I have finished the 153rd book for the book challenge. It was Necessary As Blood (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James) by Deborah Crombie.
Gemma is visiting her friend Hazel when Hazel is called to her ex-husband’s house on an emergency. His friend Naz Malik has gone missing and Tim must see to Naz’s young daughter who has been left in the care of a nanny. Tim brings the child to his house and Gemma sets the wheels in motion to get the police involved to find Naz. The child’s name is Charlotte. She is a 2 year old mixed race child. Naz is a Bangladeshi lawyer and her mother is Sandra Giles, an English woman, who went missing three months ago. She went out on an errand and was never seen again.
The next day Naz’s body is found in a nearby park. He has been suffocated and drugged with a powerful animal sedative. His glasses are not found. The police question his law partner and his client but can learn nothing. They question the owner of a nearby private club who bought the artwork of Sandra Giles and find that Naz’s client was a member of the club. They believe there is some connection to the club but they don’t know what it is.
Gemma is involved in placing the little girl in a good foster home. She achieves this in getting her friend Betty to take her in and keep her from Sandra Giles mother. Sandra did not want the child around her family as they are into drugs. Sandra’s two brothers deal heroin and the mother shelters them as does a sister. Charlotte is happy at Betty’s but is happier at Gemma’s house with Kit and Toby.
The police find out about a young Bangladeshi girl that had been seen at the home of one of the members of the private club. The police also find that one of the members of the club is a vet and could have access to the animal sedative. They question him but get little out of him except to know that he knows something. They move on to the doctor, who is an anesthetist. He could have access to the sedative. The girl was seen at his house. They raid his house and find pictures of underage girls and men. He has married several young Bangladeshi and Pakastani girls and divorced them. He travels often to these countries. He knew Sandra Giles. He ran a clinic for underpriviledged women and knew her from there. The police surmise that she visited him the day she disappeared. They dig up his back garden and find her body under the paving stones. Then they find the body of a young girl. They also find Naz Malik’s glasses in the bushes.
Gemma and Duncan get married in a private blessing ceremony at their home. It is a surprise to Gemma who was having trouble planning a wedding. It was a blessing ceremony and then they will go to the registrar’s office to formalize the marriage. They will also have another ceremony with their friend Winnie officiating after Winnie as her baby.
And Gemma and Duncan will become adoptive parents and adopt little Charlotte Malik.
I liked this book. It was very sad because this little girl had no one. Her parents were both dead or disappeared. It looked for a while she would go to her grandmother who was not fit to look after her but that turned out okay. The plot was a bit confusing until all the pieces finally began to fit at the end when they discovered the anesthetist. It presented a terrible dirty secret that needed to be addressed.