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Given the astonishing length of the writing career of PD James (her first novel was published in 1962), it is perhaps not surprising that her work often consciously refers back to an earlier era of British crime writing -- but it's none-the worse for that. In fact, James' clever and affectionate reinventions of the devices and conventions of that era afford a particular pleasure -- as is the case with her latest, The Private Patient.
Uncompromising investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn has booked herself into the Chandler Powell private clinic in Dorset. She has decided to remove a disfiguring facial scar, and is looking forward to what she hopes will be a new life after the surgery. But Rhoda will not leave the clinical alive she is killed. After her murder, Commander Adam Dalgliesh is summoned to investigate. As he begins to examine suspects, scene and motives, a second death occurs, and Dalgliesh finds himself faced with one of the most complex and challenging mysteries of his career.
In many ways, The Private Patient has the structure of a novel from the golden age of crime fiction, and James is well aware of the very best writing from that era (including Cyril Hare, who James succeeded as premier crime writer for her publisher, Faber). Needless to say, she freights in a very modern level of psychological investigation, more penetrating than that of her great predecessors. If the novel seems less initially engaging than other recent work by the author, there is perhaps a subtle agenda here: James is avoiding the more obvious reader-grabbing tactics to present a low-key investigation of character than she has chosen to deal with in recent books. If a little more patience is required than usual, the result of this understated approach pays dividends. And admirers of James (and her doughty detective Dalgliesh) will be prepared to be flexible for the pleasures of the cogently handled narrative here. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Although she tackles contemporary social issues with relish, James will still use old-fashioned narrative devices dating back to the golden age of crime fiction. That's because they still work." -"Calgary Herald " "Her skill and vitality are not diminished . . . The Private Patient" "is classic James." -"Scotsman ""This is a book about the way we live now . . . James brings a stinging clarity to the complicated goings-on in the Dorset countryside" -"The Sunday Times ""Elegantly phrased, plot-driven, multi-layered and laced with menace." -"Observer" "P. D. James -- in the eyes of many admirers the world's finest living crime novelist." -"The Windsor Star" "From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
How good that PD James lived long enough to get Adam Dalgleish safely married. Her skill remained to the edPublished 29 days ago by eleanor
She never fails to impress. I read the paper book many years ago and returned to it when I went away. Made me decide to get the Kindle version which was money very well spent.Published 1 month ago by Jacqui Bell
My 1st PD James book and it was wonderful. I am hooked now. Never read crime fiction before but I am sure PD James must be one of the very best. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Minimata
My first PD James...totally involved and good whilst driving! No distractions really, but intriguingPublished 2 months ago by Brenda
Another great book from this exceptional author. Her recent passing a great loss to the literary world. She will be ranked I am sure with Agartha Christie. Read morePublished 3 months ago by celticlass
Very well written of course but a little lacking in pace.Published 3 months ago by Glenys M Strickland