Sharon's Reviews > Where Memories Lie

Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie
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Sep 26, 08

bookshelves: mysterythriller, series

It seems that every author at some point finds it necessary to write a book about World War II and the Holocaust. This is Deborah Crombie's. Luckily, she does not find it necessary--except for some citations at the beginnings of chapters--to give us history lessons. In fact, she is able to use the natural curiosity of Duncan's adolescent son Kit to give us the necessary historical background effectively without preaching. Unfortunately, Crombie's recent work has fallen into a different trap: cases seem to come to Duncan and Gemma because of personal connections. We're getting into "Dr. Welby" territory here; knowing either Duncan or Gemma ensures that you'll be involved somehow in a crime.

That said, this is an excellent book. A brooch that was stolen from a woman fleeing Germany has turned up in a London auction house. The woman asks for Gemma's help in finding out how it suddenly reappeared and, as soon as Gemma asks the first question, people connected to the brooch begin to die. The linking of past and present crimes is seamless. Even the minor characters are memorably described. There is a conclusion to the case that is satisfying but recognizes that grief and pain do not end with the arrest and prosecution of a criminal. Fans of the series will also be happy to see that Duncan and Gemma seem to have overcome many of the obstacles to their relationship. Finally, for those of us who know London only through short visits and movies, the setting in Chelsea and Notting Hill seems very real, although I suspect British readers will spot errors.
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