Friday, 29 May 2015

No Mark Upon Her - Deborah Crombie

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A master storyteller whose crime thrillers are quite a delight!

This whodunnit is based on the rowing race world, a world that I have often fantasised about. I remember watching the Oxford/Cambridge annual boat race on TV and wondering what it must be within the sport. Crombie showed me a glimpse of that competitive tight knit community through this book.

She paints a very vivid picture of the life of a rower and the kind of world they live in. The story is a standard who dunnit and perhaps it would have helped if I had read from the earliest novels of the Kincaid and James. However, although it would have helped, it did not leave me stranded in anyway. The story ties in beautifully with the past of the detectives and takes their story forward while they investigate yet another murder.

A rower who is also a police officer is found drowned while out on her daily training. Kincaid and James feel the pressure as the met's reputation is at stake. But when a member of the rescue team, that discovered the dead rower is assaulted, Kincaid and James realise they need to dig deeper to uncover the truth.

What works:
  • An atmospheric story about the rowing world, even as Kincaid and James get on with their lives on a parellel level.
  • It offers a fascinating insight into the politics and the tenacity that governs the sport.
  • The writing is so smooth and engaging that it just sucks the reader in and keeps her hooked till the end.
  • The writer obviously has mastered the craft very well and writes with a smooth panache. Reading her is enjoyable for her turn of phrase and vivid descriptions.
What doesn't:
  • Nothing really. It is a great read, a joyful suspense. What more can a crime buff ask for?
After reading this, I picked up its sequel Necessary as Blood and half way through, it is equally engrossing. I read somewhere that Crombie has been compared to Elizabeth George. Being a hardcore George fan, I was a bit miffed. But now that I have read Crombie, she has her own style and it is unfair to compare her to George. 

I will be reading more of Crombie for sure, just to see if she can sustain that magic in each of her novels.

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