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The Lighthouse: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery | [P.D. James]

The Lighthouse: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery

Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed men and women in positions of high authority who require privacy and guaranteed security. But the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered.
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Publisher's Summary

Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed men and women in positions of high authority who require privacy and guaranteed security. But the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered.

Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to solve the mystery quickly and discreetly, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. Dalgliesh is uncertain about his future with Emma Lavenham, the woman he loves; Detective Inspector Kate Miskin has her own emotional problems; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is worried about working under Kate. Hardly has the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than there is a second brutal killing, and the whole investigation is jeopardized when Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more insidious and as potentially fatal as murder.

This eagerly awaited successor to the international best seller The Murder Room displays all the qualities that lovers of P.D. James's novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot, and vivid evocation of place.

©2005 P.D. James; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Each new Dalgleish novel should be treated as a gift by mystery fans everywhere." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (443 )
5 star
 (152)
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 (185)
3 star
 (77)
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4.2 (108 )
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Story
4.3 (106 )
5 star
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4 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    jb Boston, MA 11-23-05
    jb Boston, MA 11-23-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    141
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    4
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    "Outstanding!"

    P.D. James is the finest of all current mystery writers! And this continuation of the Adam Dagliesh mysteries does not disappoint. The story is brilliantly written, the action is fast-paced and riveting, the words on the page so eloquent and beautiful you will want to listen again and again. A mystery novel that reads like literature. Simply wonderful.

    77 of 79 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Greenwich, CT, USA 04-21-06
    Julia Greenwich, CT, USA 04-21-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    5
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    "Enjoyable but Flawed"

    I have enjoyed many of PD James' books, but found this one a bit disappointing. The plot was good and kept me going, but the conclusion was abrupt, and it was hard to believe that all the pieces came together in a single moment of inspiration. It was almost like James said to herself, "ok it's time to end the book, here is the conclusion, now let's move on".

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Riverside, CA, United States 01-16-06
    Rod Riverside, CA, United States 01-16-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Another solid effort"

    There are few authors that describe a scene like James. You can almost taste the salt spray and smell the ocean breeze. I enjoyed the plot and especially the characters. While I don't find it to be "edge of the seat" it drew me in and held me to the end. Also, I love Charles Keating as the reader, especially over the other gentlemen who is on other James titles. Defintely a solid 4+.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Katy, TX, USA 12-25-05
    Bryan Katy, TX, USA 12-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    192
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    "The Lighthouse Could Shine Brighter"

    P.D. James' eloquence and descriptive storytelling shines in this story about murder on an isolated island, but when we get 3/4 into the investigative procedure and out of nowhere, the solution to the crime simply pops into a sick Adam Dalgleish feverish mind, I felt cheated, and that I had wasted the last 6 hours. We, who went through all the investigation, realize that it proved mostly meaningless, since Adam seems to have the clarvoyance necessary for the solution.
    Go figure? No, don't. I will be VERY interested to see how this story will flesh out on video, if it ever does. Perhaps in the video, a "dah-dah" sound effect will justify Adam Dalgeleish's unexpected and out-of-nowhere solution, but it won't remedy our sense of bewilderment and disappointment at being deprived of a fitting ending to an otherwise satisfying tale.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patt Edmonds, WA, USA 03-03-07
    Patt Edmonds, WA, USA 03-03-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A bit long, but"

    P.D. James has one of the most beautiful prose styles of any mystery writer I have read. Her descriptions of people, landscapes and situations always amaze me. Her psychological profiles offer to explain the deep, dark purposes of cold-hearted murderers. I really had a difficult time determining who actually did the nasty deed. But as beautiful as her writing is, the book seemed to drag on just a bit too long.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Sampson 10-23-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent listen!"

    PD James is a master writer! This book is full of well flesh-out characters behaving in believable ways in an excellent whodunit. The story will stand alone, but fans of the Adam Dalgleish stories will enjoy this adventure of the Scotland Yard inspector. James' complex characters add even more layers and nuances and we come to know AD and his team even better in "The Lighthouse." Danger, adventure, great characters, terrific writing-- who could ask for more?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dottie B. Washington DC 10-13-10
    Dottie B. Washington DC 10-13-10 Member Since 2006

    Dotdumdum

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "PD James is always a good read; narrator is superb"

    While this novel by PD James did not stand out to me as something very different from the rest of her novels, I nevertheless really enjoyed listening to it. Ms, James's vocabulary and knowledge about history, geography, etc. is always compelling. She writes concisely and so very well.
    Charles Keating was a marvelous narrator. If you like British narrators reading mysteries, this one is for you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Hager Nicholasville, KY USA 01-16-06
    Lee Hager Nicholasville, KY USA 01-16-06

    hleeann

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A++"

    PD James keeps getting better and better. Her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries are highly atmospheric and the characters are very dimensional. She is a master at psychological thrillers.

    This story is set on a remote island off the English coast--Coombe Island. What follows is a classic, closed setting British detective thriller.

    A Must Listen if you are a fan of the genre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Edison, NJ, USA 01-15-06
    Paul Edison, NJ, USA 01-15-06
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    "I've read a lot better"

    This book felt like it dragged on, but every now and then something would happen and I would keep it going. I almost gave up on it a few times, and I wouldn't have missed much. Keating is a good narrator but not a good reader. I often found myself confused and wondering which character was talking, since all of the voices sounded exactly the same. Also, after wading through meaningless details about things like what a particular room looked like, the main character (as another review pointed out) figures the entire thing out all at once.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Apple Valley, MN, United States 10-08-12
    Todd Apple Valley, MN, United States 10-08-12
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    "PD James is at the top of her game"

    Fans of PD James will not be disappointed by The Lighthouse. Her characters continue to develop in maturity as they age. As always, she is masterful at weaving a fabric of clues and significant information into her narrative in such a way that the final revealing of the murderer's identity never seems obvious or inevitable. Personally, I rarely if ever can figure out "who done it" until the point in the book where Ms. James chooses finally to reveal it. The narrator Charles Keating manages to make the voices of the various characters sound both convincing and different enough so that you know who you're hearing speak from their 'voice' alone. The plot is unique and inventive, yet plausible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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