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Original Sin Paperback – 7 Mar 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (7 Mar. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140245510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140245516
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 4.2 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,694,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Complex and compelling.... James is writing in full mastery of her craft."--"The New York Times Book Review""One of James's best novels.... James transcends literary classification." --"Chicago Sun-Times""The queen of the British murder mystery demonstrates why the crown is hers."--"Newsday""One of James's most savory fictions. . . . A marvelous tale."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "One of her most enjoyable and vigorous novels."--"The Plain Dealer"

Complex and compelling.... James is writing in full mastery of her craft. "The New York Times Book Review" One of James's best novels.... James transcends literary classification. "Chicago Sun-Times""The queen of the British murder mystery demonstrates why the crown is hers." "Newsday""One of James's most savory fictions. . . . A marvelous tale." "San Francisco Chronicle" One of her most enjoyable and vigorous novels. "The Plain Dealer"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Set on the banks of the River Thames in the literary world, P.D. James's Original Sin is the ninth Adam Dalgliesh mystery and a brilliant work of crime fiction from the bestselling author of Death Comes to Pemberley. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For Superintendent Adam Dalgleish, there are just too many coincidences, too many "practical" jokes, too many deaths, and too many suspects. In P.D. James' "Original Sin," this quintessential investigator has his hands full. And James, herself, is at top form in this London thriller, all asea with several subplots at once. Intriguing they are, too. Someone is bumping off the partners of Peverell Press, a venerable publishing company now on shaky financial legs that rests on the banks of the Thames in a real ediface complex called Innocent House, an opulent Venetian-type of building that is at once a landmark as well as a nest of intrigue, murder, and mayhem, going back a couple of generations to its founder.
As one after another body is found, the pieces begin to come together, although not easily nor fast. Dalgleish and his two assistants, Kate Mishkin and Aaron Daniel, have their own personal concerns to sort out as well. James has created a host of
excellently developed characters, as she usually does, and the reader is caught up in the problems and affairs of them all. Finally to solve the case, Dalgleish and company have to look back for their answers, all the way back to World War II France. The climax comes powerfully in "Original Sin" and as usual James leaves her readers, not necessarily on a joyous note, but one that is pensive, sometimes even remorseful. But what a read. In literature, and especially with P.D. James,
there is justice after all!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Peverell Press is a long-established family Publishing Company, spanning two centuries, and occupying magnificent premises on the River Thames. Since the recent death of one senior partner and the retirement of the other, changes are being made by the new C.E.O. which cause much resentment and insecurity among the staff.

A series of mischievous meddling with files, contracts, etc., has been mystifying management and staff for some time, but, then two deaths on the premises cause speculation as to whether these seemingly disparate events might be connected.

In this Dalgliesh novel the author is at her very best, intriguing the reader with numerous undercurrents, gradually revealed, but leading to a not only unpredictable conclusion, but one that is unusually satisfying.
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Format: Paperback
I do feel that three stars might be a little harsh when it comes to this book as I enjoyed most of it. The plot and the characters are intriguing and the author's sense of place is as good as ever. The problem however, is the ending (which I am not going to ruin for you.) All the carefull structuring comes crashing down as a number of the characters (and one in particular) start acting in a way that defies belief. I get the impression that P D James had no idea how to finish the novel and the cheap ending we are left with comes close to ruining the whole book
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am just re-listening to this story, and find it much better the second time around. PD James is excellent at setting the scenes of her stories; if anything, I find a little less descriptive passages would benefit her stories - but perhaps that's just nit-picking on my part. There's a lot going on here with side stories to the plot, which is set in an independent long established publishing house. The plot harks back to incidents in the second world war bringing links to the present day. Very well researched as are all James's books that I have experienced so far. You need a bit of patience to stick with the story, but well worth the effort.
As previously stated, I feel you need to re-listen to James's books to fully appreciate the stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
P.D.James doesn't mess about she writes and plots her stories to perfection and this one is no exception. It is long but you still can't put it down no matter the time, I lose hours of sleep when I am reading her book but it's worth it
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Format: Paperback
I am never disappointed when I pick up an Adam Dalgliesh mystery, I know what I will get: excellent plotting, thoughtful characterization, an impossible maze of clues, patient description and scene setting, and deep literary references. ‘Original Sin’ delivers, and it also gives life to London and the River Thames.
This is the ninth outing for James’ poet detective, Commander Dalgliesh, the taciturn, thoughtful, policeman with the stare which is as hard-as-nails. His colleagues respect him but cannot say they either know or like him. He is mysterious, and thereby hangs the fascination he holds for readers.
The first death at Peverell Press, a traditional publishing house located in a Venetian-style house beside the Thames, is a suicide, the body found by a new employee. The same employee has the misfortune to find another dead body later in the book. There are a lot of dead bodies at Peverell Press, and there is also a prankster. Proofs wrongly amended, illustrations disappear, appointments cancelled. When the managing director, Gerard Etienne, is found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, upstairs in the little archive room, the death is considered suspicious enough to call in the police.
This is a complicated web of a story, James weaves together the current and back stories of the key Peverell employees, their alibis, their affairs and petty spats, their lies and secrets. Is the murderer and the prankster the same person, and what of the suicide? Is that connected? Essentially the building where Peverell Press is based, Innocent House, provides a closed-room mystery: the murderer must come from within the company but although some are haughty, others unlikeable and the rest just gossips, someone there must have done it.
Did I guess? No. The motive is fascinating, though I could have done with a few more hints earlier on.
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