No Mark Upon Her

by Deborah Crombie

 

A police officer, who's also a potential Olympic rower, goes out at dusk on the river Thames in Henley to train. The alarm is raised the next day when friends realise she is missing. Search and rescue teams find her body, and the investigation reveals a darker side to rowing, competition, the police and power.

This is the latest in the Kincaid and James detective series; two police officers who happen to be husband and wife and, in this book, have issues of a blended family and newly adopted daughter to contend with as a back story. 

Being an aspiring rower myself, it was this unusual setting for the murder that proved the draw for me. And the book didn't disappoint. The descriptions of rowing, club life, and competition are all vivid, authentic and sensitively presented.

The book opens with an evocative account of the rower embarking on her outing on the river. She is on the water alone, enjoying the tranquility and isolation, feeling the rhythm of the stroke, being at peace and acknowledging the changing scene as light begins to fail. When she disappears and then is found dead, the world of competitive rowing continues to be explored as the police investigate the crime. 

This is great escapist fiction; I found I couldn't put the book down as I kept turning the pages, keen to find the resolution to the mystery and the crime, but also associating with the characters and the world in which they lived. I was sorry when it came to an end.  

Review date: January 2012
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie