Finished January 12
Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie
I've been reading this series in random order. In this one Gemma and Duncan are planning their wedding, but Gemma just wants to be married, and finds wedding planning stressful.
Meanwhile in Brick Lane, textile artist Sandra Gilles is working on a new piece that gets her wondering about the girls and women in her neighbourhood and she leaves her young daughter with a friend, but never returns. A few months later, her husband Naz steps out for a couple of hours and disappears. Gemma happens to be a friend to a friend and becomes involved. When his body is found, the pathologist suspects foul play and the case is referred to Scotland Yard. There, Duncan notes Gemma's involvement and takes on the case.
But Gemma finds herself involved in a more personal way as she has taken to Charlotte, the small 3 year-old daughter of Sandra and Naz and is determined that she be protected and properly looked after.
I like the mix of the personal and professional in this series, seeing how the two detectives both work together and live their lives together.
This case with its unmasking of those who prey on the vulnerable in society is a compelling one, and I could barely put the book down. I also really liked the quotes about Brick Lane, the part of London where this story is set, that began each chapter.