Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: When Pakistani lawyer Naz Malik disappears and is later found murdered DI Gemma James is called in by mutual friends. To make things more complicated Naz's wife Sandra had disappeared a few months earlier under mysterious circumstances. Now James and her long time boyfriend Superintendent Duncan Kincaid must peak into their lives, Naz's murder and Sandra's disappearance.
Why I Picked This Book: Crombie is an automatic read for me because she does a great job of mixing really likable characters with gritty crime without getting too impossibly awful. I was excited to catch up on this series.
Pros: For me a new Crombie is like hanging out with really good friends I haven't seen in awhile. I'm excited to catch up with everyone and we still have our inside knowledge of each other. Gemma, Duncan, Kit and Toby are so real that even though it's been years since I read the last book in the series I remember who they are with no problem. They are genuine flawed likable people which helps make what's a fairly serious book a little lighter but in no way makes it silly. The mystery is very well done and very compelling. This is a book I found myself reading way into the night and sometimes when I didn't want to read it. It's hard not to feel for Charlotte, the little girl whose secure happy little life was suddenly destroyed with no warning. At times this book could be painful to read because I was worried so much about her. The mystery and Charlotte's fate are wrapped up in a satisfying way with every end tied up but nothing too coincidental. I'm looking forward to the next book so I can spend more time with these characters.
Cons: This wasn't my favorite Gemma book. She spends quite a bit of time acting on a personal level instead of as a police officer. While it was well done I prefer Gemma in a professional capacity. I'm really quibbling here because Crombie does have to get creative to allow Duncan and Gemma to work together since they are no longer with the same department.
Overall: This is a fantastic British police procedural. It's gritty and dark enough to really get into the really awful stuff and address it but warm-hearted enough to keep it from being too dark. I think any mystery lover would enjoy this.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes though while you could start the series at any point I recommend starting from the beginning so that you really get to know Duncan and Gemma.