A Killing of Innocents (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, #19)

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New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a new novel focusing on Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they must solve the stabbing death of a young woman before panic spreads across London.On a rainy November evening, a young woman hurries through the crowd in London’s historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her, then brushes past. A moment later, she stumbles, collapsing against a tree. When a young mother finds her body and alerts the police, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene. The victim, Sasha Johnson, is a trainee doctor at a nearby hospital, and she’s been stabbed.Kincaid immediately calls his detective wife, Gemma James, who has recently been assigned to a task force on knife crime. Along with her partner, detective sergeant Melody Talbot, Gemma joins the investigation. But Sasha Johnson doesn’t fit the profile of the typical knife crime victim. Single, successful, daughter of a black professional family, she has no history of abusive relationships or any connection to gangs. She had her secrets, though, and Kincaid uncovers an awkward connection to his Notting Hill friends Wesley and Betty Howard.As the detectives unravel Sasha’s tangled relationships, another stabbing puts London in a panic, and Kincaid’s team needs all their resources to find the killer stalking the dark streets of Bloomsbury.

The Following Text Is From Page 142 Of A Killing of Innocents (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, #19)
coffee table, splattered with yellow stains from an empty takeaway container—curry, from the smell. This, Kincaid had taken in in a glance. It was the rest of the room that held his attention. Cheap bookcases filled every available wall space. Their shelves were crammed, not with books but with pair after pair of china dogs. Two tables on the other side of the room were similarly filled. One dog lay faceup on the coffee table, its black painted eyes staring blindly at the ceiling. “Good God,” said Sidana, stepping forward to stand beside him. “What is all this rubbish?” But Kincaid had moved to the nearest bookcase and was examining the figurines more closely. Some were chipped, or cracked and re-glued. The small faces had distinct personalities—even within a pair, there were minute differences. Most were King Charles spaniels, but at the end of one shelf Kincaid spied a pair of Dalmatians, rather crudely executed. He turned back to Sidana. “Not rubbish, I think. These are Staffordshire, and I don’t think they’re reproductions. If I’m right, some of them”—he gestured towards the Dalmatians—“are worth a good bit.” * * * Gemma fed Toby and Charlotte boiled eggs with toast soldiers, then bundled them into warm jackets and took them out into the communal garden. It was dry enough for a good game—fetch for the dogs and football for the kids, although who was chasing what got a bit confused. The exercise and the damp, chill air cleared the last of the hangover fog from her brain. A half hour later, the children were red-cheeked and willing to go inside without too much protest. She lit the sitting-room fire, settling them with projects, then sat down at the dining-room table with her laptop and a pot of tea to tackle the work she’d neglected yesterday. Kit slouched through on his way to the kitchen, hair tousled, and waved a hand in greeting. A murmur of voices told her that Charlotte had joined him, and soon there came the rhythmic sound of a knife on the chopping block. Gemma’s eyes began to droop and her hands, poised over the keyboard, felt disconnected from her body.