Dalgliesh and his team are swiftly called in to investigate, but when a second death occurs, the situation raises an even more complicated problem than the question of innocence or guilt.
Displaying all P. D. James' distinctive richness of characterisation and vivid evocation of place, The Private Patient, read by Michael Jayston, is a powerful, dark and thrilling mystery that ranks among her finest novels.
©2008 P D James; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Every once in a while I come across a book that is so engrossing that I don't want it to end. This was such a book for me. Not since Pillars of the Earth have I been so transformed while listening/reading. PD James is my favorite, and in my opinion, one of the best mystery writers of all time. Her character development is rich and intelligent. Unlike Girl With the Dargon Tatoo (which I did enjoy, by the way) James' style is subtle - she doesn't hit you over the head with shocking violence or unbelievable characters.
This ostensible whodunit became a who-cares-who-dun-it. The author needed much more character development and much less description of every detail in rooms, offices, and other settings. It was hard to care about the victim, the investigator, or any of the suspects. The best part was the end -- not the ending, "The End."
Took ages for anything to unravel in this book, and when it did, I wasn't particularly gripped by it. It's a thoroughly British book, and maybe I dont really like that
A real "curl up in an armchair on a cold rainy day" kind of book. Thoroughly enjoyable - and Michael Jayston has a comfortable rich voice that adds to the story. Another remarkable PD James book!
If you enjoy detective novels you will enjoy this one.Michael Jayston is an excellent reader and somehow managed to give each character his or her own voice and idiom.We were never in any doubt, even when picking up the story in mid sentence, as to which character was speaking.The action moves along a fast pace and the charcaters are very credible and likeable.There is a twist in the tale but the final tidying up of everybodies loose ends was too convenient and did not ring true.But for that I would have rated the book a five star.
I have enjoyed so many P D James novels but after "The Private Patient", I'm over it.
This book is ponderously slow - it is simply boring. There are detailed descriptions of every face, house, piece of furniture culminating in a description of traffic lights changing. In the meantime the plot inches forward.
Baroness James - time to retire from published writing - it's over!
PD James has a recognisable style and if you like gentle British crime, this will appeal to you. The plot is believable, the characters solid and the reading was adequate (some of the 'voices' were giggle worthy). All in all a good listen.
"The Private Patient"
I enjoyed this book very much, and got a lot of housework done while listening to it on my ipod as it's very long!
It is a complicated plot, which leaves you to think for yourself as though there is a solution at the end, it is not a conclusive one.
It is well read and well written and I thoroughly recommend it.
"The private Patient"
excellent PD James writes so well far in advance of the other crime writers a treat to listen to
I enjoyed this audio book and like a fellow reviewer I did a lot of housework whilst listening to it on my iPod. I did not find the book either long or complicated and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan or crime thrillers.
"Very slow, rather muddled"
I accidentally bought the paperback of this second-hand, forgetting I had bought the audiobook, and was rather glad I had as it enabled me to finish it quickly when I got bored of listening. I think PD James loves her characters too much and expects us to be reading for the details about them - but to me they get more and more similar; all parroting different facets of her own views on the degradation of British society etc, even when it is not really appropriate for them. We are treated to rambling and pointless vignettes of the meaningless couple running the B&B where the police stay during the investigation - while major clues of astounding coincidence are just dropped blankly into the narrative and obvious suspects dismissed on no evidence at all. And the end seemed very unclear to me, although perhaps my mind had just glazed over - there is a strong hint that perhaps the solution was not really the solution, but that didn't really matter - as if it could really not matter if someone else had done a brutal killing. One of the mainstays of the detective genre is surely that it does matter - that someone who has killed once in their own interest may do so again, and so even 'likeable' murderers have to be found out. And the actual last few chapters are just self-indulgence, though perhaps forgiveably so.
"Way to long and very tedious"
The story was way too long and just didn't hold my interest. There was nothing compelling in the story to make me want to continue listening. The plot was too contrived and tedious. No more PD James for me.
a good tale rather spoiled by a reader whom I suspect didn't bother to read it through first, before recording. As well, I have to agree with Richard (earlier review) that the author seems over-keen to display her erudition!
"The Private Patient"
I am always in two minds about PD James. Her stories are always quite interesting and the characters compelling. But I must confess I find her use of simile and metaphor overpowering. Every detail is described in loving prose - almost as if she's frightened to use the same word twice.
The story of the Private Patient is good, but the endless description, and pretentious and showy use of English are distracting. If she cut out the lengthy paragraphs what was left would be a well formed and dramatic piece of fiction.
As it stands I found I was shouting at my iPod: "Get a move on!"
"Brilliant sleuthing with heart"
Another great detective novel from PD James...true crime with an excellent storyline to match. You really feel for the players in this novel, and the ending is as unexpected as it should be! A really good read, I couldn't put it down.
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