Duncan and Gemma are pulled into a case as a favor for a higher up when Connor Swann, the son in law of Sir Gerald and Dame Caroline, is found floating dead in the river. It’s an odd case to begin with where the deceased’s in laws seemed to have liked him better than their own daughter, his wife Julia. There’s also the fact that their young son died in a similar manner twenty years ago and the only witness was his sister. It doesn’t help that Duncan seems strangely drawn to Julia as the pair of detectives try to sort out what really might have happened.
I’m on the third book in this series, and I can confidently say that Duncan Kincaid’s biggest weakness is that he has bad judgement when it comes to women. This isn’t the first book where he has let his feelings for a woman get in the way of an investigation. It’s also pretty clear that a contributing factor is his divorce. It’s clear that Duncan is over his ex-wife, but he’s still pretty wounded by what happened. I bring this up because, it is a big factor in this particular book for multiple reasons. And Duncan makes two really bad judgements. Beware spoilers ahead: He sleeps with Julia while she’s still potentially a murder suspect. And at the very end of the book, he sleeps with his sergeant.
The mystery itself is fine and enjoyable. What really makes or breaks it is the relationships, and in all honesty, I’m not sure how that’s going to shake out. I do really like Gemma and Duncan together. That has a lot of potential. They really do work well together both professionally and personally. Gemma is good at holding Duncan to account when need be, and he clearly respects her skills as a detective. He also has consistently been in her corner and supported her when not many other people have. However, he is technically her superior. Plus, there’s the fact that Gemma is a single mom to a young child who is clearly one of her biggest priorities. The book ends when the two of them on very different pages about their relationship. Gemma is panicking and slipping out before Duncan wakes up, certain that’s she’s made a mistake and put her career in jeopardy. All she is thinking about is the possible negative consequences of sleeping with Duncan. Duncan, on the other hand, is realizing that he’s already halfway in love with Gemma and does want a romantic relationship with her. He hasn’t really thought about the consequences of their actions yet. And that’s where the book ends. I’m going to read the next one because at this point I have to know what happens with these two, but I thing how this whole situation is handled could make or break this series for me. Three out of five stars.
CBR15 Bingo: Relation”ships” – Duncan’s relationships with people really play a big role in this one.