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Review: A Killing of Innocents by Deborah Crombie


Title: A Killing of Innocents (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James #19)
Author: Deborah Crombie
Year published: 2023
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

SummaryOn a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London's historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she's been stabbed. 

Kincaid immediately calls in his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crimes which are on the rise. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma aids the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the task force’s typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, career-driven, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. Sasha had her secrets, though, and some of them lead the detectives uncomfortably close to home.

As the team unravels the victim's tangled connections, another murder raises the stakes. Kincaid, Gemma, and their colleagues must put even friendships on the line to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.

Review: This novel has been on my TBR shelf for quite a while. Crombie is an author I have seen around a lot (she has written a ton of books!), but somehow this is my first of her books. And, of course, this is number 19 in the series. Nothing like coming in at the end!

This book pulled me in from page one and makes me wish I'd read the previous eighteen novels in her series. The characters are likable and interesting, interact well, and struggle with the problems before them. The police work is well done and I felt like I was in the thick of the investigation, not really sure who was "the bad guy," and what the detectives would discover.

The ending was believable as well, not rushed, and I felt like all the loose ends came together in a way that made sense. I also like that we get personal relationship aspects of all the characters. We learn about their families, friendship connections, their past, all of which makes them seem like real people that the reader can care about. I am sure that if I had read even a few of the past novels I would feel even more strongly about this aspect.

If you like a good detective novel, I highly recommend this series.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet (Title )--K
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Literary Escapes--United Kingdom

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