Mar 6, 2014

Book Review: The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie

Title: The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
Published February 25, 2014; William Morrow
Genre: mystery, police procedural
Objective rating: 3.5/5

From publisher's description: In the past . . . On a hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace area of London, Andy, a thirteen-year-old boy meets his next door neighbor Nadine, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair form a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.
"A 1964 Stratocaster. Fiesta red. Marshall had it valued. Everything's original - headstock, body, the pickups. Three's an amp, too. You can get it tomorrow."
Finally, he looked up at her past feeling any shame for the tears in his eyes. "But I can't possibly -"
"Yes. You can. Just play, Andy." She touched one of the geranium blossoms. "No one has been kind to me except you. Think of it as red for red."
(ch. 13)
 In the present . . . Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team in South London, she's assisted by Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. Their case, a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. The victim, Vincent Arnott, a well-respected barrister, found naked, trussed, and apparently strangled. Gemma's team must find his companion - a search that forces them to contemplate the weaknesses and passions that lead to murder.

My comments: It was hard to see at first what the events in young Andy's life fifteen years earlier had to the present, when a man is found strangled in a nearby hotel, close to the bar where Andy and his band were playing. The novel switches back and forth in time and only toward the end do we start putting the pieces of the past together with the present to get the full story. This does keep you invested and interested in the mystery.

Interwoven with the crime story are the personal events in the life of Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, the couple who are members of the police solving murders in the mystery novels. This is the fifteenth in the mystery series. Their personal lives do add a touch of lightness and normalcy to the baffling crime scenes in this novel. However, I think the personal events might have been a distraction from the crime story, which almost started to be overshadowed.

I enjoyed Crombie's previous novel as well.

Deborah Crombie is a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.

Visit Deborah at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. See the tour schedule for more reviews


  1. Harvee, I'm glad you enjoyed this mystery. I didn't realize it was part of a long series.

  2. I don't read too many mysteries, but this one sounds just different enough to work for me. Nicely reviewed!

  3. I suppose that after fifteen books, that the author would be trying to varying things up a little. Perhaps that is why there was so much of the non mystery stuff in the plot.

  4. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  5. WOW, hadn't realized that author wrote that many books. I have not read any sadly.

  6. A new mystery series for me. Thanks for the review.


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