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on 12 August 2015
The sad thing is, I didn't care about any of the characters. Of course the background is carefully researched, the story intricately plotted, and all the characters described in minute, excessive detail - down to the colour of their socks, their taste in food, the furniture in their rooms - but that's just it; it's all surface with PD James (a great deal of surface) but nothing which takes the reader inside any of the characters, to sympathise with them, feel their emotions, so that you want to read on because you care about what happens to them. This book was easy to put down, a labour to finish. The main detective, Dalgleish, is especially dull - a cardboard cut-out. And she moves the other characters around like pawns on a chessboard, picking up each one with faint distaste, as though she despises them all. So why should I care about them if she doesn't? I know these books are seen as classics, but they don't work for me - not this one, anyway. Sorry.
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on 24 October 2012
This was the first PD James I had read and I'm not really a serious crime novel reader but was reading it for our Book Club. I found the first part leading up to the murder very dull with too much unecessary detail such as where the chairs were placed! I was relieved when a murder took place. From then on the story picked up and was extremely readable but I found Adam Daleish totally uninteresting (the only crime I enjoy is Morse, Kate Atkinsons series and Sherlock Holmes - all flawed characters). By the end of the book I was caught up in events which followed the actual murder but had lost interest in the murder itself and would not have notice immediately if the murderer had not been revealed. I even had to go back and find out who some of the connected characters were. Saying this it did manage to keep me reading for long periods at a time and I'm sure readers who like to work out who dunnit would probably enjoy the story even more.
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on 27 November 2016
A well-crafted thriller (1997) which builds to a scary climax involving a psychopath whose modus operandi is, regrettably, all too murderous and believable. Yet here we have P D James at her most sensitive and inventive. The plot and denouement are well rounded-off, without Dalgleish being able to bring the perpetrator to justice.
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on 5 May 2016
I am reading all of PD James novels in order,and this one is the darkest yet,but no less enjoyable for that-in my opinion her novels seem to get better and better with sub plots which almost leave the reader gasping. I wholeheartedly recommend these novels even though they are a little dated
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on 19 January 2018
as usual from this great author, wonderful.
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on 4 March 2016
Haven't read a PDJ for years and this one reminded me what a genius she was. Chilling, really brutal in its stark portrayal of damaged human beings and their effect on life. Downloading another one ....
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on 29 June 2013
Not the sort of thing I would usually read (I'm more of a Barbara Kingsolver reader) but P D James is reckoned to be one of the best in this genre which I wanted to try for a change, so It hought I would start with her.
Her writing is excellent although you need to enjoy a wordy style (I do). The story itself was well constructed but the characters (other than Dalgleish) were unsympathetic and fairly one dimensional. It is also slightly dated now of course.
Having said that I whistled through it in no time and was fairly gripped so I would definitely read another P D James.
If you like crime fiction I imagine this would be a good read.
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on 3 October 2016
Way too much detail about everyone and every event. Very slow as a result. I gave up hall way through
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on 22 February 2015
A very gripping, exciting thriller. I normally don`t enjoy thrillers but found I couldn`t put that one down. Very well written with the plot well thought out although I thought the ending was a bit tame compared to rest of the novel. Characters were well drawn and believable and Miss James had obvious knowledge of workings of legal Chambers. Would recommend it others interested in crime fiction
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on 3 March 2017
A very intelligent and well plotted book as I've come to expect from PD James. Recommended. Best read in chronological order, warning, they can be addictive.
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