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by Deborah Crombie
Macmillan, June 2005
448 pages
ISBN: 1405034416

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

IN A DARK HOUSE begins with a suspicious warehouse fire in Southwark where firefighters discover the naked, charred remains of an unidentified woman. Due to some special mitigating factors, and as a favor to his superiors, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid gets attached to Southwark CID to assist the murder investigation. The first thing is trying to identify the victim.

Throughout the book Deborah Crombie provides three possibilities as to who the female victim could be -- a runaway, a wife, or a nurse. Each one of these missing women is a strong candidate to be the murdered victim, but only one of them can be. This begs the question, where are the other two? Could they still be alive? Could each one's disappearance be connected with the other two?

Crombie creates a multi-layered storyline as the investigation proceeds while the police question everyone in each of the three women's lives hoping to find a clue before the results of the DNA tests become available. Through the use of characters readers get enthralled into the lives of these three individual women not knowing if one will get the opportunity to meet them.

All that we have are the recollections of other secondary characters. Each one of these women carries a secret and each one has a reason for someone to want them dead. As the action in the novel unfolds, small pieces start falling into place until reaching the book's satisfying conclusion.

Not to be outdone, the author continues to delve into the lives of her main characters such as Duncan Kincaid's former partner and now lover Detective Inspector Gemma James as she ponders her future after the events of MOURN NOT YOUR DEAD and living inside an extended family with Kincaid. Crombie has a way with characters and these are some of the best books coming out today. Don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, August 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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