Friday, March 05, 2010
Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie
Protagonist: Gemma James and Duncaid Kincaid
Setting: Isle of Dogs, East End of London
The body of Annabelle Hammond, director of an old family firm of tea merchants, is found on the Isle of Dogs in the Docklands area. Aggressive in business and in her personal life, she had, as one character says of her, "a talent for getting what she wanted, sometimes ruthlessly so." Engaged, Annabelle nevertheless had an intimate affair with street musician Gordon Finch, and she may also have had a relationship with his father, Lewis, a well-known developer. In turn, Lewis Finch and Annabelle's father, William, were once childhood friends, but no longer speak to each other.
Amid this web, Crombie also interweaves the history of the Docklands, and flashbacks to when William Hammond and Lewis Finch were evacuated during World War II as children. At the heart of these books is the continuing relationship between Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid. In this one, Gemma finds herself attracted to another man, as Duncan comes to terms with being a father to 11-year-old Kit. This is the sixth in the series, and my favorite so far (although I do have another seven in the series to read).