Thursday, March 25, 2010
A Finer End by Deborah Crombie
Protagonists: Det. Supt. Duncan Kincaid and Sgt. Gemma James
This seventh book in the series is quite a departure for Crombie, as it includes a lot of woo-woo. It opens with a different type of mystery -- why is Duncan's cousin, Jack Montfort, going into trance-like states during which he writes in Latin? Is the spirit of a dead Glastonbury monk possessing him? Is it related to a lost monks' chant? Monfort enlists the help of a group of people to solve this puzzle. But when one of them is attacked, he calls in Duncan, who travels to Glastonbury with Gemma.
Glastonbury is one of those places that attracts those who believe in everything from New Age to the old gods. This is true, in real life, as well. Glastonbury Abbey is where legend has it King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are buried. And Glastonbury Tor, which plays a big part in the book, is known for being home to the King of the Fairies. Crombie does paint a very vivid picture of Glastonbury, and uses those beliefs to give us characters connected to the paranormal -- a teenaged pregnant girl whose baby may be special, and a painter who is taken over by some sort of spirit when painting.
As far as Duncan and Gemma's personal lives, there is much going on, and it's always a pleasure to see where Crombie takes this storyline. I enjoyed that part of the book, but deducted points for all the use of woo-woo, which just became a bit too beyond belief after awhile.