- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (7 Sept. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141025107
- ISBN-13: 978-0141025100
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3 x 18.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,124,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Lighthouse Paperback – 7 Sep 2006
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While PD James The Lighthouse moves satisfyingly in territory that the author has made very much her own -- the classic English crime mystery -- there are several new elements added, proving that Baroness James is not content to rest on her laurels. While Commander Adam Dalgliesh is once again at work, solving a case of murder in a secluded setting, cut off from the rest of the world (James has long been pleased to introduce variations into the beloved crime situations that exercised her predecessors), and while the structure of the novel presents the reader with the usual strongly drawn cast of suspects and victims, there is a new frankness here, with the treatment of sexuality more upfront than would ever have been countenanced in the era of Dorothy Sayers and co. But long-time readers of this most accomplished of British novelists will also be pleased to learn that the things we turn to James for are all satisfyingly in place.
A secluded island off the Cornish coast, renowned for its history of bloody piracy, has become a retreat for under-pressure men and women in the upper echelons of society. But when one of their number is murdered in a grotesque fashion (his body found on the eponymous lighthouse), Adam Dalgliesh is requested to solve the case, but with maximum discretion. However, it is not a good time for Dalgliesh and his team: he himself is going through a fraught period with the woman in his life, Emma Lavenham, while DI Kate Miskin is struggling with similar upheavals in her life. And their Anglo-Indian associate, Francis Benton-Smith, has his own problems in regard to working with Kate. Nevertheless, the team make progress on the island, until a second savage murder threatens to bring chaos.
It's easy to underestimate James achievement with Dalgliesh and co. So often, long-time series characters betray signs of their authors growing disinterest, but James has always managed to find new nuances to ensure that we never tire of her cultivated copper. And there's pleasure here in seeing familiar themes orchestrated with such finesse: the difficult, combative figure who alienates a host of people (and thereby set themselves up as a candidate for murder) and, best of all, the cloistered setting -- often a cliché of the genre -- but here, treated with freshness and imagination. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
[The Lighthouse] must stand as one of the last in the line of classic English detective fiction. (Mark Lawson Guardian 2005-10-15) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
The first thing that started to grate on me was the tedious level of description of the various accommodations on Combe Island. Every time one of the police officers went into a room we were treated to a lengthy description of the view from the windows, where the tables and chairs were, where the drinks cabinet was, the type of pictures on the walls, the light fittings, and so on. It was just boring. We even got to hear about Adam Dalgleish's reaction to discovering the contents of his fridge, whereas of course most blokes would have been happy to discover a Cornish pasty and a bottle of beer (OK, I jest a little but you get the point).
The dialogue can best be described as functional, but there were some passages where I just thought to myself "people don't talk like that". The author also didn't succeed in making me relate to any of the characters, and there was no real sense of a "character arc" for any of the main figures, except perhaps Benton.
Finally, the revelation of whodunnit was rather unsatisfactory. There was never any sense that the police were getting closer to a solution; the answer just suddenly pops into someone's head and from thereon in it is just a matter of trying to chase down the killer.
I know P.D. James has a big reputation and maybe I'll give another one of her books a go, but this one just didn't work for me on any level.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this story, her mastery of words is impressive; but a little humour wouldn't go amiss, even in a murder mystery. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jane C.
Love PD James. Have the book but adding her stories to Kindle, since I'l be re-reading them soon.
Only thing is - I can't read it in the bath!
can someone tell me if any of these books are in large print as I bought this one n it was nt which was a shame as I bought has a birthday giftPublished 5 months ago by katseyes53
A typical P.D. James thriller. Maybe not the most exciting thriller writer but an intriguing 'who done it' yarn nevertheless. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Annie
My first (and last) PD James book just about managed to suffer two chapters. Would imagine it provides a magnificent antidote to insomnia though.Published 9 months ago by Arnoldsmate
I used to love PD James years ago, but unfortunately I couldn't get away with this book and after a couple chapters gave up on it. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Miriam Smith
Very good read will have to get some more of this author.Published 10 months ago by elizabeth spree
A great read from the doyen of crime writers.
This is one of the later ones and an absolute delight. Read more