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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shroud for a Nightingale
An excellant and compelling read. The author seems to be able to write an incredibly complex novel - and keep the reader hanging on until the end. Working in a hospital myself, it is obvious that the story was very well researched and brings back the old memories of Schools of Nursing! As the plot thickens, I think that even the most seasoned of crime readers would not...
Published on 6 Dec. 2002

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An early Daglish which doesn't age well
I admit to preferring later Adam Dagliesh stories rather than the earlier ones, I find his early character doesn't age well, he's still a skilled detective but is more uncaring in his approach and very blunt. Well, this was written in 1971 and if Life on Mars has taught us anything it's that detectives in the seventies were a very different breed (joke!)
As with many...
Published 23 months ago by JamesW


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shroud for a Nightingale, 6 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
An excellant and compelling read. The author seems to be able to write an incredibly complex novel - and keep the reader hanging on until the end. Working in a hospital myself, it is obvious that the story was very well researched and brings back the old memories of Schools of Nursing! As the plot thickens, I think that even the most seasoned of crime readers would not be able to solve this one alone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shroud For A Nightingale: P.D. James, unabridged reading by Michael Jayston - Deaths shrouded in mystery for Dalgleish, 11 April 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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Originally published in 1971, this is the fourth Adam Dalgleish novel from the pen of P.D. James. Two trainee nurses are killed in quick succession at a country training hospital, one in front of all her class mates. Dalgleish of the Yard is called in to solve the murders. A simple set up, but James' writing and plotting makes this an absolute joy. The story is multilayered, with a plethora of well drawn characters who may or may not have done it. We follow Dalgleish and Sergeant Masterson as they peel back the layers of obfuscation to get to the root of the mystery. James throws in a few red herrings, and by the end of the bok I had been convinced at one time or another that every single main character had done it. There was a point I was even starting to suspect Dalgleish!

James writes in an erudite fashion and with an obvious love of language. There were a couple of times I had to get a dictionary as her vocabulary is far greater than mine! She draws characters and situations vividly, and in a few of the big set pieces I was hanging on the edge of my chair. Her characters, and the way she describes their thoughts and motivations, are beautifully put across. Dalgleish in particular is a great creation, and it is interesting to see him through both his own eyes and those of people around him. It's a well written mystery which I was sorry to come to the end of.

Michael Jayston's reading is simply masterly. I have to confess to having been a fan of his since I saw him playing the Valeyard in Dr Who more years ago than I care to admit to. His voice is deep and full of colour, with a richness that makes this reading so easy on the ears. He manages to distinguish each character with just a slight inflection of his voice, not having to resort to any outrageous vocal contortions or accent. He has a rhythm that neatly builds up the tension, and is in turns light and dark as the action dictates. When reading Masterson's dancing interrogation I was halfway between pity for the lady and laughing at the ridiculousness, there were also times when he really made me feel the tense and frightening atmosphere. It's not many narrators who can get me so emotionally involved in an audiobook. It's a voice I could listen to all day.

The set is on 8 CDs, held in a spindle case. The reading clocks in at over 8 hours. It's an excellent reading of an excellent book, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing plot but could have more pace., 26 Mar. 2013
By 
Pepper (Uk) - See all my reviews
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"Shroud for a Nightingale" is set in a college of nursing during the 1970s and the focal murder occurs whilst a student nurse is playing the part of a patient in a medical procedure for training purposes. The plot is up to P D James's usual standard and the perpetrator is well and truly "shrouded" until the last throes of Scotland Yard's investigation led by Adam Dalgliesh. Many of the clues come from the complex web of relationships revealed by the rather tortuous investigative interviews. The interviews in particular are inclined to meander a bit, and, as a consequence together with the rich narrative contribute to the overall pace of the novel being rather slow. The illusive motive and perpetrator remains a well-kept secret right until the end of the book, and, for that reason it will probably hold your attention despite the pace.

This audiobook comes on a set of 8 CDs read by Michael Jayston and runs for just under 10 hours. Michael Jayston's style is clear and involving making this audiobook ideal for listening in the car.

A worthwhile read but not P D James's best, although the bar is set very high and it still represents a rewarding listen. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging reading of a good, if not great, thriller, 30 Mar. 2013
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S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The flaws of this reading are the author's, rather than those of Michael Jayston, who reads with great clarity and a sense of dramatic pace, but without exaggerated character differentiation in the voices: this can be a danger when there is, as here, a lot of dialogue. PD James writes beautifully, with effective descriptions of setting and character, and she controls the developing mystery with great skill and very real tension.

My problem lies with the investigation element which focuses on interviews a great deal: these are not as well handled as other aspects of the narrative and can seem over-long and, at least to this listener, a little testing of patience. Frankly, it seems more than a little old-fashioned, however truthful to the detection process in such cases. I was involved enough to finish, but had I been reading, rather than listening, I think there would have been sections where I was skimming a little, obviously not a possibility on audio. Not three stars (merely OK) and not really four, though I'm sure connoisseurs of the novelist will find much to enjoy in this format.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An early Daglish which doesn't age well, 5 May 2013
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JamesW (Nr Stroud, Gloucester) - See all my reviews
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I admit to preferring later Adam Dagliesh stories rather than the earlier ones, I find his early character doesn't age well, he's still a skilled detective but is more uncaring in his approach and very blunt. Well, this was written in 1971 and if Life on Mars has taught us anything it's that detectives in the seventies were a very different breed (joke!)
As with many of PD James's novels, she goes into a lot of detail and depth on all characters and settings which while reading is lovely, however when listening, as in the audiobook I'm reviewing, then occasionally the detail goes on a little bit too long and I found myself switching off ever so slightly
It is read by Michael Jayston and if I'm honest I could listen to him read the Yellow Pages. He is reading quite a few of PD James's books and each one is honoured because of this
The plot is good, but as I said earlier I prefer the later ones (for a more recent hospital based Dagleish story look towards the a Private Patient) this is a 42 yr old novel and sadly at times, it feels like it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent audio cd of one of P D James earlier books, 26 Mar. 2013
By 
David (SPECTRE Island) - See all my reviews
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I have a soft spot of Shroud For A Nightingale - it was the first P D James tv adaption I watched (Which starred Roy Marsden) and one of her first books I read. The story concerns Nightingale House - a student nurse training centre, where a number of deaths accur. Adam Dalgliesh is called in to investigate. Obviously there is alot more to the plot with the usual P D James twists.

This audio book contains the unabridged (Complete) version of the book. It is read by Michael Jayston (Doctor Who, Thriller and numerous other tv and film work). He makes an excellent narrator and captures each characters voice very well. I am pleased to see he has narrated other P D James books. The audiobook contains 8 cds and runs for about 8 hours. This is an excellent audio book and well worth a listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking mystery, 22 Nov. 2009
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A fervent supporter of PD James I enjoyed this story from start to finish. I was a little put off by the period detail- it was of course written and set in the late 70s, however, this should not put you off and it is a cracking read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Murder and Matron - a great combination, 9 May 2013
By 
Thomas Pots "T Pots" (England) - See all my reviews
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Here's a blast from the past - Shroud for a Nightingale makes a comeback as an audio book. It was first published way back in 1971, at a time when the NHS was a very different place. One of the marvels about listening to this story, is how VERY different it was. The equipment, the training, the old-fashioned telephones, and of course Matron, are all here. There is also a wonderful and unexpected sense of innocence about the trainee nurses, who refer to their mothers as "mummy". All this lends atmosphere to what is a gruesome tale of murder among the students at a hospital.

The hospital is called "John Carpenter", which ought to be a clue, and it is at the nurses' training school at the back of the hospital - Nightingale House - where things take a nasty turn. After two murders, Chief Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to solve the mystery. He does so in typical Dalgliesh style - quickly and intelligently. The writing is detailed and alive with the spirit of the middle-class echelons of 1970s England, with the author throwing in wonderfully odd words here and there, which make you sit up and think.

The book was made into a TV series in 1984, but you get the full thing here, every word read with gusto by Michael Jayston, whose voice also does wonders for audio books by John Le Carre. It's a good listen. The chapters are quite long, and the author's writing style does not leave many convenient places to stop, if you are listening while commuting. Yet it is a great bit of work, that keeps you guessing to the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This one will keep you guessing to the end., 24 April 2013
By 
BRIAN PLAYFAIR "SAQQARA" (CLELAND SCOTLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review covers the unabridged audio-book of "SHROUD FOR A NIGHTINGALE" by P.D.James read by Michael Jayston. It lasts 10 mins. short of 10 hours on 8 CD's and is an earlier Adam Dalgliesh detective story.

It is set back in the 70's and covers the events at Nightingale House,an old mansion in the grounds of a hospital and used as a school for nurses. As part of their training the student nurses take it in turns to play the part of "a patient" so that the others can practice and be taught away from the ward. At one such "demonstration" and in front of the whole group including the visiting nursing inspector, the nurse playing the part of the patient dies in agony as a direct result of what is carried out. Within 24 hours another student nurse dies in her bed apparently by her own hand.

Enter the police in the form of Adam Dalgliesh who we know from previous novels is a very thorough and sometimes insensative investigator. Firstly the second nurse to die is a suspect for the murder of the first but it soon becomes apparent that she too has been murdered. Everyone then becomes a suspect including the rather arrogant consultant who freely admits to affairs with the nurses, the three sisters and their involved and complex relationships, the other student nurses plus the usual fringe characters. There are however no motives for either death.

As Adam Dalgliesh starts his investigation he finds that all is not as it should be with the management and workings of the hospital. Still there is no motive but wisps of something start to emerge however we are not sure whether these are relevant or the inevitable "red herrings".

The story twists and turns as expected without any major clues and reaches a rather unexpected result that is probably closer to realism than making a tidy (satisfying) ending.

An intriguing story that will hold your attention whether you opt for reading the book or listening to this audio version for which the reading is good and does not interfere with the story.

This is worth your consideration ....and I reckon you will not find the conclusion as you expect or see the villan until the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treat!, 18 April 2013
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Mondoro (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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P D James wrote 'Shroud for a Nightingale' in the l970s but in the hands of such a master of mystery and suspense this is a story which remains compelling and enthralling. When a young student nurse acting as a `model' during a demonstration dies horribly and painfully the local police are called in to deal with the death. However when shortly afterwards another student nurse is found dead , Adam Dalgliesh is brought in from Scotland Yard to investigate. Although I read the book many years ago I had forgotten who murdered the two young nurses and, despite the fact that James is scrupulously fair and doesn't mislead her reader at any stage, the denouement was a surprise. Michael Jayston is an excellent reader who keeps the listener's attention throughout. One of the joys of listening to the recording was that it reveals the beautifully descriptive elements of James's writing which you might miss if you are reading the book, hurrying through intent only on finding out `who did it'. Nightingale House is described so well you can `see' it in your mind's eye and the description of the storm which brought down trees on the night Fallon was murdered is so good you can `hear' rain lashing down and visualise the trees swaying and, in some cases, crashing to the ground. [Incidentally there is a little detail here you could easily miss whilst reading the book but which becomes more noticeable in Jayston's reading - a cupboard door carelessly left open which crashes shut in the wind]. I would recommend this production even if you have read the novel. I know I will be looking out for more recordings by Michael Jayston as his reading gave this, already first class story, a new dimension. fjs
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Shroud for a Nightingale (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery)
Shroud for a Nightingale (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery) by P. D. James (Paperback - 1 April 2010)
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