cover image The Sound of Broken Glass

The Sound of Broken Glass

Deborah Crombie. Morrow, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-199063-2

Bestseller Crombie puts together past and present in her solid, finely controlled 15th novel featuring married police detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid (after 2012’s No Mark upon Her). While Duncan looks after their three-year-old foster daughter at home, Gemma and Det. Sgt. Melody Talbot investigate the murder of barrister Vincent Arnott, found in a seedy hotel in London’s Crystal Palace area, naked, tied with a belt, and strangled. When the body of a second barrister, killed in exactly the same way, turns up, physical evidence proves the same person murdered both men. Gemma and Melody painstakingly and methodically unravel the clues, finding connections that began 15 years earlier in the Crystal Palace area. Flashbacks show how the meeting of a lonely 13-year-old boy and a recently widowed teacher had grave consequences. The unfolding domestic relationship between Gemma and Duncan softens and humanizes them. The city of London, foggy, blustery, and historic, provides a seductive background. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Mar.)