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Black Tower Hardcover – 1 Apr 1975

4.3 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Apr 1975
£187.11 £0.01
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (April 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571107311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571107315
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,408,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"People"P. D. James is "the greatest living mystery writer." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Set on the Dorset coast, The Black Tower by P.D. James is the fifth Adam Dalgliesh mystery and a thrilling work of crime fiction from the bestselling author of Death in Holy Orders, Children of Men and Death Comes to Pemberley. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 30 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
Set on a lonely stretch of the Dorset coast in the mid-Seventies, The Black Tower is an unusual crime thriller. Although it functions perfectly well as a conventional whodunit, it's also a modern gothic, and, like its predecessors in that genre, it's a meditation on mortality and human frailty. Much of the book's power derives from James's scrupulous exploration of the character and states of mind of her hero. The poet-policeman, Commander Adam Dalgleish, is a subtle and compelling creation, and his substantiality helps to ground a plot that might otherwise seem to teeter on the brink of melodrama.
The tone is set with the 'resurrection' of Dalgleish, who as the book begins is recovering from a serious illness, which initially had been misdiagnosed as mortal. This brush with death has had a profound psychological impact on Dalgleish, and his decision to make his convalescence coincide with a duty visit to an old acquaintance seems from the first an attempt to postpone a confrontation with his own unanswered questions.
Disenchanted with policing Dalgleish may be, but when he is confronted with the merest suspicion of foul play, his instincts reassert themselves in spite of his inclinations. The atmosphere of illness, frustrated hopes, and impending disaster gathers force with every page as Dalgleish, against his will, is drawn deeper into the poisoned community of Toynton Grange.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The novel is certainly well written and is an intelligent thriller. As one would expect from PD James, the characters are intereting and well rounded. I particularly liked the ending where she plays a little game with the reader, casting just a scintilla of doubt about whether Dalgleish really did experience it all. But what I did not like was the continuous stream of typographical errors, many of them originating from what I assume was the scanning of the text into the kindle format. For example, cliff might become diff and so on. It is this sort of irritating error that makes one prefer the real, paper artefact.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finished reading this book (1975) with some degree of dissatisfaction. Then I realised that the dissatisfaction was with myself, and had nothing to do with the plot or the characters. I'd missed so many small clues and nuances. I may re-read others of P D James's detective thrillers for enjoyment (you may know that I'm rather enamoured of Cordelia Grey, more so than the cold fish that is Adam Dalgleish), but this one I shall re-read at leisure, to get the most out of it.
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Format: Paperback
Being a cosy crime reader - I only venture into post 1960s crime & detection novels now and then. This novel was one I spotted in H. R. F. Keating's Crime & Mystery the 100 Best Books (1987). I really liked the setting and idea of the storyline - in theory this should have been a five star novel - however the characters and their personalities & histories were so well padded out (unnecessarily so) that it made the novel seem never ending (374 pages). Many of the characters were depressive and seemed to have lost their way in life including Daggliesh which made for a somewhat dull read. Both of the above points meant that in the end I struggled to finish the book and yes I could see that it was well written but that was of no benefit to me as it was way too long and depressive for me.
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Format: Paperback
what a fantastic book. One of my absolute favourite adam dalgliesh mysteries. The classic 'whodunnit', the surprise ending will satisfy, and getting there is exciting too!
you will not be disappointed!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A sinister mystery this, partly location, and partly the feeling that Dalgliesh is not operating at the full capacity of his deductive powers. He has been ill and goes to Dorset to convalesce, to visit an elderly friend. His love and energy for detecting are muted, there are hints he may not continue.
On arrival in Dorset he finds his friend, Father Baddeley has died. Dalgliesh is inevitably drawn into the daily life at Toynton Hall, the care home at which the Father was chaplain. All is not as it seems. Baddeley’s was not the first death. But Dalgliesh looks at clues and is unusually reticent, unmotivated, tired.
This is an intricate story set in a strange community with overtones of religious fervour, financial difficulties, disabilities not clearly explained, relationships tangled, past stories and resentments lurking beneath the surface.
I am re-reading PD James in order and with this, the fifth in the series, she seems to be getting into the rhythm which those familiar with the last of the Dalgliesh books will recognise. Dalgliesh is oddly denuded in this book, giving us an insight into his character we have not have seen before, we see beneath the professional face: he has been ill, is tired, less patient, and the mask of his profession sometimes slips. Fascinating, a hint of the detective into which he will evolve in the later books.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Great read; I love the way PD James allows you as a reader to experience the environment/scenery as well follow the story through the senses of her characters. If you like this one there are another 13 Adam Dalgliesh books to choose from - I have not been disappointed in any. I find her books improve my vocabulary as she uses the English language so well - there are always words I have to look up and then think "that is a good use of the word". HOWEVER although the Amazon description states that the Kindle Edition "contains real pages" ie reading progress can be set to pages rather than location this is NOT the case. Helpful Amazon are going to deal with this problem.
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