BOOK REVIEW: Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie

Scotland Yard's Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James face their most haunting case yet when the past devastatingly intersects with the present....

The call from Scotland Yard couldn't have come at a worse time for Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid. He has promised the weekend to Kit, the eleven-year-old son of his ex-wife. The son he never knew he fathered -- who doesn't yet know Kincaid's true identity.

But Duncan's best intentions are shattered by an investigation that draws him in and swiftly consumes him. It seems to begin with the discovery of the body of a beautiful young woman in an East London park. But Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James will discover that this case has long roots that reach far back into the past, and that resentments which should have been decades buried still have the power to hurt -- and maybe even the capacity to kill.

‘Kissed a Sad Goodbye’ by Deborah Crombie was a really good book but also a slightly frustrating book.  By intertwining a historical story into the current crime story it was frustrating, as the reader, to not understand what was going on.  I knew, because I occasionally employ common sense that the two stories would meet up somewhere, but that didn’t make it less frustrating to try and remember what was happening in each separate storyline during the breakaways.  The other thing I struggled with has absolutely nothing to do with the author or the story.  It totally had to do with me.  So I’m going to go off topic for a second and not even talk about  ‘this’ book but books in general.  Anyone who knows me, like in real flesh and blood life, knows that I am a reader.  At times a voracious reader.  So when the opportunity arises I am given a lot, a LOT, of books.  And I keep them.  And read them.  And occasionally remember to write reviews on them.  ‘Kissed a Sad Goodbye’ is one that was given to me.  And it’s part of an ongoing series.  Yes, it is a series that each book can and does stand alone.  But when you jump in to book 6 with an ongoing cast you don’t get all the nuances of the character relationships.  You sorta have to piece them together with the tidbits of refresher information that is given out.  And that, while struggling, is through no one’s fault but my own.  Had I been smart I’d have checked the library for the first 5 books.  But nope, jumped in both feet.  And liked it anyway.

I don’t know a lot about British law enforcement having been fortunate enough to never have been in contact with any.  So I did some assuming here and there and pretended I knew what it all meant.  Apparently a higher level detective (Kincaid) and his lower ranked partner (James) work together and have a small fling going on the side.  Kincaid has a son, maybe, he never knew about and is working on building a relationship with him while having to still deal with cases and real life that interferes.  Whereas James also has a child and wants to learn to play the piano.  Oh yeah, and they have a murder to solve.  Of a young, beautiful, successful woman.  As the case plays out the flashbacks, once I remembered which family was which and whose name belonged with which family, begin to tell the story of why this young lady was murdered.  Of course I figured it out after all the usual suspects are pulled in and out and eventually cleared.  I was actually almost, not entirely but almost, surprised by the outcome.

Deborah Crombie impressed me with her writing style.  She impressed me that I actually remained guessing at the suspect almost to the end.  I enjoyed this book.  Luckily I own this book so I can re-read it when I choose.  Though I probably should check the library for the five in the series prior to it so the relationships make more sense.  And maybe I’ll learn why James wants to learn piano so badly in the beginning and why it has to be such a secret.  That mystery I never did figure out!

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Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)

About Deborah Crombie
Deborah Crombie is the author of 15 novels featuring Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Detective Inspector Gemma James. The 16th Kincaid/James novel, To Dwell in Darkness, will be released by William Morrow in September, 2014.

Crombie lives in McKinney, Texas with her husband, two German Shepherd Dogs, and two cats. She travels to Britain frequently to research her books.

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