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Extended Audio Sample The Sound of Broken Glass, by Deborah Crombie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (778 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Deborah Crombie Narrator: Gerard Doyl Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Duncan Kincaid / Gemma James Novels Release Date:
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It's hard to be a thirteen-year-old in this tight-knit South London community. On a hot August night, the boy meets his neighbor a recently-widowed woman who would become his muse...and his greatest betrayal yet. He does not know this, but it will happen...and it will tear his world apart.

In the present, Gemma Jones has just gone back to work after her husband takes a leave of absence to care for their foster daughter. Now, it's time for her first case since taking the girl home: a man, found tied, broken, and alone in a London hotel room. What follows is a story of betrayal and honor, of lust and love.

As it twists and turns, Gemma begins to wonder what she really knows of the world...and of the seedy things in it. Will she be able to fight her demons, and solve the mysteries, or will her rocked worldview destroy her profession as a detective forever?

The Sound of Broken Glass is a riveting mystery adventure that is sure not to disappoint any mystery lover.

Deborah Crombie is a well-known mystery author. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, her grandmother taught her to read at a young age. What blossomed from those lessons was a love of reading that would follow her well into her later years. She attended Rice university, and did a brief stint in advertising and marketing before quitting to become a full-time author. She is a one-time winner of the Macacity award for best novel, awarded to her in 2010.

In the past…

On a blisteringly hot August afternoon in Crystal Palace, once home to the tragically destroyed Great Exhibition, a solitary 13-year-old boy meets his next-door neighbor, a recently widowed young teacher hoping to make a new start in the tight-knit South London community. Drawn together by loneliness, the unlikely pair forms a deep connection that ends in a shattering act of betrayal.

In the present…

On a cold January morning in London, Detective Inspector Gemma James is back on the job now that her husband, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, is at home to care for their three-year-old foster daughter. Assigned to lead a murder investigation team in South London, she’s assisted by her trusted colleague, newly promoted Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. Their first case: a crime scene at a seedy hotel in Crystal Palace. The victim: a well-respected barrister, found naked, trussed, and apparently strangled. Is it an unsavory accident or murder? In either case, he was not alone, and Gemma’s team must find his companion—a search that takes them into unexpected corners and forces them to contemplate unsettling truths about the weaknesses and passions that lead to murder. Ultimately, they will begin to question everything they think they know about their world and those they trust most. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An intriguing, atmospheric London murder mystery set in both the past and the present.”


  • “Deborah Crombie never falters. Her novels are a delight, and with The Sound of Broken Glass, she keeps her impressive creative streak intact.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Bestseller Crombie puts together past and present in her solid, finely controlled fifteenth novel featuring married police detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid…Gemma and Melody painstakingly and methodically unravel the clues, finding connections that began fifteen years earlier in the Crystal Palace area…The unfolding domestic relationship between Gemma and Duncan softens and humanizes them. The city of London, foggy, blustery, and historic, provides a seductive background.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Another solid outing for the reliable Crombie, who turns a judicious eye on secrets that can overwhelm what they’re meant to protect, despite the best intentions.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In Doyle’s hands, the time frames remain clear. Fans of the series will relish the character updates and historical details relating to a real London neighborhood. Newcomers will enjoy the mix of police procedural and family life.”


  • Selected for the March 2013 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Maryellen Woodside | 2/20/2014

    " Another wimmer for Crombie! Crombie's character development is as good as the mystery itself. If you haven't read her books, you'll want to start with the first of the series, "A Share in Death". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gayle | 2/15/2014

    " One of my favorite series!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Caroline Ingvaldsen | 2/8/2014

    " Fifteenth in the still compelling Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series: gritty crime tempered by engaging family dynamics and refreshingly uncloying romance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Carol | 2/7/2014

    " Well, now I have finished the latest of the 15 books in this series. Have read 12 of them and will be lined up to read the next one. Soooo well written and enjoyable. I feel like part of Gemma and Kincaid's family. She always keeps you guessing until the very end. This one was about poor parenting and how the pain suffered in childhood always seeks resolution and that status does not determine future success or happiness. Those things come from having a safety net of friends and family that are there for you. "

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