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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.
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 19 days ago by Minimata
My first PD James...totally involved and good whilst driving! No distractions really, but intriguingPublished 22 days 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 1 month ago by celticlass
Very well written of course but a little lacking in pace.Published 1 month ago by Glenys M Strickland
There are a lot of references to food in this book! And talk of a new restaurant takes up much of the final chapter too. Did PD James have a thing about nosh? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gonetomorrow
Too long and too many details for a crime story. More of a novel. The plot is not very plausible.Published 4 months ago by Mr W Dekker