BAYVIEW, Australia | Member Since 2009
PD James combines the traditional crime writer's intrigue, plot twists, secrets uncovered and the distinctive character of the "good guy" in this case Adam Dalgleish with the literary quality of serious novelists seeking to explore aspects of the "human condition". Her characters and James as the hidden narrator reflect on aspects of human experience especially as highlighted by crime, deception and death. The stories are coloured by vignettes of peripheral characters whose lives and situations are captured in a few short sentences which add to the panorama of what would otherwise be the somewhat suffocating intensity of her exploration of likely suspects and the mysteries of their connections to the victim(s). Thankfully the reader is not subjected to streams of foul language under the pretext of "realism". Instead the characters in this and her other novels speak and think in intelligent, discriminative and perceptive terms about the action and about each other. This particular story is set in a theological college threatened with closure in which a series of deaths occur at least one of which is murder. As the characters are introduced and then "investigated" interesting individuals emerge to stimulate the reader into conjectures along with the poet-inspector about what has happened and what will happen.
Michael Jayston is excellent in his characterisation of the players in this drama. His mastery of accents, intonation and general empathy for the way individuals express their lines brings the characters to life in the imagination of the listener.
If you like to think as well as just find out who did it, then James' work is worth exploring and this audiobook is an excellent place to begin.
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