In a dark house
This is the tenth of the Kincaid/James series, and it shows. The two detectives now are living in a patchwork family together with their respective sons, and the thrill of Duncan and Gemma´s relationship has worn off, naturally, just as have the narrative and inventive skills of their creator Crombie.
She is more interested in every day matters than in thinking of a good crime story, making up for lack of concentration by throwing in lots of parallel actions and points to start her narrative from. If she thinks her readers will be thrown off the track, she might be right, but they will probably lose interest in solving the three different cases presented by Crombie.
So we are faced with an arsonist, a murderer, and a kidnapper, and have to share several people´s complicated personal history. The only charcter this reader here took real interest in is wheelchair bound Franny, whose lady lodger and partner deceives her cruelly.
Finally, some of the loose ends are tied up, but you do not really want to follow Kincaid/James for another 7 adventures, although Crombie´s endeavours at literary acclaim show all too clearly in the quotes from British classics that head every chapter. What a discrepancy to her own work, sorry to say.
Crombie´s love for Britain and everything British, which she confessed at a recent reading, may endear her to her British readers but not to all the others.