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The Sound of Broken Glass    by Deborah Crombie order for
Sound of Broken Glass
by Deborah Crombie
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Sound of Broken Glass is Deborah Crombie's fifteenth novel. As is her wont, she has done it again. Another top-rate story. One to curl up with and forget about everything except the words in front of you.

The story takes place in London in the area where the famous Crystal Palace once stood. Every chapter begins with a small piece of history about the glass building. Detective Inspector Gemma James is back to work after a hiatus taking care of Charlotte, the three year-old child she and her husband Detective Superintendent Duncan Kinkaid are fostering. The other two children are a bit older.

Kincaid is now taking his turn in running the house and taking care of their children. James is called out on a lazy Saturday to the sleazy hotel room of a naked man who had been trussed hand and foot and strangled. Thus starts an investigation that takes the reader back in time to a young boy who falls in love with a guitar and a young woman who befriends him.

Back to today and another body, trussed up and strangled, as was the first one. We contemplate human nature and the ills we bring upon ourselves as the story unravels. A very good story, it is. The slender threads that bring these dead men together do not break but get stronger as the tale progresses. The detective work involved is fascinating, especially given the fact that Kincaid and James cannot work together on this case. It is hers and not his and they are never to combine their observations according to the officials at the Yard.

The Sound of Broken Glass treats us to short lessons on guitars and on some of how the music industry works. The author has diverse interests and shares them with us in her writing. For a woman who is a native Texan, Crombie has captured the feel and the language of England. For heaven's sake, don't miss this one.

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