I am a PD James fan, and have always enjoyed the descriptive dialogue, which for some lends to a slow read. This is not an action story, it really is ..Show More »more a study of a variety of personalities.
In this second of the Dalgliesh series, written around 1962, the reader gets introduced to the inside world of English outpatient "sanitarium&quo..Show More »t;. Dalgliesh finds himself investigating the murder of the administrative officer of the Steen, a fictious clinic outside London. It is a closed-room mystery in that the investigation centers on those individuals in the Steen at the time of the murder. This puts Dalgliesh in a situation where psychiatrists continually give him their profile of the murderer, which is, in its way, humorous. Although we never actually meet a patient, we meet the people who work with them. In this book Dalgliesh gets fooled and in doing so, another person nearly dies. If you're reading the books in order, this is the book where you learn how Dalgliesh got started as a poet. Every bit as good as more contemporary Dalgliesh novels, its classic James.
With such a catchy opening, I was excited for the remainder of this novel. But the characters were bland, even Dalgliesh's aunt. The solution to the m..Show More »ystery was awful - totally improbable, even down to the way the solution was revealed. I was not expecting such poor quality from such a wonderful author. The only redeeming qualities about this book are James' beautiful, vivid descriptions of the countryside in Sussex and the affection Dalgliesh has for his aunt.
I would, and have many times, recommended this book to a friend. It is a pure, classic mystery. The reader/listener is all the time being given the ..Show More »necessary clues and also being led down the garden path by the author. Absolutely delicious!
Ok, this was a classic PD James book; beautifully written, lots of very nice psychological details; lots and lots of descriptions; and a good mystery ..Show More »to boot. Would have rated it 5 stars but I found myself wanting the author to get on with the story and therefore lighten up on the descriptions and the psychological details. So, what makes this book great, also made it lag. Perhaps I have become impatient lately because of the more americanized detective stories I have been reading as of late. But, if you want to spend a lot of time on one very well written and detailed murder mystery, this is it. Oh, and I liked PD James' little self portrait which she placed in the book towards the end. . . or I wanted to think it was her, anyway.
I enjoy the English reader, she does a good job with this book. Nice change of pace. The story is the thinking kind of mystery with enough colorful ..Show More »characters and interesting English countryside to hold your interest through a relatively long book.
I love British Detectives and I love to hear P.D.James books. The story was original and excellently written, although might be a little slow paced f..Show More »or an American audience. For me, it was perfect and I enjoyed it greatly.
I chose this title because I have enjoyed the Adam Dalgliesh stories on PBS' Mystery, and I wasn't disappointed. P D James is able to convey atmospher..Show More »e and suspense in the locale and in the characters, so that I was able to envision the story as it unfolded. It may not have the breakneck speed of some American suspense stories, but it has it's own pace and remains true to it's path. I was not disappointed in the ending as others were - one of the traits of a good mystery is to give enough information for the reader to follow the trail along with the detective. Unpredictable twists that defy logic can ruin a mystery. I would love to see more PD James titles available, unabridged, please.
Classic James, don?t listen in the car. I missed a clue (or two) and will now, happily have to allocate som..Show More »e time to re listen and see where it popped up. Her characters, scenes, storyline are richly detailed and layered; her command of the language is amazing a true artist.
Charles Keating the narrator?s performance is natural and believable. Some of the audio books I have heard the performer gets in the way of the story, not the case here.
You owe it to yourself to set aside the almost fifteen hours to listen. Concentration required.
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 brilli..Show More »antly 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.
She's good with the female voices, but the male voices tend to sound similar, very precise and even stuffy (including Dalgleish). Wish Charle..Show More »s Keating was still reading James; I thought he did an excellent job with The Lighthouse.