No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

No Mark Upon Her Reviewed by Teri Davis

Anyone who competes at any level in the Olympic trials tends to be an outstanding athlete. These are the rare few that physically are able to outshine the rest of us and to become a legend. Rebecca Meredith was one of those rare individuals.

She was considered to be an Olympic contender in rowing years ago but because of a reckless choice, a broken wrist left her not being able to compete. She created a new life for her after that incident, marrying, and divorcing while developing a career in law enforcement as a high-ranking detective in London. Untypical of most, her former husband has remained a close friend even through the dissolution of their marriage.

Now Becca has made the commitment to compete again in rowing as an individual athlete. Daily she practices on the Thames pushing her body to extreme limits with her goal of Olympic gold while she plans to minimize her duties with law enforcement.

Her last practice on the river was last night and so far people are becoming concerned because she is missing. Unlike her, she has not called into work or returned her boat. Immediately, local K-9 search-and-rescue teams are called out to search along the river for any clues. Eventually body is found in the river. How could an athlete of her level drown?

This begins the search into Becca’s life, the good, bad, and the revealing personal little secrets that everyone hides.

Leading the investigation, is Duncan Kincaid who recently has agreed to adjust his work schedule for his family with the adoption of a daughter. Duncan’s wife, Gemma James who also works in law enforcement and the two of them hope to rotate with having one parent at home and one working while their young child adjusts to a new life. Unfortunately, plans are difficult to always succeed with a job that doesn’t have set hours.

Gemma is asked to also assist in an investigation that is completely unrelated to Duncan’s. Balancing home and work also is quickly overlapping.

No Mark Upon Her is riveting. By alternating the perspective as the investigation progresses, the reader receives a more realistic and almost a desperate aspect of both cases. The feeling is one of circling the actual crimes with sometimes spiraling and at other times drawing concentric circles around the investigations. This style creates an engrossing quality to the story.
Even though No Marks Upon Her is part of a series. This easily could be read without any prior knowledge of the characters and their relationships.

Deborah Crombie is a Texan who has spent extended periods of time in England. She has won numerous awards including the Mactavity Award three times, been nominated for an Edgar, and is a New York Times Notable author.

No Mark Upon Her is a memorable novel about law enforcement realistically balancing family and career in an engrossing mystery that is difficult to predict but easy to appreciate from this masterful storyteller.

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