Book Review: The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie

The Sound of Broken GlassThe Sound of Broken Glass
Deborah Crombie
William Morrow, February 2013
ISBN No. 978-0061990632

A seedy hotel in the Crystal Palace district of London is the scene of the murder of Vincent Arnott, a well-respected barrister.  Detective Inspector Gemma Jones is called to the scene, accompanied by newly promoted Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot.  It appears that the victim arrived at the hotel alone but let someone in through the fire door once he was in the hotel.   The victim was found naked and apparently strangled.

The officers visit the Arnott home to inform Mrs. Arnott and find that she is suffering from dementia and, evidently, her husband has been doing his best to care for her at home.  It is difficult for Mrs. Arnott to begin to understand what the police officers are attempting to tell her.  Mrs. Arnott can’t offer any information that would help the officers in their investigation due to her condition.

Arnott was at a local pub prior to going to the hotel.  The guitar player at the pub, Andy Monahan, was involved in an argument that evening. Arnott had supposedly had words with Monahan,  as well.  It turns out that Duncan, Gemma’s husband, had previously dealt  with Monahan in an earlier case.  Because of Duncan’s earlier acquaintance with Andy, he helps a bit with the investigation even though he is not authorized to do so.  Before Gemma and her assistant can get too far into the investigation another barrister is found murdered and the circumstances are much like the Arnott murder. The only difference being the second victim was found in his home not at a hotel.

Gemma’s husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is off work at home caring for the couple’s three year-old foster daughter.  Their daughter has been having a hard time adjusting and Gemma and Duncan have taken turns using leave in order to stay home and care for the girl.  Duncan’s leave is about to run out and he is investigating a new school for Caroline.  While he is checking into possibilities for Caroline, he finds yet another connection to Andy Monahan.

The past plays a large part in the present happenings and it takes awhile for Gemma and her crew to finally uncover the entire story and find the killer.  The conclusion took me completely by surprise.  I enjoyed The Sound of Broken Glass and would recommend the book.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, April 2013.