Great quote: "She was moving now, listening to the whoosh and thunk as the oars went in, followed by an instant of absolute silence as they come out of the water and the boat plunged forward like a living thing. It was perfect rhythm, this, it was music. The boat was singing, and she was a part of it, lifting from the water like a bird." Page 5
"The boat rocked slightly as she twisted to look upriver and she quickly grasped the oars in both hands again. Then she peered at the bank, but the shadows beneath the trees had deepened to impenetrable ink." Page 7
Book summary: Rebecca Meredith is an elite rower who is mulling a bid for an Olympic medal. She's also a detective with the Metropolitan Police. When she inexplicably drowns while rowing on the Thames, her friends are stunned. As the details of Rebecca Meredith life begin to unfold, it's clear that her death may have been more than an accidental drowning.
My thoughts: No Mark Upon Her is a clever mystery, with enough plot twists to keep the mystery until the very end. The victim, Rebecca Meredith, is a complex character with several skeletons in her closet. From an ex-husband to a war veteran suffering from PTSD to an entire rowing club of competitive rivals, the detectives have to search for a killer from a wide variety of angles. Add in the fact that Rebecca Meredith is now a dead police detective and the list of suspects seems nearly endless.
No Mark Upon Her is the 14th book in a long-running crime detective series by Deborah Crombie. However, if you are new to the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James crime series, this might not be the best novel in the series for jumping into the storyline. No Mark Upon Her begins with a wedding that is overshadowed by racism but, to an uninitiated reader, it is not entirely clear why all of this is happening. Attempts are made to provide new readers with a cursory backstory, but the domestic issues surrounding the lead detectives remain a bit perplexing throughout the novel. The thin backstory can be forgiven since this is the 14th book in the series, however. Author Deborah Crombie is a master at building complex characters, so by the time Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James arrive on the scene in the 14th book, their lives should understandably be complicated.
No Mark Upon Her is an engrossing crime novel, but it shines because of the impeccable details throughout. Author Deborah Crombie fully immerses the reader into the aggressively beautiful world of competitive rowing. The training and care of search and rescue dogs are also an important part of this novel. And for readers who love all things British, this novel is the perfect book for curling up with a cup of Earl Grey tea on a rainy afternoon.
Interestingly, although this novel is decidedly British, author Deborah Crombie is actually an American who was born in Texas! She has lived in England and Scotland, however she currently lives near Dallas, Texas. This bit of information is rather surprising, given that No Mark Upon Her was filled with many cups of tea, British slang and a murder on the Thames. Crombie does an excellent job placing the reader right in the heart of rainy England.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author information: You can learn more about Deborah Crombie on the author's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.
Year originally published: 2013 (paperback release)
You might want to know: This book is a crime novel so it does mention murder and violence, however the crime scenes are not overly graphic.
Source: I received this book complimentary from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review however the opinions in this review are solely my own. See more reviews of this book at TLC Book Tours.
Purchase on Amazon: No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie