CW: Pregnancy Loss
Things are going very well for Duncan and Gemma. Gemma is settling into her new position as an inspector at the Notting Hill station. She and Duncan are about to combine households in a new home, and they’re expecting a baby. Then Gemma catches her first major murder case since being promoted. Dawn Arrowood the wife a wealthy antiques dealer, is found murdered by her husband. It’s a high profile case, and Gemma is under quite a bit of pressure. The murder reminds Duncan of a similar case from years past, and soon he and Gemma are butting heads over the case even as she’s struggling to establish herself in her new position. Answers are scare, but as Gemma gets closer to figuring out who the murderer might be, she realizing that they might be much closer than expected.
So, this was a good read, but there was a sense of dread for me throughout the whole book. Crombie is the sort of author who will let you get attached to a character for half a book and then kill them off. Plus she never seems to go more than a book or so before shaking things up for Gemma and Duncan, so I just knew something terrible was going to happen, and I was right. Spoilers ahead: Gemma ends up losing the baby. That put a bit of a damper on the story for me, both what happens and just the sense of dread while I read. I don’t mind tension in my story, but it’s not fun dreading what might happen with every turn of the page.
But other than that, this was an excellent installment of the series. The mystery itself was interesting. One of the things that Crombie often does in these novels in weave in flashbacks to past events that have bearing on the current plot. Sometimes this works well and sometimes it doesn’t, but this time it was quite compelling. I also really enjoyed the way Gemma and Duncan’s relationship continues to evolve. They’re definitely having growing pains, but I like the fact that their relationship isn’t stagnant nor are we stuck in some sort of will they won’t they cycle. The mysteries themselves have been hit or miss at times for me in this series, but the relationships are what really keep me reading. Four out of five stars.