Mourn Not Your Dead (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #4)

Mourn Not Your Dead (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #4)

by Deborah Crombie


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An important and powerful policeman has been murdered, bludgeoned to death in his own kitchen. Few in suburban Surrey mourn the violent passing of Division Commander Alastair Gilbert, whose arrogance and cruelty were legendary in his village and in wider police circles — which only makes the job of Scotland Yard investigators Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James more difficult. And as every discovery reveals another instance of misplaced trust, festering secrets, and murderous rage, they must put aside their own personal feelings for the victim — and for each other — in the name of justice and the law.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684801315
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 04/23/1996
Series: Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series , #4
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.41(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

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, two cats, and two German shepherds.

Read an Excerpt

Mourn Not Your Dead

By Deborah Crombie

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Deborah Crombie
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060789573

Chapter One

His office seemed to shrink as he paced. The walls drew in, their angles distorted by the elongated shadows cast from the swivel lamp on his desk. The Yard always felt a bit eerie at night, as if the very emptiness of the rooms had a presence. He stopped at the bookcases and ran his finger along the spines of the well-thumbed books on the top shelf. Archeology, art . . . canals . . . crime reference . . . Many of them were gifts from his mother, sent in her continual quest to remedy what she considered his lack of a proper education. Although he'd tried to group them alphabetically by subject, there were a few inevitable strays. Kincaid shook his head -- would that he could order his life even half as well as he did his books.

He glanced at his watch for the tenth time in as many minutes, then crossed to his desk and sat down very deliberately. The call that had brought him in had been urgent -- a high-ranking police officer found murdered -- and if Gemma didn't arrive soon he'd have to go on to the crime scene without her. She'd not been in to work since she had left his flat on Friday evening. And although she had called in and requested leave from the chief superintendent, she had not answered Kincaid's increasingly frantic calls over the past five days. Tonight Kincaid had asked the duty sergeant to contact her, and she'd responded.

Unable to contain his restlessness, he rose again and had reached to pull his jacket from the coat stand when he heard the soft click of the latch. He turned and saw her standing with her back to the door, watching him, and a foolish grin spread across his face. "Gemma!"

"Hullo, guv."

"I've tried and tried to ring you. I thought something must have happened -- "

She was already shaking her head. "I went to my sister's for a few days. I needed some time -- "

"We have to talk." He moved a step nearer and stopped, examining her. She looked exhausted, her pale face almost transparent against the copper of her hair, and the skin beneath her eyes held faint purple shadows. "Gemma -- "

"There's nothing to say." She slumped, resting her shoulders against the door as if she needed its support. "It was all a dreadful mistake. You can see that, can't you?"

He stared at her, astonishment freezing his tongue. "A mistake?" he managed finally, then wiped a hand across his suddenly dry lips. "Gemma, I don't understand."

"It never happened." She took a step towards him, entreating, then stopped as if afraid of his physical proximity.

"It did happen. You can't change that, and I don't want to." He went to her then and put his hands on her shoulders, trying to draw her to him. "Gemma, please, listen to me." For an instant he thought she might tilt her head into the hollow of his shoulder, relax against him. Then he felt her shoulders tense under his fingers and she pulled away.

"Look at us. Look at where we bloody are," she said, thumping a fist against the door at her back. "We can't do this. I've compromised myself enough already." She took a ragged breath and added, spacing the words out as if to emphasize their weight, "I can't afford it. I've my career to think of . . . and Toby."

The phone rang, its short double brrr echoing loudly in the small room. He stepped back to his desk and fumbled for the receiver, bringing it to his ear. "Kincaid," he said shortly, then listened for a moment. "Right, thanks." Replacing the handset in the cradle, he looked at Gemma. "Car's waiting." Sentences formed and dissolved in his mind, each sounding more futile than the last. This was not the time or the place to discuss it, and he would only embarrass them both by going on about it now.

Finally, he turned away and slipped into his jacket, using the moment to swallow his disappointment and compose his features in as neutral an expression as he could manage. Facing her again, he said, "Ready, Sergeant?"

Big Ben struck ten o'clock as the car sped south across Westminster bridge, and in the backseat beside Gemma, Kincaid watched the lights shimmer on the Thames. They sat in silence as the car zigzagged on through south London, inching its way towards Surrey. Even their driver, a usually chatty PC called Williams, seemed to have caught their mood, remaining hunched in taciturn concentration over the wheel.

Clapham had vanished behind them when Gemma spoke. "You'd better fill me in on this one, guv."

Kincaid saw the flash of Williams's eyes as he cast a surprised glance at them in the rearview mirror. Gemma should have been briefed, of course, and he roused himself to answer as ordinarily as possible. Gossip in the ranks would do neither of them any good. "Little village near Guildford. What's it called, Williams?"

"Holmbury St. Mary, sir."

"Right. Alastair Gilbert, the division commander at Notting Dale, found in his kitchen with his head bashed in."

He heard Gemma draw a sharp breath, then she said with the first spark of interest he'd heard all evening, "Commander Gilbert? Jesus. Any leads?"

"Not that I've been told, but it's early days yet," Kincaid said, turning to study her.

She shook her head. "There will be an unholy stink over this one, then. And aren't we the lucky coppers, having it land in our laps?" When Kincaid snorted in wry agreement, she glanced at him and added, "You must have known him."

Shrugging, he said, "Didn't everyone?" He was unwilling to elaborate in front of Williams.

Gemma settled back into her seat. After a moment she said, "The local lads will have been there before us. Hope they haven't messed about with the body."


Excerpted from Mourn Not Your Dead by Deborah Crombie Copyright © 2005 by Deborah Crombie.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Mourn Not Your Dead (Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James Series #4) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stress! Gemma coming to terms with what she has with Duncan while solving a complex murder. It doesn't get any better than this. I love this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed all 4 of the series and plan on reading the rest
FMRox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kincaid and Jones set out to solve the murder of one of their fellow police officers in small town England. The officer appears very disliked and the murderer is no surprise. Although I have Crombie's series so far this one is more disappointing. There was too much time spent on playing the Kincaid-Jones relationship that the mystery began to take a back seat to all the anguish. Hopefully, the next book will not focus so much on this as they finally solved their "problems" at the end.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my second Kincaid/Jones mystery fourth in the series), and I admit a good part of my interest was to see what would happen between the two of them after their relationship changed in Leave the Grave Green. In truth, perhaps because I wasn't an established fan of the series, the relationship and its hurdles served mainly as a distraction to me, as well as to the two of them. It was an almost classic situation of oh-for-heaven's-sake-just-talk-to-each-other, with Gemma pretending so hard that everything was normal that she made it far more abnormal, and Kincaid alternating between clueless wounded bafflement and brisk professionalism. The murder in question, though, was interesting. Kincaid and James are called in on the case of a brutal murder ¿ the twist being that the victim is a Commander of the London Metropolitan Police. Obviously the murder of a cop is always going to galvanize the force ¿ but this story sheds a little light on a motivation other than the obvious. Apart from "someone killed one of us and getting the killer is our top priority", there is in this case another level of security and urgency about the situation: the deeper Kincaid and James have to look into this case, the more tarnished the victim's image is going to become ¿ he was not a nice person, to put it mildly. His wife and step-daughter, who discovered the body, are implicated, of course, and so are several of the neighbors, and so for that matter are various colleagues and underlings who loathed him. The usual complement of affairs and quirks are uncovered, and it soon becomes clear that most of the neighborhood is united in protecting ¿ someone. Or something. The book in specific and the series in general didn't hold me. I own several which I've picked up here and there as the opportunity presented itself, and I'll probably read them one day.
thornton37814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Alistair Gilbert, a high-ranking officer, turns up dead, Supt. Duncan Kincaid and Sgt. Gemma James are sent to investigate. The list of suspects seems endless because just about everyone had a reason to dislike the deceased. Plenty of plot turns and twists keep the reader second guessing his or her own conclusions until the final solution is revealed. There is one murder in the course of the book for which there is no satisfactory resolution. It makes one wonder if this murder will be revisited in a later installment in the series.
nordie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I suffered slightly by not having read the preceding book - much of the interaction between Duncan and Gemma is fall out from the clearly having slept together, but how many times and how far their relationship had gone is unknown, but the story starts with her deciding to shut the relationship down.Meanwhile, they get called out to investigate the murder of a commander in the Met, found bludgeoned to death in his kitchen, and the investigations start. Overall a good procedural
Billyt1 More than 1 year ago
Good story with engaging mystery. Continued character development. It is understandable that Gemma would be hesitant to expand her relationship with Duncan, however her actions are perplexing. She treats Duncan poorly and her making him jealous with deveney makes no sense: she broke it off with him. The way Gemma treats Duncan you wonder why he continues to want her. Duncan seems to be a nice person, while Gemma is confused.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story, but after a while I got a little tired of all the personal analyzing and examining of every motive for every action by any of the principal characters. I like to get to know the characters in a book, but this one was a bit much in that regard. I finally started skipping a few paragraphs here and there. And to be honest, I may have felt that way because this was the third novel in the series that I read in a weeks time. Maybe I was just sick of the characters. In my opinion however, this made the book drag on a bit too long. Still the story was a good one, with a somewhat unexpected ending. One thing that I am finding is often the case with Deborah Crombie's books, is that there is a slight uncertainty as to the fate of the villain at the end. This is a good thing if you are somewhat in sympathy with the "bad guy". On the other hand if you think he or she deserves punishment, this is a little disconcerting.
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