rower who was practicing to compete for England in the upcoming Olympics. Complicating this? She was also a senior female Met officer, West London, Major Crimes.

The case demands finesse to protect the reputation of the Met, and Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid is called on holiday by his boss to intervene and investigate the possibility of a suspicious death. Kincaid and his partner, Cullen, soon discern that the victim's life appears "as if she had something to hide." Old rivalries, hushed-up crimes and possible crooked cops are encountered as they sort through the different strands of her life trying to uncover motive and means for murder by those who knew her. There are ample suspects among police colleagues, Olympic aspirants, old friends, and even a coach, ex-husband and lover among others.

Devotees of Crombie will find this an especially taut mystery with amped-up tension. More crimes are attempted and the pace accelerates. Plot lines intertwine to create a sophisticated and complex mystery which has a riveting and ultimately satisfying conclusion. I had several suspects in mind as the villain. As customary with Crombie, secondary characters aren't flat, and are as believable as Kincaid and his wife Gemma, who also works for the Met and assists Kincaid in this investigation. The search and rescue dogs and their owners add to the dramatic tension and warmth of the story.

You sense while reading this book that Crombie enjoys writing and experimenting with her craft.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was about to start rereading all 13 Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels in preparation for the 14th, "No Mark Upon Her". Alas, I got this one from the UK before I could get "restarted". I could not ignore it, and I dug unto it with gusto. I finished it in two days - all 468 pages (plus the two for acknowledgments).

The plot is topnotch, not predictable at all, and it starts getting faster an faster so that we cannot stop reading. It makes us feel as if we are in one of those shells, gliding along the Thames, and the current keeps taking us downstream forcefully.

The backdrop is the river, its bridges, its people. The core is really Duncan, Gemma, and Charlotte. Kit and Toby are their usual lovely selves. But then there's Charlotte, and she is special. She draws everyone to her and her favorite character, Alice (in Wonderland).

Surrounding a wedding, a birthday, Halloween, are real people, not puppets. We recall the ones from way back, but the "newcomers" are all very original and we remember them clearly.

And we also learn about the top guys in the Yard, and how they go to great lengths to protect each other, much to Kincaid's anger - but there is nothing he can do about it. At least, he was able to solve the mystery, even though he feels he has not done his best. He is left with some reconciliation, a two month leave, and he will now be in charge of the household.

Will Gemma be as successful as Duncan in the next novel? I, for one, am eagerly awaiting it. And now, I will go back and reread all 14 Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Of W. C. Fields, Leo Rosten once famously said: "Any man who hates dogs and children can't be all bad." Well, I love dogs and enjoy kids (at least most of the time), but Deborah Crombie is making her books so much about kids, dogs, and home life in general that it's making me feel increasingly like Fields.

When protagonists Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid stopped being detective partners a few titles ago, I suppose Crombie figured she needed to increase her quotient of the domestic setting, since that's a scene the two still share, particularly now that they are married. But I have minimal interest in Duncan's son, Kit, and Gemma's son, Toby, and now that they've taken in a young girl, Charlotte, it's pushed me to the limits of my tolerance.

When I pick up a book of crime fiction, the last thing I want to read about is kids squabbling in a car, parents negotiating child care arrangements, and a birthday party for a three-year-old. But there's a whole lot of that kind of thing in this book which, for me, comes close to ruining a good mystery story.

Fortunately, when Crombie does focus on the criminal investigation, it's a tight, twisty, and often tense plot. The book begins with a missing rower, Rebecca Meredith, who is thinking about making a try for the Olympics. She is also a Detective Chief Inspector with London's Metropolitan police. When she is found dead after being reported missing the day after she went rowing on the river, the investigation finds there is a dark side to the world of competitive rowing, and an even darker aspect to the police world and its internal politics.

My three-star review is a compromise, reflecting my positive feelings about the plot, on the one hand, and my dislike of so much domestic detail on the other.
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