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by Deborah Crombie
William Morrow, February 2023
384 pages
ISBN: 0062993399

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is waiting at a bar for his detective sergeant, Doug Cullen, when his eye is caught by a young woman who keeps checking her phone, apparently also waiting for someone. Shortly after she leaves, a call comes in—someone has been killed in a crowded street nearby. When Duncan and Doug get there, it's the same young woman, Sasha Elaine Johnson, and it seems she was stabbed quickly and quietly, with only a five-year-old boy as a witness.

With no real leads, police start looking at Sasha's friends and family, as well as where she worked, a small hospital in the neighborhood. She was well-liked by almost everyone—but for one ward manager who paints her in a less kindly light. The mystery is deepened when a second person is killed.

Gemma James and her second-in command, Melody Talbot, are working at their new jobs, tracking and identifying knife crime in Greater London. For the most part, it is a dull job that involves poring over reports. So Gemma and Melody jump at the chance to help Duncan investigate.

Family issues are woven throughout the book, including a storyline that sees Doug beginning to fall in love with one of the suspects – Sasha's flatmate, who happens to have a dubious past. The personal stories sometimes come close to overwhelming the mystery itself, but that shouldn't bother a Crombie fan. It's been four years since her last book, and it's nice to be back among the Kincaid-James family and orbit.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, February 2023

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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