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Publisher's Summary

An evil-tempered forensic scientist is put to death, putting many of his colleagues out of misery. Dr. Lorrimer appeared to be the picture of a bloodless, coldly efficient scientist. Only when his brutally slain body is discovered and his secret past dissected does the image begin to change. Once again, Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh learns that there is more to human beings than meets the eye and more to solving a murder than the obvious clues.
©2001 P.D. James; (P)2008 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • John L
  • Knoxville, TN USA
  • 07-15-09

Hard to Hear

I felt there was too much reverb in the recording levels making it difficult to understand without paying a lot of careful attention.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another example of beautiful writing.

PD James has been a favorite of mine for many years. I consider her to be an author whose works will stand the test of time, for the same reason Josephine Tey and Agatha Christie are beloved even today. They are gifted writers.

Penelope Dellaporta is a wonderful narrator and I love listening to her PD James readings. I normally listen at 1.0 because I don't want to miss any of the luscious details found in every book. With this specific book, however, I recommend bumping the audio speed up to 1.5. 1.0 is too slow and not, I think, true to the original recording.

This murder mystery is classic James. Moody environment and characters, and enough viable suspects to keep the reader wondering until the reveal.

I like to use immersion reading when listening to PD James. It allows me to go back and find details I feel I might have missed, or just reread and listen to the wonderfully atmospheric descriptions of the countryside or architecture in a particular location.

Ms Dellaporta sounds like I think P.D. James would, based on nothing more than than her photo on the back of her books and a snippet of an interview I heard many years ago. I feel like I'm listening to her read her own books.

Great bargain if bought with a credit.

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  • JTF
  • Cary, NC USA
  • 05-10-16

Clever mystery with a cultured voice

Nice Daglish mystery. Typicality over-convoluted. Ms. Dellaporta is ideally suited to narrate the book. The recording quality was just OK. It sound like it was in a smallish echo chamber

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Even Masters of Crime Fiction can be ponderous

Of all the P D James books which I have listened to this seems the most contrived. She doesn't spend much time developing her iconic detective, Adam Dagleish. He seems to move through the story in a detached way, In her other books the reader (listener) gets to practically camp out in his brain as he discovers clues, experiences architecture and landscapes and interacts and makes judgments about suspects and supporting characters, but not here. This was still early in the series (1972) so I would guess that may be part of it. Don M of Queen Creek, AZ

  • Overall
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  • Story

The wrong narrator for this story

Would you try another book from P. D. James and/or Penelope Dellaporta?

Penelope Dellaporta is not the narrator for the Inspector Dalgliesh series. I could not finish listening to this book because of her voice.

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  • Elein
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 01-04-15

Hard to hear different voices.

PD James is great. The narrator not so much. Difficult to distinguish different characters' voices. Tale could be more colorful.

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Very hard to hear.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Classic PD James is always for me

Any additional comments?

The quality of this recording is abysmal, old, fuzzy and clearly in need of an update. Given that the audiobook is listed at top price that is simply terrible PR.

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  • Story

Can't Believe PD James wrote such a terrible book!

What disappointed you about Death of an Expert Witness?

The characters are boring. I never cared what happened to any of them. I'm not sure there was a plot, except a man did die of course. I have loved the Adam Dagliesh mysteries until this one! I can hardly believe this one could be so bad when the others are so good.

What does Penelope Dellaporta bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

As with all her renditions of PD James' books, somehow with her one voice she does all their voices. It's wonderful theater.