Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

This is not a proper review, only my random thoughts as a reader having just finished Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie. In my mind, there’s a difference between reader ramblings and book review. And also, I just finished listening to the unabridged audible version. I haven’t actually cast my eyes upon the words—which begs the question, “What is a book?” but the answer to that is a mighty one and for another day.

You know, I really love Deborah Crombie’s writing and DREAMING OF THE BONES exceeded my expectations. 

I’m not going to get into the intricacies of its plot except to say that it involves Victoria McClellan, Kincaid’s ex, who asks him to investigate the mysterious death of the poet Lydia Brooke and the effect that investigation has on all the characters. So that’s the still point of the turning novel, at least in the beginning: Kincaid and current lover, Gemma James, pitted against the relationship between Kincaid and Vic. And I like the time Crombie takes with the tangled emotions between and within those three characters. Right there we have opportunity for interior conflict, nice and juicy, and the possibility of growth. Another murder deepens the emotions, ups the stakes. More characters with common history add to the conflict and plot complexity.

And in this book there are lots of relationships going on—the living with the living, the living with the dead, the dead with the dead, walking forward, stepping back, lots of backstory interleaved, having words, characters conflicted or not, being loving together or not. And a child’s emotions, too. Add to this mix the poetry of Rupert Brooke (There is a rumour and a radiance of wings above my head … ) All of that percolating while the who-done-it goes on. Oh, it’s a delicious stew. I gobbled it up, totally. Sad to see it end. 

A word of caution: the characters (major and minor), the poetry and the beauty of the plot go on and on in your head.

But one thing I have to say is that I guessed the perp. Doesn’t happen very often but it didn’t spoil the book for me at all. I think there was a strong clue about 75% of the way through, I won’t tell you what form it took, but I didn’t know until the very end that I was right.

My Rating: 5 Stars

DREAMING OF THE BONES won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel in 1998.

#5 in Kincaid/James Series
Mass Market Paperback Published 2007 by Avon
ISBN: 9780061150401

About the Author:
Second child of Charlie and Mary Darden. A rather solitary childhood (brother Steve is ten years older) was blessed by her maternal grandmother, Lillian Dozier, a retired teacher who taught her to read very early. After a rather checkered educational career, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a degree in biology. Her website: deborahcrombie.com

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