An important and powerful policeman has been murdered, bludgeoned to death in his own kitchen. Few in suburban Surrey mourn the violent passing of Division Commander Alastair Gilbert, whose arrogance and cruelty were legendary in his village and in wider police circles -- which only makes the job of Scotland Yard investigators Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James more difficult. And as every discovery reveals another instance of misplaced trust, festering secrets, and murderous rage, they must put aside their own personal feelings for the victim -- and for each other -- in the name of justice and the law.
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The three things that make Deborah Crombie's books about a pair of Scotland Yard detectives so fascinating are (a) the way the relationship between Superintendent Duncan Kinkaid and Sgt. Gemma James is constantly--and believably--changing; (b) the meticulously researched and impeccably presented details of British police procedure; and (c) the fact that the superb chronicler behind these multi-layered tales of British society is a native Texan and current resident of a small town near Dallas. This fourth entry in Crombie's excellent series sends the gently raised, intellectual Kinkaid and the tougher, more abrasive James out after the killer of a much-unloved senior policeman in suburban Surrey. Other books in the series also available in paperback are All Shall Be Well, Leave the Grave Green, and A Share in Death.From the Back Cover:
When a high-ranking police officer is brutally murdered, Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James are drawn into a case that not only challenges their investigative skills but forces them to examine their ethics and their relationship with each other. On an evening in mid-November, Alastair Gilbert, a Commander in the London Metropolitan Police, is found dead in the kitchen of his suburban Surrey home by his wife, Claire, and seventeen-year-old stepdaughter, Lucy. Gilbert was bludgeoned to death, and there was no sign of forced entry. Someone must have taken Gilbert by surprise - or the killer was someone he trusted. Kincaid was once Gilbert's student at the police academy, and he fears his personal antipathy toward the dead man may lessen his objectivity in the case. Even more distracting is the state of his relationship with Gemma - strained and tense ever since their intimate encounter a few days earlier. Both Duncan and Gemma must try to put their feelings for each other and their memories of Alastair Gilbert aside as they discover that Gilbert did not always play by the rules that he publicly espoused, particularly when the rules might have hindered his rise to power.
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